In the heart of Zarqa, Jordan, a local cafe named Gosta Coffee has stirred up a significant controversy with a new addition to its menu, the 'HolaGosta' coffee. This coffee's name alone raises eyebrows, as it combines elements of the word "Holocaust" with the cafe's name, Gosta. The cafe's social media pages, with tens of thousands of followers, became the platform for this unexpected and shocking revelation.
What makes this choice of name even more disturbing is the way the coffee is presented. When 'HolaGosta' is served, it comes with marshmallows in blue and white colors, upon which the Star of David is depicted being consumed by flames, held by a hand adorned in the colors of the Palestinian flag. The intention behind this presentation is clear: it appears to encourage the burning of Israeli flags. Accompanying this advertisement is the slogan and hashtag, "Feel the Arabic taste." In an online video that went viral, a barista can be seen smiling while using a torch to burn the marshmallow and decorating the drink with a Palestinian flag.
Gosta coffee franchise in Az-Zarqa, Jordan. Yesterday, it posted this publicity showing a Palestinian hand incinerating marshmallows with a blue Star of David on them. It could have passed for just an expression of war, but the text leaves no room for guessing, and reads— Hussain Abdul-Hussain (@hahussain) November 16, 2023
Our new… pic.twitter.com/fX2vCG9zUZ
Unsurprisingly, this publication sparked a storm of reactions. On one side, it garnered sympathy and support from pro-Palestinian groups, while on the other side, it led to shock and outrage from users who found it highly offensive. Many questioned why Instagram and Facebook allowed such incendiary content to remain online.
For instance, on the cafe's Instagram page, one user referred to the barista as Hitler, a comment that bizarrely received a heart icon from the page's administrator. Another user posted a photo of a chicken in an oven, a disturbing reference to the tragic story of a baby burned in an oven by Hamas terrorists. This image was shared without any accompanying text, yet its implication was clear and horrifying.
It is worth noting that amid the pro-Palestinian voices expressing support for the cafe's advertisement, there were also reactions from Arab users who distanced themselves from the controversy. They emphasized that their opposition was directed at Zionism and the occupation, not Jews as a whole. Some criticized the cafe for bad taste in sharing the post, stating, "If you think that the massacre of Palestinians is an act that should not be done, how do you mock the Holocaust like that?" They added, "The Holocaust is not a subject for jokes," and "You are only hurting the Palestinians with such acts."
שלום עם ירדן?— Moran T 𓂆 موران ت (@MoranT555) November 18, 2023
רשת בתי קפה בירדן בשם "גוסתא קופי" השיקו מוצר חדש לרגל המלחמה בעזה "הולו-גוסתא", שם שמצלצל דומה למילה "הולוקוסט", שואה, ולצידו כתבו "אני מרגיש את הטעם הערבי"
המשקה כולל מעליו חתיכות מרשמלו בצבעי כחול לבן עם סמל מגן דוד עליהן שחורכים אותן במקום עם ברנר.. בתמונה זה… pic.twitter.com/yHmI012hE9
The cafe's marketing manager responded to the controversy, claiming that the cafe's rating had significantly dropped, and their Instagram account was temporarily shut down, which they attributed to a "Zionist attack." Despite these setbacks, the manager expressed pride and determination to continue supporting the Palestinian cause, stating, "We will continue to support the Palestinians despite all the threats."