The move was reportedly in retaliation for the fast-food restaurant issuing free meals to Israeli troops
A pro-Palestine activist filmed himself releasing dozens of mice spray-painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag into a McDonald’s restaurant in the UK on Monday, several reports have indicated.
The brief video – which is captioned ‘Enjoy your rat burgers’ – has been viewed online at least 1.6 million times in the past 24 hours, and shows a man wearing a Palestinian flag on his head releasing the rodents into the fast-food eatery, prompting several shocked customers to scream and scurry away.
“Free f**king Palestine!” the unidentified man says as he returns to his car. “Boycott Israel! F**k Israel!”
The demonstration follows a decision by the chain’s Israeli operation to provide meals free of charge to Israeli troops amid the Jewish state’s renewed conflict with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, according to the Jerusalem Post.
On Sunday, McDonald’s stated that it was donating meals free of charge “to all those who are involved in the defense of the state, hospitals and surrounding areas.”
A man throws a bunch of mice into a packed McDonald’s in London to protest against Israel.
He shouts “Free Palestine” pic.twitter.com/Mzmb8AfQ0M
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) October 30, 2023
About 1,400 people, many of whom were civilians, were killed in a Hamas incursion into Israeli territory, with more than 200 hostages also seized. In retaliation, Israel has launched an unprecedented bombardment of Gaza, with Palestinian officials saying that more than 8,300 have been killed in the besieged coastal enclave as of Monday.
“We are aware of an incident in our Birmingham Star City restaurant this evening where a number of mice were released by a member of the public,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told UK broadcaster LBC on Monday.
“Following the removal of the mice, the restaurant has been fully sanitized and our pest control partners have been called out to conduct a full inspection,” the statement added.
Animal welfare group Viva! Said on Tuesday that, while it is “deeply distraught” at the loss of life in the Middle East, “using poor mice and rats and setting them free in a McDonald’s is not the way to make a political point.” It added that the stunt amounts to nothing more than “animal cruelty, plain and simple.”
Gary Mond, chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, added to the Jerusalem Post that “from a political perspective, [the demonstration] is totally futile.”
“It will do nothing to bring any support to the ‘Free Palestine’ cause,” Mond added, claiming the movement was based on “Jew-hatred.”