McDonald’s Refuses to Open Branch in West Bank Mall

Friday, June 28, 2013

McDonald’s has no interest in opening a restaurant in an Israeli settlement inside the West Bank. But its refusal to join a new mall there has landed the fast-food chain in hot water with pro-settlement Israelis.

 

The controversy began after the developers of a mall in Ariel (population: 18,000), located ten miles beyond the Green Line that has divided Israel and its neighbors between 1949 and 1967, offered McDonald’s a spot in the new retail project.

 

The owner of McDonald’s Israel, which has 180 franchises, said no thanks, citing the company’s policy of avoiding the West Bank.

 

But those involved with the new mall, as well as those supporting Israeli expansion into the Occupied Territories, lashed out at McDonald’s. Some even called for a boycott of the popular fast food giant.

 

“McDonald’s has turned from a business into an organization with an anti-Israeli political agenda,” Yigal Delmonti of the Yesha Council, a settlement umbrella organization, told the Jerusalem Post. “We expect that Israeli citizens, especially those living in Judea and Samaria [the biblical term for the West Bank], will take this into account before entering the company's franchises.”

 

On the other hand, Israelis unsympathetic to the settler movement have also boycotted Ariel.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Report: McDonald's Refuses to Open Branch in Ariel (Jerusalem Post)

McDonald's Israel Rejects West Bank Branch Proposal (by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian)

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