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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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McDonald’s Boycotts Ariel

In 1979, Peace Now co-founder Omri Padan protested the government's letting Gush Emunim to establish a settlement. Now, as McDonalds’ CEO in Israel, he refuses to allow a branch over the “Green Line.”
McDonalds' CEO, a founder of Peace Now. operates a branch near the Dead Sea but refuses to open up in Ariel or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria

McDonalds' CEO, a founder of Peace Now. operates a branch near the Dead Sea but refuses to open up in Ariel or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria
Photo Credit: Serge Attal / Flash 90

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The Israeli franchise owner of McDonald’s, Peace Now co-founder Omri Padan, has caused an uproar in the city of Ariel in Samaria by refusing to allow a Big Mac branch in the city’s new mall.

In a reverse of the Boycott Israel movement, Ariel residents are threatening a Boycott McDonald’s movement.

The new mall was opened by the popular Rami Levy HaShikma supermarket, with plans for a McDonald’s  branch in the shopping complex.

Padan’s boycott not only will deprive Ariel’s Jews from chomping on McDonald’s menu items, but it also will lock out tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs in the area, who also will be deprived of the same equal job opportunities at McDonald’s that Rami Levy offers.

Ariel Mayor Eli Shviro told Channel 2 television, “If this is the case, it is a miserable decision. It discriminates against us. We are residents just like everyone in the country, and this is out of place.”

Padan stands his ground, as he has done for years. Levy says that the McDonald’s Israeli franchise owner is a victim of “mistaken thinking,” but McDonald’s Israel said in a statement. “This has always been the policy of Dr. Omri Padan.”

Indeed it has.

In 1998 he said in an interview with the Haaretz  newspaper, “McDonald’s Israel neither did nor will open a branch at any Israeli settlement beyond the Green Line. Already when I was the general manager of Kitan Textiles I told the board I would resign immediately if they move to open a plant on the West Bank. I have the privilege of not needing to compromise on my principles.”

He also fought in the past against a McDonald’s branch in Ramat Gan, adjacent to Tel Aviv, from becoming – God forbid – kosher, even though the orthodox Jewish owner of the mall required that stores be closed on Shabbat. He said in 1997, “We will be a non-kosher restaurant selling cheese-burgers, milkshakes and ice-cream.”

Nine years later, the Big Cheese in McDonald’s American headquarters overruled him and ordered the Ramit Aviv facility to go kosher.

It is doubtful that the bosses will intervene in Ariel. McDonald’s would prefer to suffer a boycott of a few thousand Jews, or even a few hundred thousand in Israel and abroad, rather than a mega-boycott by the BDS movement.

The Boycott Israel movement would gleefully add the hamburger chain to its list of companies that dare to operate in Judea and Samaria, even if they employ Arabs.

So don’t figure on a McDonald’s branch in Ariel.

But there always is the good side to everything. Ariel residents, and neighboring Arabs, will be spared McDonald’s nutrition.

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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33 Responses to “McDonald’s Boycotts Ariel”

  1. The residents of Ariel will live longer now.

  2. Ephraim Shalom says:

    Apparently, Peace Now missed the news: "Palestiniams" consider all of Israel to be "occupied" and want another intifada (see: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10227). So what does Padan think he is accomplishing?

  3. Benny Gamal says:

    McDonalds in Israel is a booshah… how can we celebrate a mediocre fast food cuisine over the indigenous gourmet dishes of Eretz Israel, including Kaved Avaz, Shishlik Bakar and Betzei Hodoo. Sincerely, Benny Gamal.

  4. Abi Carmen says:

    I guess with all the other issues going on globally, this shouldn't reall even make the news.

  5. David Conley says:

    I never go to mcdonalds here in the states…who needs it's junk food. Israel, stay healthy and boycott mickey d!

  6. EVERYONE should boycott ALL Mcdonalds in Israel!
    Most of them were not Kosher on purpose for years, while Burger King and Now Burger Ranch were kosher. Eating there supports radical leftist self hating Jews. Don't give them your business. Go elsewhere. Spread the word and share with everyone.

  7. Chaiya Eitan says:

    There are better burger places to eat at anyway.

  8. Hinda Blas says:

    Open a Wendy's instead – they are much healthier or a Carl's Jr. w/o the cheese/bacon. That will fix this self-hater. Why doesn't it go and live in Egypt?

  9. Mark Leaman says:

    So foolish, and the ones who will loose out are the Arabs as they will have less employment, the ones who win are the Ariel residents who will not eat junk food.

  10. Alan Kardon says:

    Hope that Burger King or Wendy's takes advantage of this opportunity.

  11. David Willig says:

    So, what's wrong with Burger King or Wendy's?

  12. Stephanie Taylor says:

    Keeping Ariel healthy!

  13. Dvorah Bee says:

    I could have been married to a MCDonald's owner- the family had 10 of them in CA, but I didn't fall in love, my mother wanted me to. :(

  14. Dvorah Bee says:

    They stink anyways

  15. Gil Gilman says:

    You mean there is someone who eats that garbage? A friend of mine from Ghana, which at time was one of the most corrupt regimes in Africa (is it still?), that MacDonalds used horse meat in there burgers there. I doubted it until recent news reports pointed in that direction. You can' trust their food, and it is bad for you, health wise.

  16. Maybe McDonald’s should change their spokesman from a clown to a pussy.

  17. Shi Yuehan says:

    That's nice Dvorah, it's best to marry for love not money. :)

  18. Yochi Eisner says:

    We ALL can live without McDonalds! Horrible food – worse quality! Eat ISRAELI – let the Americans keep ther McDiscusting!

  19. Out McDonald's from Israel, this food for pigs.

  20. Hillel Levin says:

    EVERYONE should boycott ALL Mcdonalds in Israel!
    Most of them were not Kosher on purpose for years, while Burger King and Now Burger Ranch were kosher. Eating there supports radical leftist self hating Jews. Don't give them your business. Go elsewhere. Spread the word and share with everyone.

  21. Hilda Blas.
    Excellent comment.
    He should try this in Saudi Arabia, and make sure it is not Halal, and serve prk with cheese.

    Try that you &**&^&^*

  22. Jews all over the world should boycott Mc Donalds until the US head office demands that the Israelifrnachise MUST be Kosher.
    The fact that there will be no pig or horsemet products, would satisfy the Muslims as well.

  23. MacDonald's food is foul and disgusting. No nutritional value! Just the smell of a MacDonald's here in the states is enough to make you gag! Why pollute Israel? MD was just found passing off regular meat as Halal in one Muslim community in Michigan, although in my opinion the meat most likely was healthier from the stand point that halal meat processing is filthy, but do you really want to trust them after that to serve kosher meat? I wouldn't! Israel is better off without the greasy, calorie laden, items MD sells with no nutritional value. I say throw them out of Israel!

  24. Benjamin Fox says:

    I have vistited McD's all over the world and the best was in Israel, glad he took that stand. If you haven't been there Michael your just a biased idiot.

  25. Alana Ronald says:

    Better for Ariel: who needs McDonalds, anyway?

  26. Linda Estrada says:


  27. Rabbi Mayer Kahana was right.
    Kick them all out.
    These Arabs have the best of everything, better than they would have in any Arab country.
    Send them to Saudi Arabia where they have no rights.
    Name one Arab country where they woukld have the same rights that that have in Israel.
    NOT ONE.They must stop their rubbosh. Israel is a Jewish state, for the Jews, by the Jews.
    Why don't they refer to the treatment of Jews and Christians when Palestine was under Arab rule.
    No Jew allowed to pray at the holiest site, the Western Wall.
    No Jew allowed to blow the Shofar for fear of being arrested by the Anti Semitic British, because it "upset" the Muslims.
    Yet, the Muslims were allowed to call to prayer at all unglold hours, thereby waking everybody.
    No Chrsitians allowed to pray at the Churches,
    56 Synbnagogues destroyed by the Arabs.
    They are trying to destroy Israel, so that it could be taken over by the Muslims.
    If that ever happens, the Almighty G-D of the Jews and Christians will destroy them.
    These Arabs who call for BDS against Israel, should be expelled from Israel as they are a 5th column and traitors to the country which gave thenm education, health, freedom.
    Name one Arab counmry where Jews ever had that same freedom. NOT ONE.

  28. Israel's McDonald food is pretty bad as well. No comparison to other hamberger joints

  29. Ralph Haglund says:

    Let him concentrate on opening restaurants in Ramallah and Gaza, the two capitals of the Falashtin Arabs. But why open restaurants when Peace Now gets enormous sums from the whole world to harass the Israeli Jews?

  30. Ralph Haglund says:

    Let him concentrate on opening restaurants in Ramallah and Gaza, the two capitals of the Falashtin Arabs. But why open restaurants when Peace Now gets enormous sums from the whole world to harass the Israeli Jews?

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