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article imageSettlers 'not loving it' as McD's refuses to open in West Bank

By Anne Sewell     Jun 28, 2013 in Food
Israeli settlers are apparently outraged at McDonald's refusal to build an outlet in the West Bank. They are now calling to boycott the company's entire operations in Israel.
The right-wing My Israel page on Facebook is calling for a total boycott of McDonalds, by posting a sign reading “McDonald’s: I’m not loving it” in protest.
Reportedly, the McDonald's chain has cited a policy of “staying out of occupied territories” along with several other international businesses.
A statement from McDonald's said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank "had always been the restaurant chain's policy" and that its decision was not coordinated with McDonald’s headquarters in the US.
Apparently the co-owner of a new mall in Ariel, central West Bank did admit that other international companies which had been invited to open businesses in the mall had also declined. However, he did not specify which companies.
Sign posted on the My Israel Facebook page against McDonald s decision not to open a branch in the W...
Sign posted on the My Israel Facebook page against McDonald's decision not to open a branch in the West Bank.
Facebook screengrab
Tzahi Nahmias told Calcalist newspaper:
"The mediators told us that branches operating abroad and other companies holding rights in Israel for international brand names are worried about the potential negative response toward their businesses [from consumers] abroad if they open shops in the mall."
Quoted by Jpost, Yigal Delmonti, deputy director of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea said:
“McDonald’s has turned from a business into an organization with an anti-Israeli political agenda."
“We expect that Israeli citizens, especially those living in Judea and Samaria, will take this into account before entering the company’s franchises.”
“We welcome Burger Ranch’s announcement that it would open a branch in Ariel, a move that will increase its visibility throughout Israel.”
Mayor of Ariel, Eliyahu Shaviro said that the refusal by McDonald's is “unfortunate” and it “discriminates against the city’s residents,” adding that “issues of culture and commerce shouldn’t be subject to political considerations.”
Despite the decision by McDonald's, and as quoted by Delmonti, Burger Ranch has offered to step in instead. The company had already taken over the spots previously held by Burger King in 2010 when that company closed all its restaurants in Israel.
Former Interior Minister Eli YIshai of Shas was quoted by Haaretz as saying on Facebook that he would not only eat the first hamburger grilled by Burger Ranch, but he would also send McDonald's Israel owner Omri Padan "a current map with Israel’s up-to-date borders."
The reaction from a spokeswoman at McDonald's US headquarters?
“Our partner in Israel has determined that this particular location is not part of his growth plan.”
More about Israel, West bank, Israeli settlers, Mcdonalds, Boycott
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