(AP/Richard Drew)

McDonald's refuses to open branch in the West Bank

Settlers in Ariel are now threatening to boycott the fast-food chain


Noga Tarnopolsky
June 29, 2013 5:30PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post JERUSALEM — Israel's settlers are threatening to boycott McDonald's in Israel, after the popular burger chain refused to open a branch at a mall in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

"McDonald's decision not to be a part of the Ariel mall is a miserable decision discriminating against the city's residents," Ariel Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro said.

Advertisement:

Former interior minister Eli Yishai said on his Facebook page that he would eat the first burger grilled by McDonald's local competitor Burger Ranch, and that is rumored to take the American chain's spot in Ariel.

In a statement, the company said that limiting its operations to Israel proper — inside the Green Line that marks the pre-1967 war border — had "always been the restaurant chain's policy."

With 20,000 residents, Ariel is one of the largest Israeli settlements inside the West Bank, which Palestinians hope will make up the bulk of any future Palestinian state.

Ariel is located 13 miles from the internationally-recognized border between Israel and the West Bank, in the heart of Palestinian territory.

Shaviro said boycotts of Ariel's industrial zone hurt the Palestinian workers employed in the settlements.

"Commerce is a bridging factor," he said. "which creates good conditions for a system of mutual relations regardless of one's religion, race or gender. The entire boycott issue does the exact opposite, causing a rift instead of a bridge. Peace will come through cooperation in general and commerce in particular, not through imposing boycotts."

Advertisement:

Chemi Shalev, a columnist of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote that the Israeli officials who have come out against the McDonald's decision are living in an "alternative reality."

They have "no idea that Ariel isn't, in fact, inside Israel's recognized borders and doesn't appear to be so on any reputable map," Shalev wrote.


Noga Tarnopolsky

MORE FROM Noga Tarnopolsky

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Ariel Boycott Globalpost Israel Mcdonalds West Bank

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •