McDonald’s Israel Refuses to Build in Illegal Settlements

by Kevin Jon Heller

ABC reports:

The McDonald’s restaurant chain refused to open a branch in a West Bank Jewish settlement, the company said Thursday, adding a prominent name to an international movement to boycott Israel’s settlements.

Irina Shalmor, spokeswoman for McDonald’s Israel, said the owners of a planned mall in the Ariel settlement asked McDonald’s to open a branch there about six months ago. Shalmor said the chain refused because the owner of McDonald’s Israel has a policy of staying out of the occupied territories. The decision was not coordinated with McDonald’s headquarters in the U.S., she said. In an email, the headquarters said “our partner in Israel has determined that this particular location is not part of his growth plan.”

The Israeli branch’s owner and franchisee, Omri Padan, is a founder of the dovish group Peace Now, which opposes all settlements and views them as obstacles to peace. The group said Padan is no longer a member.

The decision by such a well-known multinational company to boycott the West Bank deals settlers an unwelcome blow.

Without a trace of irony, supporters of Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank are calling for a boycott of McDonald’s. No doubt a call for divestment and sanctions won’t be far behind.

Kudos to Padan for putting principle ahead of profit. With luck, his example will inspire other large corporations to do the same.

5 Responses

  1. What I find even more ironic is the use of McDonald’s as an example of a corporation putting principle before profit considering it’s a business empire based on selling dangerously unhealthy foods to it’s clients.

  2. I considered adding a snarky comment that, health-wise, the settlers are much better off with McDonald’s around…

  3. Indeed – bring on the boycotts!

  4. The settlements are not illegal. The entire Ottoman province of Palestine (including Jordan, which at most should be the Palestinian state) was given to the Jewish people by the San Remo Conference in recognition of the fact that this is our historic land.

  5. Sorry, I’ll go with the Security Council, the ICJ, and every state on earth other than Israel, all of which rightfully hold that the settlements are illegal.

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