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McDonald’s not lovin’ the settlements

Fast food chain refuses offer to open restaurant in new mall being built in Ariel, located beyond Green Line

Illustrative photo of the kosher McDonald's that used to serve Ben Gurion Airport (Serge Attal/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the kosher McDonald's that used to serve Ben Gurion Airport (Serge Attal/Flash90)

McDonald’s Israel on Wednesday said it would not open a branch in the city of Ariel, located beyond the Green Line.

Omri Padan, the local franchisee of the monster fast food chain and a co-founder of Peace Now, refused an offer by Rami Levy of the eponymous supermarket chain and real estate firm Mega Or to open a restaurant in the new mall being built in the city by the two companies, the daily financial paper Calcalist reported.

McDonald’s issued a statement saying it has “always been the policy of the franchise” to not operate beyond the Green Line

“Padan’s political views have been known for years. This will harm the citizens of Ariel and the surrounding area,” Tzahi Nahmias, the owner of the Mega Or construction firm, was quoted as saying.

Nahmias also said that some additional chains were hesitant to open branches in the mall due to its location.

“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 abroad if they open up shop in the mall,” Nahmias said.

Rami Levy was quoted as saying that Arabs would be among those hurt by the apparent boycott of the area.

“I don’t agree with bringing politics into business. The mall in Ariel will employ Jews and Arabs and will provide services to these sectors. This boycott is unnecessary and is harmful to a sector these same people are claiming to protect,” Levy said.

The new mall is set to open at the end of next year.

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