“In that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18)
Peace Now co-founder and McDonald’s Israeli franchise owner Omri Padan refuses to open a McDonald’s branch in the new mall in the Samaria city of Ariel. The mall is operated by Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. Ariel residents had hoped the chain would open a franchise there, and were angered to hear it was against McDonald’s Israel policy to operate beyond the Green Line. They are planning a boycott of the chain as a result.
Christian Friends Of Israeli Communities Heartland director, Sondra Baras, spoke with Israel supporters on her recent trip to the UK. Many of them expressed their frustration over the various boycotts held against Israel: “Israel supporters all over this country have reported to me how the boycott is affecting their ability to buy the Israeli products and produce they love. Their best way of taking action is by buying Israel products this week. The boycott is not only about Judea and Samaria. It is a battle against all of Israel.”
[box type=”shadow” ]McDonald’s is not the only example of discrimination against Jewish institutions in Judea and Samaria. Read how an International Committee of the Red Cross representative took part in planting fruit trees that carry the names of prisoners jailed in Israeli prisons.[/box]
Baras explains how to best combat Mc’Donalds decision: “All of Israel and all of our supporters world-wide must raise their voices on this newest battleground. If Israel does not have the right to live and build in our biblical heartland, we have no right to any part of Israel. Our enemies know this. I hope our friends can appreciate this as well.”
Businessman Rami Levy confirmed that McDonald’s was not the only chain refusing to open in the mall for political reasons, but added, “This is mistaken thinking.
“I don’t agree with bringing politics into business,” he told Calcalist. “As long as we’re talking about a business that operates within the State of Israel as it is defined today, there’s no reason to boycott any region or population for political reasons.
“The mall in Ariel is expected to employ both Jews and Arabs from the region, and to give services to both populations.”
Tzachi Nahmias, head of Mega Or, the construction firm responsible for marketing space in the mall to businesses, echoed Levy’s sentiments. He told Calcalist, “The [Jewish] residents of Ariel and the [Arabs] in the region are the ones who will be hurt by this.”
Ariel mayor Eli Shviro expressed his own disappointment with the decision, stating that he hopes other big companies will choose to come to the city. “We are residents just like everyone else in the country,” Shviro told Channel 2 News Online.