McDonald’s is making a rare foray into Middle East politics.
A licensee of the fast food chain refused to open a location in the Israeli-occupied West Bank settlement of Ariel, according to Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg’s Carol Matlack writes:
Rami Levy, who is developing a shopping mall in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, told Bloomberg News that the licensee declined to open an outlet in the mall because it is on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The licensee, Omri Padan, is a co-founder of Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
The decision has caused backlash by citizens in Ariel where the franchise would have been located.
Mayor Eliyahu Shviro described the denial as “The Big McInsult” in a letter to Israel Hayom. He wrote:
The refusal of Israel’s McDonald’s franchise owner to open a branch at the new mall in Ariel just because it is located across the Green Line is an unfortunate decision that discriminates against residents of the city and the surrounding area, both Jews and Palestinians…In my view, all cultural and commercial issues should be separated from politics.
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