McDonald’s, ‘bringing politics into business,’ boycotts Ariel

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to McDonald’s Israel has said it will not open a branch in the city of Ariel, citing its location beyond the Green Line as the reason, Calcalist reported Wednesday.

McDonald's in Haifa. Credit: Kenyh/Wikimedia Commons.

According to Tzahi Nahmias, the owner of the Mega Or construction firm, which is marketing space in the Ariel mall that offered to host McDonald’s, other chains have also expressed concern over opening branches in Ariel because of its location, but refrained from naming them because they have yet to finalize their decisions.

“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 [by consumers] abroad if they open shop in the mall,” Nahmias told Calcalist.

Rami Levy, owner of the Rami Levy supermarket chain, which operates beyond the Green Line, told Calcalist that Arabs would be among those hurt by the apparent boycott of the area.

“I don’t agree with bringing politics into business,” Levy said.

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) called on the Israeli public to boycott McDonald’s.

“I urge the public to boycott anyone who boycotts it,” Ariel said. “Only then will they get the message and the boycotts will stop.”

McDonald’s Israel released a statement saying that its decision not to operate beyond the Green Line was “always the policy of the franchise.”

Posted on June 26, 2013 .