JERUSALEM (JTA) — McDonald’s Israel declined an offer to open a restaurant in Ariel because it is located in the West Bank.
In a statement, McDonald’s said its refusal to open a franchise in the West Bank has “always been the restaurant chain’s policy,” according to the Calcalist, the Israeli business daily that first reported the story.
McDonald’s had been approached by a realtor to open in a mall scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. About 50 stores and eateries, many of them chains, either are on board or in talks to open in the Ariel Mall, according to The Calcalist. Some of the chains are wary of committing to the project because of its West Bank location, the report said.
The owner and general manager of McDonald’s Israel, Omri Padan, is a founder of Peace Now.
Rami Levy, the Israeli supermarket mogul who is an investor in the new mall, told Calcalist, “I do not accept that companies make business decisions that are informed by political considerations. The mall in Ariel is expected to employ Arab and Jewish workers from the area and to provide services for these populations.”
A cultural center in Ariel and the Ariel University both have been the target of boycotts.