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Jun 27, 2013

Omri Padan's use of McDonalds as a vehicle for his political beliefs is nothing new

Omri Padan, the owner of the Israeli franchise of McDonalds, has decided that he will not open a branch of McDonalds in the new mall planned for Ariel. His decision has created a ruckus - that he is boycotting Ariel, helping the anti-Zionists in their fight against Israel, etc..

The turth is that this is nothing new. Padan is not just a businessman, but is a leftist activist and he refuses to open his restaurants in towns over the Green Line, and he has used his business to promote his policy in the past as well. He has refused to open McDonalds before in towns and locations he disapproves of, regardless of whether or not it would be a good business opportunity. His rejection of Ariel should not have surprised anyone.

I personally do not eat in McDonalds, and made such a commitment, albeit only a loose one, when Padan refused to even consider closing on Shabbos his branch of McDonalds located in downtown Jerusalem. He did not just not close it because it generated so much Shabbos business. When he was petitioned to close it, or to at least consider closing it, he spoke very harshly against Shabbos observance in his business and, while I don't remember the exact quote, basically said that he would never close that branch on Shabbos even if from a business perspective it makes sense. he wanted that store to remain open on Shabbos, by hook or by crook even if he would have to take a loss for it.

I get when someone has a business that is successful on Shabbos so he won't close it. I don't agree, but I understand. The person does not believe in Shabbos observance, and acts accordingly. I feel bad for him, I hope one day he might change his mind,  but God gives free will, and there is nothing I can do about it. When it becomes a crusade to attack Shabbos, when it is no longer a simple business decision but a crusade against Shabbos, that is something I will oppose. As a matter of fact, and this is the converse, I just recently heard a rosh yeshiva say that he eats Rabbanut hechsher specifically because anybody in this country who is moser nefesh to close his restaurant on Shabbos must be supported.

The best response I heard about Padan's decision is MK Eli Yishai's. Yishai said that when it opens he will order a hamburger from the Burger Ranch that will open in Ariel instead and have it delivered to Padan's office so that he will eat a "blue and white" hamburger and learn the updated borders of Israel..

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  1. Well, he does have a right to open branches only where he wants to - it is his business.

  2. yes he does. and I have a right to not eat there. but I am not eating there not because of his latest decision, but because of his long-standing policy.. what he did now is nothing new

  3. Ha! This guy should get off his high horse. Why is it that a guy who has such high principles for leftist, anti-religious causes can't wrap his brain around the fact that his franchise is encouraging unhealthy eating leading to obesity and heart disease? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-f-jacobson/mcdonalds-anniversary_b_849299.html

  4. Yes it is true that in the past McDonalds has been a de facto representative of the non-kosher, shabbat operating business in Israel, and the personal ideology of Padan was a factor, but In this particular case it makes business sense as well as ideological an ideological statement.

    McDonalds has franchises all over the world and there is a risk of boycott in other countries, particularly Europe. If your business is associated with "Occupation of Palestine" in Europe, that's going to hurt business.

    Burger Ranch does not have franchises in other countries, so there is no risk associated with opening anywhere in Israel.

    Are other international businesses opening in the Arial mall? IS there a Target, Fox, KFC, Pizza Hutt, American Eagle or any other international brand?

  5. he did not say that was the reason, and it is disingenuous to make it into his reason. He is against the Occupation and believes everything over the green line does not belong to us. and he said so. he did not say he was afraid of boycotts against the mcdonalds chain or that they have a policy he must adhere to

  6. BTW, Are any of the McDonald's in Israel Mehadrin?

  7. I hope the BR that opens in Ariel is closed on Shabbat and also mehadrin. The local branch of Cafe Cafe was floundering until it closed on Shabbat and went mehadrin and now it is a successful branch, in a vastly secular city, yet with many religious people in the surrounding communities.

  8. You actually thought Eli Yishai's sophomoric response was 'the best'?
    The others must have been really pathetic.

  9. What astonish me is that Mac Donald's USA don't blame him. I think his position is very brave, and I respect it as I agree with him, but I don't see a lot of business men ruling their business with political convictions. This is why we still have politics, because business men have no principles.

  10. Sorry:
    What astonishes me is that Mac Donald's USA doesn't blame him. I think his position is very brave, and I respect it as I agree with him, but I don't see a lot of business men ruling their business with political convictions. This is why we still have politics, because business men have no principles.

  11. I don't understand the fuss this is all about.T. The Kosher Branches of McDo in Israel are closed on Shabbat if not they would not have been granted a rabbinical certificate. As a result, Mr. Padan does recognize that when business interests are at stake, he is willing to close on Shabbat. Furthermore, as to his refusal to open branches across the Green Line you should ask yourself since when private businesses have the obligation to open branches wherever and whenever they are invited to do so? Also, is this the worst crime we can accuse Mc Donalds of? What about tax evasion, Neuromarketing and ruining our children's health by luring them with toys, just to name some.

    Just Saying...

    1. Anon, thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary. Neuromarketing. Very interesting.


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