Eretz Yisrael Time

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Friday, November 10, 2006
Hatred of Judaism and of Religious Jews is a powerful thing in Israel.

In the State of Israel there are people are willing to lose a hundred million dollars - just to spite Jews and Judaism.

The McDonald franchise in Israel is owned by Omri Padan – not someone known for his favorable attitude towards Judaism (understatement).

There is a McDonalds that sits in the Ramat Aviv mall.

The Ramat Aviv mall is owned by Lev Leviav – a religious Jew who keeps his malls closed on Shabbat.

In 1997, Omri Padan
said, he “will not surrender” and make his Ramat Aviv McDonalds kosher – even though it was already to be closed on Shabbat.

In the year 1999, the Avi Chai Foundation did a
study that found that 58% of the Jewish population in Israel will only eat kosher (and if that didn’t specifically include basar v’chalav, they also found that 44% of the population keep completely separate dishes for milk and meat).

Yet strangely enough (well not ,when you consider the hater), Omri Padan, with the hurdle of not being open on Shabbat no longer an issue, made an unambiguous decision to choose to not serve over 50% of his potential clientele.

Now there are those of you that are whispering that is would cost him more to be kosher – I will remind you of his obscene TV commercial where he said that the meat and cheese that comprise his cheeseburgers are all kosher products.

So, with a 50% population that only eats kosher (and at no extra expense), Padan chooses to keep less than 10% of his McDonalds kosher, and even then it is when he had no choice (such as in the Jerusalem Bus Station which will only allow kosher vendors). More so, he chooses to keep them non-Kosher particularly in Jerusalem where far more than 50% of the residents keep kosher.

There is even a Kosher McDonalds in
Buenos Airies with its much smaller Jewish/Kosher population. (picture)

I would assume that McDonalds (with their
respect for local values and customs, even though they even make mistakes at home) quickly realized that they made a huge mistake giving Padan an (apparently) exclusive countrywide contract. They must not have know he was an extremist. But they certainly realized soon enough that they had locked themselves in with someone who was willing to put his Hate before their bottom line.

This week, McDonalds (USA) acknowledged their mistake when they
unilaterally decided that Padan must comply with their wishes and make his Ramat Aviv restaurant Kosher – against his will.

Furthermore, McDonalds has made the decision to
modify their signs to clearly differentiate between kosher and non-kosher branches in the same towns, resolving the issue that the Rabbinate won’t mix and match kosher certificates where the public (residents and tourists) might be easily confused.

McDonalds even has a precedent for altering their signs when they modified their signs in France to comply with French legislation on store signs.

In short, it would appear that McDonalds USA is finally beginning to wake up and realize that Padan’s hatred must be scrutinized and restrained – because it is limiting their growth in the Israeli market.

And if you didn’t know it, Omri Padan is also a
founder of the hate group Peace Now - which explains why there is no McDonalds anywhere in Yesh(a).

Burger King, on the other hand, did open “over the green line” in Maaleh Adumim (annexed by Israel if you don’t remember), but Gush Shalom, Peace Now’s doppelganger, ran a campaign which shut it down.

Personally, I would tell McDonalds that while I appreciate their concern for their bottom line, they are wasting their time as I have far too many friends and acquaintances who will not eat at the Kosher McDonalds so as to not financially support Omri Padan and his Crusade of Hate.


Anonymous said...

And yet I still have absolutely no urge to go to McDonald's...

I must just be an anti-fast-food-chain crank. I ate KFC in the days when it was mehadrin on the midrachov, but a recent trip to Cleveland did not include Subway.

JoeSettler said...

A friend of mine wrote this to McDonalds:

I want to congratulate McDonalds on taking a step towards being socially considerate of the local culture in a foreign country.

Here in Israel it is generally presumed that McDonalds selected its exclusive Israeli franchise holder (Omri Padan) completely unaware of his strong (virulent) personal bias against the religious sector and how it would affect the management of his restaurants (or the commercials that were run years ago when the chain was first opened that were openly offensive to religious Jews, and not to mention the overshadowing "M" at the Golani Junction IDF Memorial which was just completely insensitive).

To me, it makes no financial sense whatsoever to open so few kosher branches in a country where (as an Avi Chai Foundation study discovered) between 44% to 58% of the Jewish population eats only Kosher.

So while McDonalds claims to be culturally sensitive to your various host countries, you failed miserably in Israel.

But, your decision to demand the Ramat Aviv branch go kosher was a first step in the right direction.

For the purpose of full disclosure, I will say that I will still not eat in the Kosher branches either - because I have absolutely no desire to provide any direct financial benefit to Omri Padan.

So while unfortunately you made your decision the way you did, you have perhaps recognized your mistake and are beginning to correct it, and in that sense you are certainly doing better than Starbucks did when they chose an Israeli franchise manager who managed to completely avoid opening in any areas where he would have done business (in fact, I didn?t even know there was a Starbucks in Israel until the week before they shut down).

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Excellent posting Joe. I'm going to mention this post...and kudos to the person who wrote the above letter.

Michael said...

More reasons not to eat at McD's. As if the lousy burgers weren't enough of a one!

(Hey, I wasn't always kosher!)

Anonymous said...

But even the Kosher McDonalds in Israel still sell dairy deserts with just a small divider between the areas. This seems silly to me, because it means you can't buy desert if you eat a meal.

mother in israel said...

I really don't care. If McDonald's is losing so much money because this guy is a jerk, all the better. We have a (non-kosher) branch in my neighborhood, and I just heard they are opening a (kosher) branch in a local hospital. Good, their customers can go straight to the cardiac and diabetic wards. We do not need our children, whether they keep kosher or not, to spend their time and money at McDonald's.

Lion of Zion said...

i'm not sure why joe calls this an "unbelievable" story. there have been cases of israelis here in the us who owned restaurants in jewish areas but would not make them kosher on principle.

Lion of Zion said...

i meant jameel, not joe, calls this an "unbelievable" story

JoeSettler said...

I never said he was unsuccessful. Simply anti-Jewish.

Imagine if he also catered to the other 50% of the population - or at least didn't openly instigate against them.

And look where his branches are most successful - in the heavily secular areas, where he opens clusters of them in close proximity of one another (SOP for McDonalds).

Then look at his Jerusalem branches and you will see they sit mostly empty for lack of clientele.

Don’t you think it’s time to stop blaming the Rabbanut and the religious for ingrained secular hatred of Judaism.

When the Kibbutzim were created with their anti-religious ideologies - there was no corrupt Rabbanut for them to hate.

And If kefirah datit is so all-powerful, how does he manage to keep all his non-kosher and Open for Shabbat restaurants in Jerusalem.

Give it up already.

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