Local council leaders in Yehudah and Shomron have petitioned the Finance and Transportation ministries to bar McDonald’s from a tender to open a branch at Ben Gurion Airport, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
Their opposition is due to the fast-food chain’s policy of not opening branches in Yehudah and Shomron, which they assert puts McDonald’s in violation of the country’s anti-boycott laws.
A letter was sent to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and then-Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz—since replaced by Bezalel Smotrich—signed by Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, Binyamin Regional Council head Yisrael Ganz, Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Neiman, Har Chevron Regional Council head Yochai Damari, Kiryat Arba and Chevron leader Eliyahu Liebman and Karnei Shomron Local Council head Yigal Lahav.
The letter noted that “franchisee Omri Padan says explicitly that he will not set up McDonald’s branches beyond the Green Line.” Padan is a well-known left-wing activist, one of the founders of Peace Now.
“Unfortunately, it appears that instead of denouncing the phenomenon, the State of Israel only encourages it,” they charged. “The boycott is a serious phenomenon designed to harm [the country] economically, academically and culturally.”
Officialdom has so far denied responsibility in the matter.
Earlier this month, the Transportation Ministry said that “the minister is not involved in commercial tenders at the Airports Authority,” the Finance Ministry said that “the issue does not concern us,” and the Israel Airports Authority said only that it “acts according to the Tenders Law.”