The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the restaurant chain McDonalds for refusal to open a branch in the city of Ariel, because it is located in Samaria, beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Tzahi Nahmias, the realtor who is marketing the Ariel mall’s commercial space, told the paper that McDonald’s refused to open a branch because Ariel is located beyond the Green Line.
Rami Levy, an Israeli supermarket magnate and one of the entrepreneurs behind the construction of the Ariel mall, said that businesses that refuse to open in the West Bank also harm the Arab population there: “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. This boycott is superfluous, and it harms the Arab population that it is supposedly trying to protect” (‘Report: McDonald’s refuses to open branch in Ariel,’ Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We strongly criticize this decision by MacDonald’s. Such a boycott of Jewish neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria is purely discriminatory. It is also completely wrong-headed, because the idea that Jews living in Judea and Samaria prevent an Arab/Israeli peace is pure fiction.
“Peace is presently precluded by the refusal of the Palestinian leadership and society to accept Israel as a Jewish state and make peace with it; their continuing glorification of terrorists and terrorism; and the refusal of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) to implement its Oslo commitments to arrest terrorists, collect illegal weaponry, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder that permeates the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps – not by Jews living or building homes in Judea and Samaria.”