Religion Magazine

Omri Padan's Use of McDonalds as a Vehicle for His Political Beliefs is Nothing New

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

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