Leftist prof. praises McDonald's for not opening in settlements

Amir Hetsroni praised McDonald's as "supporting BDS" as he munched on french fries. The Israeli franchise of the fast-food chain has refused to open in Samaria.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
June 5, 2019 22:47
2 minute read.
Leftist prof. praises McDonald's for not opening in settlements

Signs outside a McDonald's in Tel Aviv protest the refusal of the local franchise to open in Judea and Samaria.. (photo credit: MAARIV)

The controversy over McDonald's continued Wednesday when the controversial Prof. Amir Hetsroni posted a video to his Instagram page praising McDonald's policy of not opening any restaurant in Jewish communities in the West Bank.


The controversy erupted earlier in the week when McDonald's Israel was offered a tender to open a branch at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, wrote to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Airports Authority director-general Yaakov Ganot complaining that the American-fast food franchise had rejected an opportunity to open a branch in Ariel in 2013. Ariel, the second-largest Israeli city in the West Bank is located in the Samaria region.
Later in the week, members of the IDF Disabled Veterans Forum erected signs in front of multiple McDonald's branches in the Tel Aviv area in protest, likening their refusal to operate in the settlements to the BDS movement that calls for a boycotts of Israeli goods and services.


But Hetsroni relished in the refusal, wearing a checkered Palestinian scarf with images of the Dome of the Rock, he snacked on McDonald's french fries while bashing the Jewish settlers as "international criminals."


He joked that he would even eat his own dog if it was served by any fast food chain that boycotted the settlements.


McDonald's has not officially endorsed any form of boycott, but the owner of the Israeli franchise of the hamburger chain Omri Padan, has openly opposed Jewish communities in the West Bank. Padan was a co-founder of the Peace Now group which is in favor of removing Jews living in the areas that fell under Israeli jurisdiction in the 1967 Six Day War.


Hetsroni called Jewish settlers "land thieves" and suggested that McDonald's be awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for "their contribution to BDS."


The IDF Disabled Veterans Forum shot back calling Hetsroni a "leftist provocateur" and his video "wild and dangerous incitement." 


The group's mock signs erected Tuesday in front of various McDonald's entrances stated, "Israelis please note! 'Area M' is ahead of you, which is controlled by a company that boycotts parts of Israel. By entering this area you become a supporter of the boycott." 
 


They were meant to mimic the red signs that dot the West Bank warning Israelis not to enter Area A, which denotes PA controlled areas. 


Hetsroni was a professor at Ariel University from 2009 to 2014 when he was fired. Ariel is home to 20,000 Israelis. He was accused of making racist comments against Sephardic Jews in 2015.


In 2016 the lecturer visited Hebron where he toured the Cave of Machpela with his Arab girlfriend hosted by Bentzi Gopstein, head of Lehava, a group dedicated to stopping inter-marriage and assimilation.


Hetsroni currently teaches at the college of social sciences and humanities at Koç University in Istanbul and continues to write articles critical of the Israeli government. 


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