Settler leaders are trying to stop the McDonald's from participating in a government tender for the duty free hall at Ben-Gurion International Airport over what they say is an unofficial boycott of the settlements by the fast food chain.
The head of Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, wrote a letter to the finance and transportation ministers claiming that McDonald's Israel, under the guidance of owner Omri Padan has continuously refused to open any McDonald's branches in the West Bank, and therefore effectively boycotting Israeli citizens.
"In the past few days, I have learned about McDonald's intention to compete in the Israel Airport Authority tender to open restaurants at Ben-Gurion Airport," Dagan wrote.
"As you know, McDonald's Israel, headed by Omri Padan, blatantly boycotts the citizens and territories of the State of Israel beyond the Green Line. This blatant boycott was not created casually, but officially and openly, as Omri Padan emphasized in 2013 when he vehemently refused to open a branch of the chain in (the West Bank settlement of) Ariel," he wrote.
"The law to prevent harm to the State of Israel via a boycott is clear and unequivocal (regarding) any public call for a cultural, academic or economic boycott of any person or entity solely because of a connection to the State of Israel," he said.
According to Dagan, as Padan is in violation of the anti-boycott law, he cannot participate in a government tender. Therefore, Dagan wrote, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is entitled to block Padan's application for airport concessions.
Padan was among the founders of the Peace Now movement, which has been advocating an end to occupation of the West Bank by Israel and the formation of an adjacent Palestinian state.
In response, McDonald’s Israel said the global McDonald’s headquarters did not approve branches in the West Bank.
Both the Transportation Ministry and the Finance Ministry said that a decision on the issue was not down to them, as they were not involved in any way in commercial tenders at the Ben Gurion airport.