It takes serious exercise to burn off a 480 calorie Big Mac, which is perhaps why Omri Padan – the steward of all 130 branches of McDonalds in Israel – decided to put the latest at the foot of Masada. Situated along the Dead Sea, where 1,000 Israelis got naked over the weekend, these well-preserved Roman ruins are reached by the “snake path” – a long and steep footpath that winds around a series of switchbacks before reaching the summit. It’s a challenging walk that will slash at least part of that burger, but Zionists who consider this site sacred are not amused.
The Mass Suicide of Masada
Masada is one of the most important sites in Jewish history. After the Roman Empire destroyed their temple in Jerusalem circa AD70, a sect of Jews called the Sicarii Zealots fled to Masada, where for three years they managed to hold on to their identity.
When the Roman 10th Legion eventually caught up to the rebels and prepared to lay siege, the zealots committed mass suicide. They were determined not to be enslaved by imperialist forces. For Jews in both Israel and the diaspora, this story is a reminder to hold on to their values in the face of all adversity, and at all costs.
So when the McDonalds franchise – one of the most prominent symbols of modern imperialism – opened a branch in the visitor center of their sacred place, they began to mount a near-silent campaign against it.
According to Indy News Israel, Benny Katz of the Semitic Action movement correlates the initial “explosion” of foreign chains in Israel, along with American TV and products, with unchecked westernization.
Katz told Indy News:
…But the fact that they’re now opening up at Masada, one of the most sacred sites of Jewish heroism and a national symbol of resistance to foreign imperialism, shows that the forces of global capitalism are taking the fight to the heart of the Zionist narrative.
Katz is behind a campaign to bring down McDonalds in Masada, but to date it has been largely ineffective. Although Indy News reports that a facebook boycott page has been gaining momentum, it only has 111 supporters. Seems like they will have to gather much more steam than that to shut down the branch, which has already opened.
In the meantime, anyone who eats McDonalds before heading up to the ruins should forego the cable cars and take full advantage of the site’s built-in exercise program. It could be a “rule.”
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