Walk Off McDonalds at Masada – A Sacred Dead Sea Site

food and health, McDonalds, Dead Sea, IsraelZionists believe that the McDonalds at Masada, a sacred Jewish site, cuts to the heart of their strongest ideals.

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.”

:: Indy News Israel

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9 thoughts on “Walk Off McDonalds at Masada – A Sacred Dead Sea Site”

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  2. Maurice says:

    I still say what is the connection between a fast food restaurant and the historical significance of Massada? So what if McDonalds is there? Those who don’t want to patronize it don’t have to. It’s their choice.

    What would be a suggested alternative -Glatt Express? There is such a strictly kosher place called this in Netanya. Maybe they can open a branch too at Massada – across form McDonalds.

    1. I think to many it seems culturally inappropriate to have a McD burger chain there. It’s a place for reverence, not Disneyland.

  3. Maurice, have you been to Masada lately? Word is the new McDonalds was open in the Masada VC. True, not everyone has to patronize it, but do we really need to have a McDonalds at a historical site (mass suicide or no?)

  4. Maurice says:

    Really now – this is a lot of hooey! The McDonalds in question is not at all on the Massada site, but far below on the main road near Kibbutz Ein Gedi.

    All kinds of tourists visit the site, and the restaurant is probably a big improvement over what the Kibbutz had there previously – which was very basic.

    The ones who object the place (is it Kosher by the way?) don’t have to patronize it. That also goes for fast food establishments in Jerusalem and other locations.

  5. Aviva Weisgal says:

    The narrative of mass suicide is a lie. It has been noted in many publications, on-line, and off. The IDF used to have the oath taking ceremony on the summit of Masada, and do not anymore. This is because of evidence that proves that those who died were forced to kill themselves, and the realization that making suicide a solution to combating forced conversion, or dealing with imperialism in this way is not the message you want to send to your soldiers.

    For a longer and more intelligent explanation of this whole deal:


    There are excellent reasons to boycott McDonalds, their world wide unfair trade, ecological, and labor practices:

    http://www.ciepac.org http://www.polarisinstitute.org
    http://www.hrw.org will tell you about Child Labor in Sugar Cane Fields in El Salvador

    http://www.indiaresorce.org Here you can find out about pollution of water sources in India

    http://www.studentsagainstsweatshops.org will inform you about the Anti-worker Policies in Turkey, Indonesia and worldwide that McDonalds imposes.

    Bon Appetite

  6. The problem at Masada is that the food services were very poor and very expensive. They should have opened a tender for a fine dining-cafeteria instead to increase the experience, rather than demote it to another American-style Disneyland-esque stop in the Holy Land.

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