In a rare setback for Americana in Israel, McDonald’s has agreed to remove its golden arches from a site where they offended Israelis.
The decision was announced Tuesday when Environment Minister Yossi Sarid and McDonald’s franchisee Omri Padan visited the restaurant to settle the dispute.
Israelis viewed the establishment of the restaurant adjacent to a memorial for soldiers from the crack Golani brigade - a site famed throughout Israel - as symbolic of rampant Americanization. Parents of soldiers complained it diminished the monument.
“We oppose a place that has the feeling of an American Hollywood or circus,” said David Mittel, whose son Amir was killed in Lebanon in 1988.
Padan said he would compromise by removing the arches and would leave the signposts “so that they can place on them a sign saying this is the Golani memorial site.” He spoke to Israel Television.
American mass culture has mushroomed in Israel in recent years, delighting some and alarming others. Earlier this year, President Ezer Weizman warned Israelis: “We must beware of McDonald’s. We must beware of Michael Jackson. We must beware of Madonna.”