Padan: "We will not surrender". Africa-Israel spokesman: "The regulations allow us to close the mall whenever we choose".
Israel’s McDonalds has no intention of leaving the Ramat Aviv shopping mall, even if the mall is closed on Saturday. The company plans to operate its branch with the usual McDonald’s format, namely as a non-kosher restaurant. McDonald’s Israeli general manager Omri Padan related this to "Globes". "We will be a non-kosher restaurant selling cheese-burgers, milkshakes and ice-cream. There are no limitations concerning this in our contract. We have made it clear to the Africa-Israel management that it must honor its contract" said Padan.
According to Padan, from a commercial point of view, there is no need to force kosher restaurants upon Ramat Aviv. From a personal point of view, "If Lev Levayev forces his personal principles on society, then I too have personal principles, and I have no intention of surrendering. If this is a matter of principle with Levayev, then he shouldn’t own a shopping mall or the Alon gas stations or any secular business".
Padan noted that the two sides must honor the contract to which they are parties. "Africa-Israel was kindly requested to honor its contracts with us and with the cinemas. At this stage we have paid Africa-Israel three months rent in advance".
Africa-Israel’s spokesman said that the managers of the company decided to close the mall on Saturday. According to him, company regulations clearly allow Africa-Israel, as owner of the mall, to close it any time it chooses.