Thursday, May 02, 2013

Israeli McDonalds

Whatever you may think of the Israeli McDonalds chain, they deserve credit for their creative commercials.

In this one, the Secret Service is depicted rounding up teenagers so that a branch can be opened for a special guest:

And here we see some stereotypical American tourists interacting with a stereotypical Israeli cabbie.

Merits of the ads aside, what do we say about the prevalence of the American chain in Israel?

 I don't like it, on the grounds that the entire world doesn't need to look the same. I like diversity. I like regional differences. I like competition. I like the underdog. So, of course I don't like the idea of a big, boring American chain conquering new territory

On the subject of cheeseburgers in the Holy Land, however, I'm a bit mixed. I don't eat treif of course, but I don't want one flavor or style of Judaism to conquer the world any more than I want one type of fast food company to become dominant. I want the different sects to continue fighting each other with words and ideas and I want there to be room for a plurality of acceptable approaches and practices. While I, personally, believe that cheeseburger-eating isn't one of those acceptable Jewish practices, the Jews (all the Jews) must decide that point for themselves.

The existence of a flourishing chain of Israeli McDonalds means the Jews haven't done that yet. (Just as the widespread practice of idol worship during the First Temple period tells us that the Jews of that era hadn't yet fully embraced monotheistim.)

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