Friday, December 21, 2001 | return to: international


Will residents of Jerusalem get to bite a kosher Big Mac?

by JERUSALEM (JPS) -- Siding with McDonald's, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court yesterday ruled that the owners of the new central b, The burger saga began two years ago when McDonald's signed a contract with Natzba real estate, which owns the city bus station,

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However, the rabbinate conditioned its kashrut certificate for the bus station outlet for the McDonald's city center branch going kosher, a condition the Israeli franchise owner refuses to accept.

The rabbinate -- which along with many observant residents in the city were still smarting over the cheeseburgers being sold in the heart of the capital on the Sabbath -- also demanded that McDonald's commit itself not to open any other non-kosher branches in Jerusalem in the future.

McDonald's rejected these demands and announced that the central bus station branch of the restaurant would open without a kosher certificate, even though it would be a kosher store.

Then, earlier this year, the owners of the central bus station were warned by leaders of the haredi community in Jerusalem that if a restaurant without a kosher certificate would open, the religious sector would boycott the entire central bus station.

In light of these threats, the bus station's owners prevented the opening of the McDonald's branch, despite their earlier agreement with McDonald's.

In his ruling yesterday, Judge Yitzhak Milnov ordered the owners of the central bus station, the Natzba real-estate company, to compensate McDonald's $25,000 in trial expenses.

When the McDonald's franchise decided in 1995 that its first Jerusalem branch would be non-kosher, it chose to open a kosher branch in the mostly secular Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion.


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