McDonald’s Israel Has a Strange Sense of Humor

Slate's Culture Blog
April 25 2013 3:27 PM

McDonald’s Israel Has a Strange Sense of Humor

mcdisrael
A Barack Obama look-alike in the new ad for McDonald's Israel.

McDonald’s Israel, a distinct branch of the fast food empire licensed by an Israeli company and owned by an Israeli businessman, has not been without controversy in its 20-year history. Many of its locations aren’t kosher, a big pair of golden arches used to block the sign in front of the Golani Brigade Memorial Museum, the company used to insist that its staff speak only Hebrew during work hours.

Apparently none of that history daunted its suits from going with a commercial that depicts Barack Obama rounding up Israeli teenagers so he can get a “Big America” burger. “God bless, Israel,” the Obama look-alike says at the end of the spot, “for the Big America.”

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Now, if you know that the Big America burger is not available in the United States, perhaps that makes a certain kind of sense. A burger so good that even the American president needs to come to Israel to get it, I guess? Still, advertising to Israelis by suggesting that Americans will round them up in order to consume their own sort of food in your country seems... odd.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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