In December of 1994 a year after it opened its first branch in Israel, McDonald’s opened a restaurant at the Golani Junction in lower Galilee. Also located at the Golani Junction is a war memorial honoring those who served and died in the Golani Brigade. Upon the opening of this store at its location there was an immediate outcry from the local citizens appalled by the giant golden arches tarnishing atmosphere of the war memorial. At the time American culture and consumerist nature was growing in popularity in Israel. The fascination with the “American way of life” allowed for corporations such as McDonald’s to enter into a new market and go on to exploit it. The previous site of mourning, solidarity, and honor was successfully transformed by the giant golden arches into a colorful and fun filled place of consumerism. “Bereaved parents felt that the restaurant marginalized and profaned the memorial site” (Azaryahu 58). Following the outcry the Israeli government went about making architectural changes to the McDonald’s so as to not change the landscape, but to some the damage was already done. “The controversy, and especially the impression that McDonald’s showed little respect for local sensitivities, resonated with a prevalent notion of McDonald’s as an agent of ‘cultural imperialism’”(Azaryahu 59).
The video below is an Israeli McDonald’s commercial that came out in 2007 and clearly shows the Israeli view of America in an American company’s promotion. The blatant pokes at American forcefulness and complete disregard for other cultures ironically still promotes that which they are making fun of: The American way of life. The commercial seemingly gives America the middle finger while simultaneously saying, “we still want what you have”. McDonald’s in this example represents the foreign view of the spectacle that is America.