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Author Topic: McDonalds bans use of Arabic in Israel
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 11 March 2004 04:51 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
the guardian, march 11

quote:
McDonald's, the fast food chain that claims to be an equal opportunities employer, has been criticised in Israel for forcing employees to speak only Hebrew to customers.

It has banned the use of Arabic, which is an official language of Israel spoken by 20% of the population.

The rules emerged after one worker, Abeer Zinaty, 20, claimed she was dismissed from the branch of McDonald's in Ramle, near Tel Aviv. Ms Zinaty's supervisor told an Arabic newspaper in Ramle that he had dismissed her for speaking Arabic. Ms Zinaty, a university student, claimed that two months before she was dismissed in December last year, she was being considered for promotion and in 2003 she received an "excellent worker" award.

The Israeli supreme court has ruled that the use of Arabic by the Arab minority is part of their rights under the Basic Laws of Israel, a part of its informal constitution.



From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 March 2004 08:59 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There was a thread started over here on this subject. But since this one is in a more appropriate forum, I closed the other one and I'm leaving this one open.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 11 March 2004 10:20 AM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hopefully Palestinians go after bigoted corporate executives instead of innocent civilians now.
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Blind_Patriot
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posted 11 March 2004 10:47 AM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This would be no different then McDonalds banning French at their restaurants in Canada. Thing is, they wouldn't even think about it here. But hey, it's just those damn Arabs... who cares.


From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 March 2004 11:15 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But hey, it's just those damn Arabs... who cares.

I know the opportunity to criticize both Israel and McDonald's in the same post is a cosmic confluence that doesn't come along every day, but if you read the whole article, it mentions that Russian is also prohibited, and it mentions that the state does indeed respect the right of minorities to speak their native language.

That doesn't mean that what the company is doing is right, but it kind of takes away from the whole "more targetting of those darn Arabs" angle.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 March 2004 11:18 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is Russian one of the national languages of Israel? Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

I know that the opportunity to play "catch the lefties being inconsistent" is one that you try to find every day, but you'll need to put more of an effort into it than that if you want to convince anyone.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 11 March 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

As a matter of fact, yes they are.


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HalfAnHourLater
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posted 11 March 2004 12:07 PM      Profile for HalfAnHourLater     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by worker_drone:

As a matter of fact, yes they are.


Russian is not however, as far as I know at least, one of the official languages of Israel; which puts it in a different category from Arabic or Hebrew.


From: So-so-so-solidarité! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 March 2004 12:14 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not suggesting anyone's being inconsistent. I'm suggesting they're using this story to jump to comfortable conclusions (Israel is bad! Badder than they were yesterday!).

I'm not saying McDonald's is right to limit its employees to the majority language only (although I'm sure McDonalds restaurants in Quebec would take a dim view of any monolingual Anglo employees, and for similar reasons). But to attempt to characterize this as "yet another" attack on Arabs is a bit much, I think.

There was a thread started yesterday that tried to do the same thing: make a blanket policy that happens to affect Arabs, along with many other ethnic groups, look like an attack on Arabs specifically. Isn't trying to explain anything and everything as the result of racism known as "playing the race card"?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 11 March 2004 12:29 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
make a blanket policy that happens to affect Arabs, along with many other ethnic groups, look like an attack on Arabs specifically. Isn't trying to explain anything and everything as the result of racism known as "playing the race card"?
Using this logic, one would have to conclude that, for example, the death penalty in the US is not racist because some whites are also executed. It's your argument that is playing the "race card".

From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 March 2004 01:22 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The death penalty in the U.S. tends to be applied to Blacks, Hispanics and other persons of colour disproportionately, and so it could be described as racist. But it's not specifically an attack on Blacks, nor specifically an attack on Hispanics, etc.

McDonald's policy in Israel could also be called racist, insofar as it restricts minorities from speaking their native language in the workplace, but you can't then follow from that to insist that it's an attack on any specific one of those minorities.

If you do think that this policy is racist, how would you compare it to Quebec's language laws?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 11 March 2004 01:44 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
McDonald's should be ashamed of having such a policy. Its effect is that Arabs, and anyone else such as Russian Jews, must learn Hebrew to work there.

It makes me wonder, though....has anyone ever heard a McDonald's employee speaking a minority tongue in English Canada?

And in Quebec I presume they will speak in either English or French, but do they speak in any other language, ever?

I know our usual Quebeck posters would never set foot in a McDonalds, so maybe we will need a new poster to answer this last question.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 11 March 2004 01:56 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As far as I know Quebec's language laws simply say you have to make signs bigger in French than in English, but I doubt they say anything about what you can speak in.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 11 March 2004 01:56 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
ARGH!

[ 11 March 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 March 2004 01:58 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm willing to be taken to school on this, but I thought that a person who only spoke English would have a tough time getting a job at a McDonald's (or many other places) in Quebec, despite English being one of our official languages.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 11 March 2004 02:06 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, it's like that. And I'm appalled that I can't get a job in Toronto when I insist on speaking French to everyone, all the time.

Magoo, when was the last time you were in Québec? Most people understand you have to have a working knowledge of the common language if you are required to deal with people in that language. Or are you one of those people who thinks francophones only speak French to annoy anglophones?

[ 11 March 2004: Message edited by: Hinterland ]


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Blind_Patriot
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posted 11 March 2004 02:16 PM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It makes me wonder, though....has anyone ever heard a McDonald's employee speaking a minority tongue in English Canada?
No and Yes (French). But there is a difference between minority tongue and foreign tongue. In Israel, it is not foreign tongue, it is an official language of the state of Israel that is spoken by what has become a minority.

From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 11 March 2004 02:17 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't see what "only" has to do with it. I see no indication that this employee *only* spoke Arabic. She wasn't allowed to speak Arabic *at all* to customers.
This is not analogous to someone having a tough time being a non-bilingual Anglo getting a job at a McDonald's in Montreal. This is analogous to a bilingual McDonald's employee in Montreal being fired for speaking English to a (presumably English-speaking) customer. Or a bilingual McDonald's employee in Calgary being fired for speaking French to a francophone customer. I can't imagine it. I can't imagine a McDonald's firing a staff member for talking Chinese to a Chinese-speaking customer, for that matter. If you talk to the customer in the language they're comfortable in, they're gonna come back and buy another burger. That's what capitalism is hypothetically about--getting the sale. No?

So the only explanation I can see is bigotry--either bigotry on the part of Israeli McDonald's managers or bowing to bigotry on the part of Israelis who don't want to hear That Language spoken around them. Either way, sorry, it's shameful as hell and an indication of the increasingly racist nature of the Israeli society.

Edited to say: Indeed, looking more closely at the article it is clear that there is a rule stopping Arab employees from speaking Arabic even to each other, and the suggestion in the article is that it's because Israelis feel uncomfortable hearing Arabic. Sounds pretty racist to me.

[ 11 March 2004: Message edited by: Rufus Polson ]


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 11 March 2004 04:58 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

I know the opportunity to criticize both Israel and McDonald's in the same post is a cosmic confluence that doesn't come along every day, but if you read the whole article, it mentions that Russian is also prohibited, and it mentions that the state does indeed respect the right of minorities to speak their native language.

That doesn't mean that what the company is doing is right, but it kind of takes away from the whole "more targetting of those darn Arabs" angle.


Not really. Just because today I'm shooting at rabbits AND racoons, doesn't mean I'm NOT shooting at rabbits a lot of the time. I wonder if McD's makes a Red Herring sandwich?

What the state does in reaction to the ban will tell the tale. Though it can't go without saying that for McDonalds management - who are infinitely concerned with public image - to assume that such a move is acceptable says a lot about the social climate for minorities in Israel.


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 11 March 2004 05:12 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This is to prevent uncomfortable situations for workers and clients who mostly speak Hebrew. Talila Yodfat, the human resources director for McDonald's
This about says it all to me. Who's playing the race card Magoo?

Shows just how much respect MacDonald's has for the rules in the countries in which it operates (although they're probably franchised to Israelis). And it shows how hypocritical the Israelis are about protecting minority rights.

But in the overall scheme of things, this pales compared to how Arabs, Palestinians and other minorities get treated.


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 March 2004 05:20 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
According to www.mcdonalds.com:

quote:
McDonald's Israel is led by Israeli businessman Omri Padan. Dr. Padan is President of Alonyal Limited - the local licensee for McDonald's.

One man, one idea. I'm not sure how much you can meaningfully extrapolate his opinions to McDonald's restaurants elsewhere, or Israelis in general.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 March 2004 08:01 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Is Russian one of the national languages of Israel? Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

When you say "Russians" do you mean Russian Gentiles?


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Mycroft_
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posted 11 March 2004 09:47 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Is Russian one of the national languages of Israel? Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

I know that the opportunity to play "catch the lefties being inconsistent" is one that you try to find every day, but you'll need to put more of an effort into it than that if you want to convince anyone.


Russians are low on the Israeli ladder but not as low as Arabs.

As for whether Russians are gentiles, many of them are only part Jewish considered "real" Jews by Israelis - particularly since a lot of them don't have Jewish mothers.


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Mycroft_
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posted 11 March 2004 09:48 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Is Russian one of the national languages of Israel? Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

I know that the opportunity to play "catch the lefties being inconsistent" is one that you try to find every day, but you'll need to put more of an effort into it than that if you want to convince anyone.


Russians are low on the Israeli ladder but not as low as Arabs.

As for whether Russians are gentiles, many of them are only part Jewish considered "real" Jews by Israelis - particularly since a lot of them don't have Jewish mothers.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 11 March 2004 09:48 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Is Russian one of the national languages of Israel? Are Russians a persecuted minority in Israel?

I know that the opportunity to play "catch the lefties being inconsistent" is one that you try to find every day, but you'll need to put more of an effort into it than that if you want to convince anyone.


Russians are low on the Israeli ladder but not as low as Arabs.

As for whether Russians are gentiles, many of them are only part Jewish considered "real" Jews by Israelis - particularly since a lot of them don't have Jewish mothers.


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lagatta
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posted 11 March 2004 10:16 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Les Triplets de Mycroft!

Is it so very traumatising to be Russian and on top of that, have a goyishe mum?


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2004 01:07 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
One man, one idea. I'm not sure how much you can meaningfully extrapolate his opinions to McDonald's restaurants elsewhere, or Israelis in general.

Come clean Magoo, your actually a humour spy from the Onion. Right?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 12 March 2004 01:24 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Eh. If you think he is McDonald's or is Israel, who am I to argue?
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2004 01:33 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dude, I love you, but the person with the "one idea" believes that he can get away with this because the reigning social environment in Israel is biased against Arabs. Otherwise he would not do it because of the fear of social sanction.

That fact that he did not fear social sanction enough to stop him from enforcing his racist ideas is indicative of general social atmosphere in Israel.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 12 March 2004 01:58 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fair enough then.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
RookieActivist
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posted 12 March 2004 05:35 PM      Profile for RookieActivist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
after all, isn't a suicide bomber just one man with one idea?

Here is the double talk. A racist hateful Israeli who acts on his feelings of anger, insecurity, racism, etc. is indicative of the entire israeli society. Therefore Israel is to blame.

A single hateful Palestinian who acts on his feelings of anger, insecurity, racism, etc. is not an indication of the entire palestinian society. He is an extremist for who the rest of society is not to blame.

[ 12 March 2004: Message edited by: RookieActivist ]


From: me to you | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 12 March 2004 05:46 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, I think the prevelance of suicide bombers is an indication of the reigning social atmophere amont Plaestinians.

But as in the case of Israeli being discussed, it does not mean that all Israelis are as racist as he. It does however indicate a tolerance for his actions, even if not ouright aproval, as clearly Palestinians are at least somewhat tolerant of suicide bombers -- even if this is just an act of looking the other way.

The myth that is being debunked here is that Israel is the racially tollerant democracy, in conflict with the exteremist Palestinian facist anti-semites.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
RookieActivist
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posted 12 March 2004 09:00 PM      Profile for RookieActivist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh I agree with what you say, but it bothers me that many on the left (and I'm sorry if it seemed as though I was accusing you specifically) view Palestinians as an innocent society that shuns suicide attacks while they demonize Israel.
From: me to you | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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