Anger as protesters target Jewish falafel shop in Philadelphia: ‘We charge you with genocide’

Video circulated on social media showed the crowd outside Goldie, a kosher restaurant owned by the American Israeli chef Michael Solomonov

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Tuesday 05 December 2023 00:13 GMT
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Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a Jewish and Israeli owned falafel restaurant in Philadelphia, in what authorities described as a “blatant act of antisemitism”.

Video circulated on social media showing the crowd outside Goldie, a kosher restaurant owned by the American Israeli chef Michael Solomonov, chanting “Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide”.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, was part of the “Flood Philly for Gaza” demonstrations. The city has seen multiple pro-Palestinian rallies in recent weeks.

According to witnesses the protesters “vandalised” the front windows of the restaurant, placing stickers on the doors and windows.

The action has been condemned by US authorities including members of Congress and the White House.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro wrote on X/Twitter: “Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest.

“A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history.”

In a statement, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said it was “antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy.”

Mr Bates said the behaviour “reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of antisemitism”.

Democratic congressman Brendan Boyle added: “I can’t believe I even have to say this but targeting businesses simply because they’re Jewish owned is despicable. Philadelphia stands against this sort of harassment and hate.”

Other restaurants owned by Mr Solmonov have previously been the target of demonstrations by pro-Palestinian activists, due to his ties to various Israeli institutions.

Following the 7 October Hamas attacks, he pledged to donate 100 per cent of sales from his restaurants to a non-profit Israeli medical aid group.

A spokesperson for Goldie declined to comment on the protests outside the restaurant on Sunday.

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