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Antisemitic protest at Philadelphia restaurant draws broad condemnation

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have publicly condemned the antisemitic protest that took place outside a restaurant that serves Israeli food in Philadelphia. 

Demonstrators supporting Palestinians gathered outside of Goldie, which is part of a restaurant group co-owned by Israeli-born Michael Solomonov, calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war Sunday night, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Protesters were seen chanting “Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” They also marched through the Center City neighborhood, calling out Philadelphia Eagles fans who were watching their team play in local bars. 

“(W)hile you’re watching, bombs are dropping,” demonstrators said to fans, the Inquirer reported. 

“Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “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.”

Shapiro added in his X thread that he communicated with Solomonov and his team at Goldie’s to share his support. 

Other lawmakers from Pennsylvania and beyond condemned the protesters.

“They could be protesting Hamas. They could be protesting Hamas’ systematic rape of Israeli women and girls or demanding the remaining hostages be immediately released,” Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) wrote in an X post. “Instead, they targeted a Jewish restaurant. It’s pathetic and rank antisemitism.”

“I can’t believe I even have to say this but targeting businesses simply because they’re Jewish owned is despicable,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) wrote in an X post. “Philadelphia stands against this sort of harassment and hate.”

“We know that residents are concerned about the protest outside of Goldie on Sunday, and @PhillyPCHR is reviewing this incident,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) wrote in an X thread, noting that his administration will follow up with the restaurant to address any safety concerns. “While the City of Philadelphia will always protect free speech and peaceful protest, we must stand united against acts of hate and bias.” 

“This hateful targeting of Jewish businesses is classic antisemitic thuggery. The owner is a known supporter of peace between the Israelis & Palestinians,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote in an X post. “Find your voice and separate yourself from the ugliness. Stand up and condemn this vileness that’s spreading like a cancer.”

“Targeting a Jewish owned restaurant in Philadelphia for the actions of the Israeli government is antisemitism, full stop,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said in an X post. “We must not conflate the Jewish community with the actions of the Israeli government and continue to root out antisemitism and hate in all its forms.”

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley also expressed her thoughts on the incident.

“Sometimes it feels like ‘never again’ rings hollow,” the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. wrote in an X post. “We have to give it new meaning by calling out antisemitism everywhere it raises its ugly head.” 

“This cannot happen in America.”

The Biden administration also condemned the demonstrators in front of Goldie’s, calling it “completely unjustifiable.” 

“It is Antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy, as Governor Shapiro has underlined,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement. “This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of Antisemitism.”

The White House has been addressing the rise of antisemitism, as well as Islamophobia, since Hamas’ surprise attack against Israel on Oct. 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israeli residents.

Israel has since launched a wave of counter-strikes in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 15,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

Source: The Hill

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