Officials Decry Extremist Protest, Vandalism Outside Jewish Deli

An anti-Israel demonstration took place at a Jewish restaurant over the weekend, and the Biden administration and Philadelphia local officials are condemning it.

Protesters opposed to Israel gathered outside Goldie Falafel on Sunday night. The Israeli-American Michael Solomonov owns the eatery. After his brother’s death in 2003 while fighting in the Israeli Defense Force, he decided to commemorate his memory by cooking Israeli cuisine instead of his original Italian fare.

Sharing footage from the incident online revealed a large group of Philly Palestine Coalition protesters gathered outside the eatery, their voices rising in a chorus of “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” A few demonstrators used megaphones to make their voices heard from blocks away. The media has reported that the protesters destroyed the restaurant’s facade before they fled.

State lawmakers in Pennsylvania wasted no time in condemning the group’s activities. Josh Shapiro, the Jewish governor of Pennsylvania, condemned the incident as a “blatant act of antisemitism” that brought up memories of a “dark time in history.”

The assault on Jewish-owned businesses was deemed “despicable” by Pennsylvania Representative Brendan Boyle, who stated that Philadelphia will not tolerate “harassment and hate.” Another Pennsylvania representative, Ben Waxman, echoed the sentiments of the protesters, but he called it “deeply anti-Semitic” to target company owners because of their Jewish faith or family history. He said that demonstrators should target lawmakers who can “influence the situation in Israel and Gaza.”

According to Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), the decision to target a Jewish restaurant by the protesters rather than demanding the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas was characterized as “pathetic and rank anti-Semitism.”

Although free speech and nonviolent protests must perpetually be safeguarded, Philadelphia’s mayor Jim Kenney has declared his city’s opposition to “acts of hate and bias.” Additionally, he mentioned that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights is currently investigating the matter.

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