Officials Decry Extremist Protest, Vandalism Outside Jewish Deli

( – The Biden Administration and elected officials in Philadelphia are decrying an anti-Israel protest that occurred over the weekend at a Jewish-owned restaurant.

On Sunday evening, a group of anti-Israel protesters gathered outside a restaurant called Goldie Falafel. The restaurant is owned by Michael Solomonov, who is Israeli American. Though he originally made Italian food, he switched to Israeli cuisine to honor his brother after he was killed while serving in the Israeli Defense Force in 2003.

Videos from the event that were shared to social media show dozens of protestors from the Philly Palestine Coalition standing outside the restaurant, chanting “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” Some protestors chanted into megaphones, amplifying the sound of their chanting to be heard from blocks away. According to media reports, the restaurant front was vandalized by protestors before they left.

The actions of the group were quickly denounced by elected officials in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania governor, Josh Shapiro, who is Jewish himself, called it a “blatant act of antisemitism” and said it reminded him of a “dark time in history.”

Pennsylvania Representative Brendan Boyle called the attack on Jewish-owned businesses “despicable,” saying the city of Philadelphia does not stand for “harassment and hate.” Ben Waxman, another Pennsylvania Representative, expressed support for people to protest, but said that going after business owners due to their Jewish beliefs or heritage is “deeply anti-Semitic.” He suggested that protestors should focus their efforts on politicians who have the power to actually “influence the situation in Israel and Gaza.”

Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) called the choice of the protestors to attack a Jewish restaurant instead of calling for a release of the remaining hostages under Hamas’s control “pathetic and rank anti-Semitism.”

The mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, said that while peaceful protests and free speech must always be protected, the city is opposed to “acts of hate and bias.” He also said the Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights is looking into the incident.

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