One of the organizers of a purportedly inclusive food festival in Philadelphia disinvited an Israeli vendor from the Father’s Day event over alleged threats of violence from antisemitic protesters. In the end, the ensuing controversy resulted in the entire “Taste of Home” event getting abruptly ditched.
Eat Up the Borders, one of the organizers of the event that was set to be held in the so-called City of Brotherly Love, reportedly tried to justify canceling the Moshava food truck on the basis of delivering “an optimal experience to all” and that it reached this conclusion after “listening to the community.”
In a statement on Instagram, Moshava suggested, upon initially receiving the bad news on Saturday, that the organizing entities bowed to intimidation.
“We are deeply saddened by this. The organizers of the event heard rumors of a protest happening because of us being there and decided to uninvite us from fear that the protesters would get aggressive and threaten their event. We were really hoping that the organizers @eatuptheborders and @sunflowerphilly would step up to the plate and defend local, small and immigrant based businesses, no matter where they are from (as per their so called ‘mission statement’) but By the looks of it…fear, violence, and intimidation got the best of them.
“We really do hope that in the future you don’t succumb to such antisemitic and dividing rethoric [sic] and keep true to your words of a safe environment for all religions and nationalities — not just all of them except Israeli and Jewish ones,” the message concluded.
On Sunday, co-organizer Sunflower Philly, which claims that it is devoted to “creating a positive and inclusive community space” apparently wilted, thereby announcing that the whole event was called off because of the “ongoing situation,” obviously resulting in lost revenue for every operator who had planned to participate as well as any charities that might have benefitted.
Moshava subsequently posted a second statement indicating that while the situation was mishandled, the two organizing groups weren’t harboring any bad intentions.
We “will meet with representatives from both sides in the coming days to try and educate and grow together in a safe space for everyone,” Moshava added in an optimistic note.
The company also expressed thanks for the overwhelming outpouring of support.
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As many have suggested, only vindictive or ill-informed leftists would seek to retaliate against a small business presumably for the actions of a government nearly 6,000 miles away, if that’s what this is all about.
In general, identity-politics-obsessed progressives increasingly use anti-Israel protests, peaceful or otherwise, as a proxy for animus toward those of the Jewish faith. Parenthetically, the multi-cultural state of Israel just formed a new government, with one of the Arab parties as a key coalition partner.
The initial decision by the organizing groups may also have violated federal and/or state civil rights laws.
U.S. Rep Brendan Boyle, a Philadelphia-area Democrat, called for a law enforcement investigation if the threats of violence are accurate. “That Moshava should be excluded from what is supposed to be an event showcasing food offerings from all around the world, solely due to their being an Israeli food vendor, is completely unacceptable,” he noted.
Various Jewish organizations have also condemned what went down and some have called for an inquiry.
Perhaps cuisine equity was an issue in the controversy: “Melvin Powell of Sunflower Philly…said at past food truck events both Israeli and Palestinian food trucks were present. He said an agreement was made in the past that one truck couldn’t be present without the other. This year, the Palestinian truck couldn’t attend, he said. ‘The fact that we couldn’t accurately represent both of them is the reason why we canceled the event today,’ Powell said,” NBC Philadelphia reported.
Here is a sample of the Twitter response to this controversy:
Sounds like an assaulter’s veto. I very much doubt anyone is worried that the Israeli food truck will get violent.
— Lance Vader (@LanceVader) June 21, 2021
Cant make up my mind if I’m more angry or more disgusted by this blatant act of discrimination and ignorance toward a local Philly vendor.
His crime? Being an Israeli.
I confess- so am I. https://t.co/b1eakkvQCH
— David Roet🇮🇱 (@DavidRoet) June 21, 2021
Moshava Philly, The Local Food Truck Founded By Israeli-Born Chef Nir Sheynfeld, Was Disrespectfully Removed For Being A Jew & An Israeli, From “Taste of Home” Food Festival, Which Celebrates “Diversity”
This Was Not A Diversity Event This Was A Discriminatory Event. pic.twitter.com/8qmQgLJFZh
— Owaiz Aslam (@owaiz_aslam) June 21, 2021
Would you boycott a Chinese food truck in Philadelphia over the occupation of Tibet? Would you boycott an Iranian food truck because of Iran’s nuclear program? If your answer is no, then it’s anti-semitic to boycott an Israeli food truck.
— Tara Abhasakun (@TaraAbhasakun) June 21, 2021
— Shahar Azani (@ShaharAzani) June 21, 2021
Feckless cowards can’t even invite the Israeli food truck back and hire security after the pushback. Instead, they decide to cancel the entire event. The narrative then becomes “the Jews ruined all the fun,” instead of the antisemites. pic.twitter.com/RReVPbIJxY
— Blake Flayton (@blakeflayton) June 20, 2021
It’s not politics to harass a food truck for sharing a nationality or religion with a foreign government. It’s just bigotry. Hope that clears up the confusion.
— Alex (@JewishWonk) June 20, 2021
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