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'Antisemitic and completely unjustifiable' – White House condemns protest outside Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia

Protest outside of restaurant Goldie in Philadelphia (Photo: screenshot)

The U.S. Biden administration on Monday condemned an antisemitic rally outside of a Philadelphia branch of Goldie, a popular kosher restaurant established by Israeli-American Celebrity Chef Michael Solomonov. 

“Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” the hostile crowd chanted.

Anti-Jewish crowds have been systematically calling Israel's military targeting of Hamas terrorists and their accomplices in Gaza as "genocide" amid the Swords of Iron war that was initiated by the Hamas terror organization.

White House Spokesperson Andrew Bates slammed the antisemitic message of the rally

“It is antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy," Bates stated.

“This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of antisemitism,” the White House official added.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, who is Jewish, slammed the rally’s chilling slogan as “a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest.”

“A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli,” Shapiro tweeted. “This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history,” he added, in a reference to 1930s Europe when Nazis targeted Jewish shops and other establishments associated with Jews.

Philly Palestine Coalition, the official organizer of the anti-Jewish rally, urged people to boycott the Israeli-American restaurant chain, accusing the Jewish celebrity chef owner of cultural appropriation by presenting “Palestinian” food like falafel as Israeli.

“He has made a handsome living passing off Palestinian and other Arab cuisine as ‘Israeli food,’ the proceeds of which are now supporting the very army that is enacting Israel’s genocidal bombing of Palestinians,” the coalition wrote.

The falafel is a Middle Eastern vegetarian dish that is very popular in both Israel and many Arab countries throughout the region. In recent years it has also become popular in many Western countries, including the United States.

Hatred against Israel and Jews has exploded around the world after the unprecedented Hamas massacre of some 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7.

Antisemitic incidents have reportedly increased a whopping 500% compared to 2022, according to a November survey jointly conducted by the World Zionist Organization, the Israeli Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Ministry and the Jewish Agency.

At the same time, online hatred against Jews has soared roughly 400%. A vast majority of the surveyed Jewish respondents, some 87%, reported “feelings of diminished safety, accompanied by prevailing emotions of anger, anxiety and shock.”

Avi Cohen-Scali, CEO of the Israeli Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, stressed the need for a coordinated global movement against antisemitism.

“We're witnessing alarming waves of antisemitism in numerous countries. Addressing this necessitates a unified approach, bringing together government efforts and Jewish communities," Cohen-Scali said.

In late October, FBI director Christopher Wray warned that antisemitism in the United States is reaching “historic levels” amid the ongoing war between Israel and the terror organization Hamas.

"This is a threat that is reaching, in some way, sort of historic levels," Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"The Jewish community is targeted by terrorists really across the spectrum," he added.

While Wray urged vigilance, he emphasized the importance of Jewish Americans maintaining their daily routine.

"We shouldn't stop conducting our daily lives - going to schools, houses of worship, and so forth - but we should be vigilant," said Wray.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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