Anti-Israel protestors demonstrated outside of a Jewish-owned business in Philadelphia, demanding Israel agree to a permanent ceasefire against Hamas terrorists who attacked the country on Oct. 7. Demonstrators shouted attacks through bullhorns, claiming that the shop owner was guilty of genocide.
Video shared on X shows protesters outside the Goldie Falafel restaurant, chanting, “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”
The demonstration on Sunday, organized by the Philly Palestine Coalition, drew condemnation from the Biden administration and Democrat Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, who condemned the antisemitic protest. Activists gathered outside of the Goldie falafel shop on Sansom Street as part of a larger demonstration effort calling for a ceasefire and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.
In a Monday statement condemning the activists, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates declared that the targeting of Jewish-owned businesses over policy disagreements is antisemitic and unjustifiable.
“This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of Antisemitism,” Bates said.
“President Biden has fought against the evil of Antisemitism his entire life, including by launching the first national strategy to counter this hate in American history,” he added. “He will always stand up firmly against these kinds of undignified actions.”
Shapiro also took to X Sunday to condemn what he described as a “blatant act of antisemitism” and rebuked claims that it had been a peaceful protest. In the post, Shapiro shared a video circulating on social media of the protestors standing outside the business, waving Palestinian flags as an activist with a bullhorn led the antisemitic chant.
“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,” the governor wrote.
The Philly Palestine Coalition did not respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment.
On its Instagram page, the group released a statement Tuesday about its actions over the weekend. The group claimed that it would continue to protest “Israel's decades-long violent colonization of Palestine, the most recent manifestation of which is the ongoing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.”
According to a previous post promoting the protest, the group called on people to meet at Rittenhouse Square to “Flood for Philly for Gaza.” The event also included a rally and prayer before the activists conducted a march.
As The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday, Natalie Abulhawa, a coalition organizer, denied the allegations of antisemitism and defended the tactic of protesting outside businesses. The group also demonstrated outside Starbucks, with the coalition criticizing the corporation’s alleged support for Israel, according to The Inquirer.
“We made a two-to-four-minute pit stop,” Abulhawa said about why they demonstrated outside of Goldier. “We are marching to call for an end to a genocide to Palestinians. We’re calling on our reps to do something — to stand up for what’s happening.”
Goldie is part of the CookNSolo restaurant group, co-owned by Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov. The group raised over $100,000 for the Friends of United Hatzalah, which the outlet reported was one of the reasons the coalition targeted the business.
The nonprofit volunteer organization in Israel provides emergency medical services, and it has mobilized to offer humanitarian aid following Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. The nonprofit has Jews and Muslims work together to respond to emergency calls.
The terror group’s onslaught resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and thousands of injuries. Hamas also took around 240 people hostage during its invasion. In response to the attacks, Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza in an effort to eradicate the terrorists and free the hostages.
Another reason the coalition might have targeted Goldie, according to The Inquirer, could be related to its October boycott of Israeli restaurants that it accused of appropriating Palestinian cuisine. Goldie is one of the shops included on the list; however, Solomonov denied that Israeli chefs have done such a thing.
“I think if you’re trying to find reason or verbiage to invalidate Israel, or the right to Jews to have a homeland, … you’ll literally use whatever you have, and an easy way to do that is to say that all the food is all stolen,” he said during a panel at the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill last month.
The demonstration outside the Philadelphia business is not the first pro-Palestine rally to raise concerns about antisemitism.
Harassment and threats of violence by anti-Israel and anti-Jewish protestors recently forced Jewish students to be locked inside a library for their safety at a New York-based college. Protestors at other events have called supporters of the Jewish State “pigs” and have chanted things like “Gas the Jews.”