On Sunday night time, pro-Palestine protesters in Philly did a citywide demonstration calling for an finish of American navy support to Israel through the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. One of many protest stops was at Goldie, a preferred Israeli-style falafel store co-owned by James Beard Award winner Michael Solomonov, which is a part of the bigger restaurant group CookNSolo.
There have been experiences and a posted viral video exhibiting dozens of protesters chanting, “Goldie, Goldie you may’t conceal, we cost you with genocide” outdoors of the restaurant.
Protestors in Philadelphia stand outdoors of a Jewish & Israeli owned falafel restaurant
“Goldie, Goldie you may’t conceal, we cost you with genocide” pic.twitter.com/yF7hQwev66
— Jordan (@thatJVG) December 3, 2023
The incident has led to a number of native and nationwide politicians calling the demonstration in entrance of the restaurant an act of antisemitism, provided that they understand Solomonov has no formal connection to the Israeli authorities or navy or its actions, and fairly simply cooks and champions Israeli delicacies, and is Jewish.
Tonight in Philly, we noticed a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceable protest.
A restaurant was focused and mobbed as a result of its proprietor is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is paying homage to a darkish time in historical past. https://t.co/WS2guahnsQ
— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) December 4, 2023
Mike Solomonov, the proprietor of this restaurant, is a pal. He has spent his life attempting to make the world a greater place. But he’s focused as a result of he’s Jewish and Israeli by individuals claiming ethical superiority. That is vile antisemitism. https://t.co/gHnWYqCLkF
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) December 4, 2023
I help freedom of speech however harassing enterprise house owners just because they’re Jewish is unacceptable and deeply anti-Semitic. Protestors ought to depart these institutions alone and give attention to authorities officers who even have energy to affect the state of affairs in Israel and… https://t.co/gJT1UVtTW1
— Rep. Ben Waxman (@RepBenWaxman) December 4, 2023
I can’t imagine I even must say this however focusing on companies just because they’re Jewish owned is despicable. Philadelphia stands towards this kind of harassment and hate. https://t.co/BfJ2Xxuysi
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) December 4, 2023
They might be protesting Hamas. They might be protesting Hamas’ systematic rape of Israeli ladies and women or demanding the remaining hostages be instantly launched.
As a substitute, they focused a Jewish restaurant. It is pathetic and rank antisemitism. https://t.co/zDZQwy84g5
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) December 4, 2023
I am appalled at what occurred at Goldie final night time. Focusing on Jewish neighbors and companies due to the actions of the Israeli authorities perpetuates violence when our efforts ought to be towards constructing a world of security, solidarity, and inclusion for everybody. https://t.co/JDIKO0RP2q
— Senator Nikil Saval (@SenatorSaval) December 4, 2023
The Goldie protest comes weeks after protesters began calling for a boycott of the restaurant group, together with different eating places in Philly serving Israeli delicacies. There have been no confirmed experiences of arrests or essential injury to Goldie, although protestors had been seen sticking “Free Palestine” and “That is genocide” stickers on the constructing’s exterior. Right here’s a short explainer on what’s occurring.
Who’s protesting and calling for a boycott of Michael Solomonov’s eating places?
The group that led the cost of protesting outdoors of Goldie on Sunday night time was the Philadelphia Free Palestine Coalition. In keeping with their social media accounts, they look like a various coalition of activists and group organizers (some who’re additionally Jewish) who’re calling for a “full finish to the siege on Gaza and an finish to the U.S complicity with Israel.” In current weeks, the group has particularly known as for a boycott of varied CookNSolo eating places, which incorporates eating places starting from high-end Zahav to informal Okay-Far Cafe, in addition to Goldie, plus different Israeli-owned companies (resembling Suraya, Moshava, and Mezeh) in Philadelphia.
Why Solomonov’s eating places particularly?
In October, Solomonov introduced that he was elevating cash by way of a few of his eating places (Zahav, Goldie, Laser Wolf, and Okay’Far Cafe) to help these injured within the Israel-Hamas conflict. He informed the general public that he can be donating 100% of all gross sales on Thursday, October twelfth to Mates of United Hatzalah — a nonprofit emergency medical service that’s presently partnering with Israeli Protection Forces (IDF) through the conflict to supply medical provides and coaching. The fundraiser raised greater than $100,000, in keeping with Solomonov’s Instagram.
Whereas United Hatzalah is supporting the Israeli military throughout wartime, sometimes it features as emergency medical help complementary to Magen David Adom, Israel’s paramedic and Crimson Cross service. Hatzalah operates in Israel but additionally gives companies in different international locations and cities (together with NYC and Florida); in Israel, it companies all victims of medical emergencies no matter citizenship (together with Palestinians) and operates in each Israel and the West Financial institution. It additionally companions with the Crimson Crescent, the Palestinian Authority’s ambulance service, and operates Israeli Arab chapters in predominately Arab cities.
Solomonov and CookNSolo declined to present remark for this story.
In November, pro-Palestine protesters demonstrated outdoors of Laser Wolf in Fishtown in response to this CookNSolo’s fundraiser and have continued to name for boycotts of the group’s eating places in consequence.
Supporters of the Philadelphia Free Palestine Coalition have clarified on social media that CookNSolo eating places aren’t being focused for being Jewish-owned, however particularly as a result of the group they’re giving cash that aids IDF troopers. They’ve additionally talked about that Solomonov is greater than only a Jewish chef, however that his Israeli government-appointed function as a culinary ambassador for the nation is additionally problematic (given the ongoing debate accusing Israel of appropriating Palestinian delicacies). There have additionally been allegations on-line that pro-Palestine supporters have been fired from Goldie for his or her private politics. As of the reporting of this story, neither Solomonov nor CookNSolo have given a press release addressing these issues and declined to answer Eater Philly concerning these particular allegations.
That is the group which Solomonov’s eating places donated over $100k towards in October – offering medical help, meals, and private care gadgets to Israeli troopers. Goldie was not only a randomly chosen Jewish restaurant. https://t.co/S7Oh3nEahI pic.twitter.com/NCDhzCxrYG
— Philly Energy Analysis (@ResearchPhilly) December 4, 2023
This isn’t true the proprietor donated to a group that helps Israel. And never simply Israel however the IDF. It’s actually irresponsible of you to say this when protesters had been calling out a ongoing genocide.
— Andrew (@AsAndrewSpeaks) December 4, 2023
Goldie fired me & a coworker for supporting Palestine. They raised cash for a company that claims to be impartial however actually materially helps the IDF & its conflict crimes. It’s not a random Jewish restaurant & these protestors rule & ought to sustain the strain ❤️ https://t.co/q9BpaiACry
— soph (@sufbotretweeter) December 4, 2023
That is out of context. I used to be there.
They made it clear it was as a result of the proprietor gave thousands and thousands to a nonprofit that funds the IDF.
Actually by no means stated something in regards to the proprietor being Israeli or Jewish.
As a Jew myself I had no drawback with this a part of the march.
— (((Jay))) (@JBShifman) December 4, 2023
Good to see you exacerbating tensions.This was not a focused protest of Goldie’s restaurant, this was a shifting protest that started at rittenhouse sq. and resulted in west Philly. To characterize this as a protest particularly aimed toward Goldie’s is a whole misrepresentation.
— Jules Ⓥ (@tree_agent) December 4, 2023
this enterprise proprietor is an lively supporter of IDF, they actively help and interact within the genocide of Palestinians
I hope this helps!
— clic clac jac (@ohhh_marcello) December 4, 2023
Produce other Jewish-owned eating places in Philly confronted protests?
To date, it seems that the one reported bodily protests at Jewish-owned eating places have been at CookNSolo’s, probably given Solomonov’s public stance on the conflict and his resolution to donate funds to United Hatzalah.
Since October, although, the Philadelphia Free Palestine Coalition has focused what they declare to be “Zionist” eating places and house owners for boycotting — a boycott that has focused not simply eating places who increase cash for the IDF, however any restaurant owned by these they determine as a “Zionist” or elevating cash for “Israel” (“the Zionist State,” within the group’s phrases). The shortage of readability from the coalition across the parameters round how they outline a “Zionist” particular person have left some to deciphering that they’re primarily boycotting brazenly Jewish restaurant house owners and cooks.
Some nationwide cooks/house owners have taken to social media in addition to the press to talk out about such boycotts.
My pal @zahavrestaurant Michael Solonomov is a superb man and individual! A group man….his restaurant or some other bussines Jewish or Israeli ought to NEVER be focused. As effectively no restaurant or bussines Muslim or Arab ought to NEVER be focused. They aren’t answerable for… https://t.co/s5Fu9A8iHp
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) December 4, 2023
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says town will likely be reviewing the incident.
We all know that residents are involved in regards to the protest outdoors of Goldie on Sunday, and @PhillyPCHR is reviewing this incident. Whereas the Metropolis of Philadelphia will at all times defend free speech and peaceable protest, we should stand united towards acts of hate and bias.
— Mayor Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) December 4, 2023
In the meantime, many diners proceed to help Goldie within the midst of the controversy, with lengthy strains showing on Monday for lunch.