Event organizers cave in to intimidating bullies as Israeli chef takes the high road.
By United With Israel Staff
‘Eat Up the Borders’ is a Philadelphia-based organization whose purported goal is to “spread awareness, bring recognition to immigrant owned businesses” in the local community – with the exception of Israelis, reports David Lange of the blog IsraellyCool.
A Father’s Day event called “A Taste of Home” featuring an array of immigrant chefs dropped an Israeli-owned food truck, Moshava Philly, due to threatened protests. The truck is owned by Chef Nir Sheynfeld, who hails from the Israeli town of Even Yehuda, near the coastal city of Netanya. The food truck serves up Israeli fare such as falafel, shawarma, hummus and sabich.
It’s hard to get a straight explanation from the event organizers: Eat Up the Borders shut down its Facebook account while its Instagram account is private. And Sunflower Philly, a co-organizer, hasn’t offered any explanation on its web site or social media accounts either.
But Chip Coughlin, a Philadelphia photographer associated with Eat Up the Borders, shed some light on his private Instagram account in response to the criticism.
“We always looked forward to having @moshava.philly In the days leading up to this event, we received more hate than I thought was possible for having an Israeli vendor. They themselves never detracted from our event. The amount of uproar we received and legitimate threats forced our hand. I’ve seen what was said. We are just insuring safety for Sunday. There was a serious safety risk. In no way was that Moshava’s fault,” Coughlin wrote.
Which prompted Lange to muse, “Once again, when it comes to ‘intersectionality,’ all minorities seem to be welcome except for one.”
For his part, Chef Sheynfeld took the high road.
On Moshava Philly’s Facebook page, he wrote, “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.”
He continued, “We really do hope that in the future you don’t succumb to such anti-Semitic and dividing rethoric 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.”
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