An anti-Semitic mob was blasted by Pennsylvania’s governor for screaming threats into a Jewish-owned falafel store in Philadelphia. The group marched at the Goldie’s location in Center City chanting: ‘Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.’ The Philadelphia chain is owned by Mike Solomonov, an Israeli-born, Pittsburgh raised chef who has won the James Beard Award in the past.
The chants were denounced across the political spectrum, including in a post on X by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (Pictured). ‘Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism – not a peaceful protest,’ said Shapiro, the state’s third-ever Jewish governor. ‘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.’ Shapiro added that he’s reached out to Solomonov ‘to share our support and Lori and I look forward to breaking bread there with them again soon.’
Sunday’s mob threats came at the same time as students at the nearby University of Pennsylvania – called for an ‘intifada’ – a violent uprising against Israel. The protests were led by the Philly Palestine Coalition, who also tried to distract fans watching the Philadelphia Eagles game in local bars by chanting: ‘While you’re watching, bombs are dropping.’ A driver threw a plastic bottle at protesters, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, though others cheered the demonstrations. Meanwhile, a video of a group of students at the nearby University of Pennsylvania were chanting in favor of ‘Intifada revolution.’
The original intifada is the name given to a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, beginning in 1987. The clip has been seen by over 829,000 people after it was posted by LibsOfTikTok on X. The Ivy League institution has been frequently under fire over anti-Semitism since the October 7 attacks on campus after anti-Jewish slogans were projected onto three of the school’s buildings. The school is now facing a civil rights complaint as it is accused of being a ‘magnet for anti-Semites.’ ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ read one message splashed across the John M Huntsman hall in mid-November. The slogan demands the land from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, meaning the end of the State of Israel.
Slogans projected on Penn Commons read: ‘Zionism is racism’ and demanded UPenn president Liz Magill call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Another message declared: ‘Penn funds Palestinian genocide.’ It comes after the prestigious school increased security and contacted the FBI after a string of reports of threats against Jewish students. The Brandeis Center said it will file a complaint against the school, stating it ‘has allowed its campus to become a hostile environment for its Jewish students as well as a magnet for anti-Semites.’ The complaints ‘seek immediate and specific action to address increasing discrimination against and harassment of Jews in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.’
UPenn said that several of its staff members received ‘vile, disturbing anti-Semitic emails’ threatening violence against Jews on campus, particularly in Penn Hillel, an on-campus Jewish organization, and Lauder College House. University president Liz Magill wrote: ‘These messages also included hateful language, targeting the personal identities of the recipients. Penn’s Division of Public Safety was immediately notified and responded. Penn Police also notified the FBI of this potential hate crime and a joint investigation is underway. Magill has also acknowledged ‘swastikas and hateful graffiti’ and ‘chants at rallies, captured on video and widely circulated, that glorify the terrorist atrocities of Hamas, that celebrate and praise the slaughter and kidnapping of innocent people, and that question Israel’s very right to exist.’
The school is working with the FBI to ‘identify the individual or individuals who are responsible for these hateful, threatening emails and to ensure they are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law,’ per Magill. Earlier in November, a clip emerged purportedly showing a UPenn student praising Hamas’ ‘glorious October 7’ incursion into southern Israel. The clip, shared by Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres, apparently shows a student addressing a crowd and urging them to remember the scenes in Israel a month ago today. She described the ‘joyful and powerful images which came from the glorious October 7’, adding she remembered ‘feeling so empowered and so happy’.
The speaker concluded her speech saying, ‘Hold that feeling in your hearts… channel it through every action you take… go down to the streets every day and don’t ever let them feel like you quietly accept this genocide.’ Late last week, Israel said it would continue its military operation in Gaza following a ceasefire that lasted several days while a number of the roughly 240 Israeli hostages were exchanged for three times the number of Palestinian terrorists. Hamas ultimately broke the ceasefire and decided not to pursue a pause in fighting in order to release more hostages at this time. Over the weekend, Israeli forces continued to bomb swathes of Gazan territory, killing and wounding dozens of Palestinians.
For weeks, Israel has warned civilians in Gaza to move south in the enclave as their battles against Hamas raged in the north, and it continued to be labelled as a safer option despite continuous Israeli bombing of Khan Younis and other areas. Now, the IDF has declared that they are fighting ‘strongly and thoroughly’ in the south, with warnings to displaced civilians to evacuate even further south away from the fighting. Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi said on Sunday: ‘Yesterday, and today, we eliminated brigade commanders, company commanders, many operatives, and yesterday morning we started the same process in the southern Gaza Strip,’ he said.
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