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An anti-Israel group based in Philadelphia has tried to justify what lawmakers and other government officials described as an antisemitic demonstration targeting a restaurant owned by American–Israeli chef Michael Solomonov, making outlandish accusations against the famed chef and the Jewish state.

The Philly Palestine Coalition — which has called for a “complete end to the siege on Gaza and an end to the US complicity with Israel” — organized the demonstration, which took place in downtown Philadelphia on Sunday. At one point during the rally, the mob of protesters gathered outside Goldie, a vegan falafel restaurant co-owned by Solomonov, and chanted “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” The anti-Israel protesters also vandalized the front door and windows of Goldie, according to reports.

After the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, the Philly Palestine Coalition called for a boycott of various Zionist and Israeli-owned restaurants in Philadelphia, including a number of Solomonov’s establishments.

In its statement on Monday, the coalition said it targeted Solomonov’s restaurant because he is “actually cheering on and financially supporting” what they falsely called a “genocide” being carried out by Israel in Gaza. Israel has been attacking Hamas targets in Gaza since the Palestinian terror group’s massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The coalition also alleged that Solomonov “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 [the Israel Defense Forces] that is enacting Israel’s genocidal bombing of the Palestinians.”

The anti-Israel group also criticized the $100,000 Solomonov helped raise in October for United Hatzalah of Israel — to help the volunteer-based organization provide free medical services to those affected by the terror attacks — and the fact that the chef was appointed the culinary ambassador of Israel by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

“It is due to his direct ties to the apartheid government [of Israel] and his financial contributions to its army that we will continue to boycott his establishments,” the coalition added in its statement, saying that it “has been protesting, and will 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.”

Many Pennsylvania politicians condemned the incident that took place outside Goldie on Sunday night, including Gov. Josh Shapiro, state Sen. Nikil Saval, US Rep. Brendan Boyle, US Sen. John Fetterman, state Rep. Ben Waxman and former US Rep. Mondaire Jones. White House spokesman Andrew Bates also called the targeting of Goldie “completely unjustifiable.” Many of the figures, including Shapiro and Bates, characterized Sunday’s mob as an act of antisemitism.

The Philly Palestine Coalition found fault with the politicians for condemning their actions against Goldie. They criticized the leaders for not supporting them as they “stand up against a genocidal settler colony and those who are enabling it.”

“We will continue to organize, boycott, march, and resist oppression from Philadelphia and Ferguson, to Palestine and Congo and beyond,” the group said in conclusion.

Solomonov was born in G’nei Yehuda, Israel, and raised in Pittsburgh. The chef, restauranteur, cookbook author, and multiple James Beard Award winner is the co-owner of the Philadelphia hospitality group CookNSolo Restaurants together with Steve Cook. He also co-owns Philadelphia’s Zahav, Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, K’Far, Merkaz, and Laser Wolf.

CookNSolo did not respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment about the incident outside Goldie on Sunday night.

Source of original article: Culture – Algemeiner.com (www.algemeiner.com).
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