By Bruce S. Ticker
Bruce S. Ticker
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – It turns out Arab terrorism isn’t limited to Israel.
Palestinian lawyers have used their terrorist talents in or near two prominent American cities 3,000 miles apart in the past few weeks. First, they prevented a private Israeli ship from unloading its cargo in Oakland, California, across from San Francisco Bay. On Sunday they managed to cancel a food festival in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia because the organizers dared to let an Israeli food truck take part.
Your conception of terrorism in America is tame compared to terrorism in Israel. As far as I know, their organized form of terrorism did not result in American Jews being murdered, seriously injured, or significantly harmed. But many have committed low-level crimes for years and have behaved roughly in protests against Israel.
They caused fear in Philadelphia and Oakland. This is similar to what Palestinian extremists are doing in the Israeli territories – they terrorize those who cannot brainwash them.
Last Saturday night, I discovered a Facebook post littered with allegations that two nonprofits acted like Nazis by banning Israeli food truck Moshava Philly from participating in Taste of Home, which is called the “Celebration Event.” The diversity through food, art “entertainment, community” planned for last Sunday in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, a few miles north of Independence Hall and south of my residence in northeast Philadelphia.
“The shooting at the Synagogue on the Tree of Life in your state wasn’t enough hate for you,” wrote Adrienne Cohen.
“When anti-Semitism arose in Europe,” wrote Robin Unger, “they did the same. Prohibit Jewish business, exclude them from the community they believed they belonged to. It’s exactly the same, under pressure from anti-Semitic groups. “
A festival sponsor called Eat Up the Borders posted a confusing non-statement that made critics particularly angry: “In order to give everyone the best experience, we decided to remove one of our food vendors from the Sunday event. This decision was made because we listened to the concerns of the communities we love and serve. Our intention is never to cause harm. We’re sorry, and we know better education is the first step in preventing this from happening again. “
Fortunately, news reports were published by Sunday evening explaining much of what had happened. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted at length from Moshava’s posts, who wrote: “We do not believe the organizers’ intent came from an anti-Semitic location, but the threats they received for their event were.”
JTA said, “It all started late last week when Eat Up The Borders announced the roster for the third edition of Taste of Home … Along with eight other vendors, including a Mexican restaurant and tea company, Moshava was on the list for the second month Series of the festival. ”It was to be held at the Sunflower Philly site in Kensington.
“The post announcing the line-up,” the JTA report continued, “aroused comments criticizing the picking up of an Israeli truck … Initially, Eat Up the Borders indicated that it did not intend to give in to the pressure … but returned on Saturday morning the group for course. “
After Eat Up The Borders removed Moshava from the list, he canceled the event entirely on Sunday.
According to the JTA, Moshava completed the story in a separate post, writing: “The organizers of the event heard rumors of a protest because of our presence and decided to stop inviting us aggressively and threateningly for fear that the protesters might get it your event.
“We really hoped the organizers would step on the table and defend local, small and immigrant-based businesses, no matter where they come from, but it looks like fear, violence and intimidation made the best of them.” Moshava’s post continued . “We really hope that in the future you will not succumb to this anti-Semitic and divisive rhetoric (sic) and remain true to your words of a safe environment for all religions and nationalities – not just for everyone except Israeli and Jewish. ”
In a surprising admission, Melvin Powell, executive director of Sunflower Philly, told NBC4 that food trucks owned by Israeli and Palestinians were present at past events and that there was a prior agreement that one truck would not be present without the other, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Palestinian truck failed to show up on Sunday, which led Powell to say, “The fact that we both couldn’t accurately represent is why we canceled the event today.”
Huh? That begs the question, if the Palestinian truck couldn’t be there, whose fault is it? Why should the Israeli truck owners be punished? On the surface it smells like absurdity. It’s more about fear.
Oakland dockworkers most likely experienced a similar fear when more than 100 Palestinian supporters stood between them and an Israeli container ship called Volans, which docked in Oakland port on June 8 to unload its cargo.
Union workers refused to cross the line formed by the protesters organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center of San Francisco, and that refusal forced the Volans to leave the port later that day, according to The Jewish News of Northern California. The Canadian Jewish News reported that the ship was subsequently blocked in ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada.
It only took 10 anti-Israel protesters to stop Prince Rupert’s union members.
Why should workers not cross any of these limits? This demonstration had nothing to do with labor issues. They protested Israel’s role in the 11-day flare-up between Israel and Hamas over Gaza. The Volans doesn’t even belong to Israel, but to a private company called ZIM Integrated Shipping Services based in Haifa.
Fear is an understatement. Terror is a more accurate description. It takes a well-coordinated effort to scare people with the best of intentions into serving up the perpetrator’s goal.
When dock workers discovered 100 or more demonstrators were lining up, that should have been enough to freeze them in place. In 2014, they attributed fear to their reaction in a similar incident in Oakland when their union said their refusal to unload the cargo was due to “volatility” of the environment, according to The Jewish News.
What but a terror campaign would force Eat Up The Borders and Sunflower Philly to agree to a deal on the food trucks? What difference does it make whether the Israeli truck is present at a food festival and the Palestinian truck is not, or vice versa?
Why is the police not mentioned? A police presence could have cut the lineup in Oakland and allowed dock workers to do their jobs. Philly Food Festival sponsors could have contacted the police if they feared the event might be disrupted.
Pennsylvania Representative Jared Solomon, who is Jewish, said he “contacted law enforcement to discuss the situation,” the Inquirer reported.
At least someone knows why we have police forces.
Bruce S. Ticker is a Philadelphia columnist. He can be contacted at [email protected]