Edinburgh bagel shop is ‘Zionist free zone’

Halal cafe in Leith slammed for ‘Zionist free zone’ signage


Moski's cafe in Edinburgh has been accused of discriminating against Jews because of a poster in its window which says 'declare Leith a Zionist free zone'

A cafe in Edinburgh has declared itself a “Zionist free zone” with a poster in its window warning Zionists to stay away.

A sign in the shop window of Moski’s Sandwich and Juice Bar says, “declare Leith a Zionist free zone.”

The cafe has been condemned for the poster, which many say is equivalent to a ban on Jews from the premises, but Moski’s has denied any accusations of discrimination. 

On Monday, a petition was sent to the Uber chief executive to ask the company to drop the cafe from its food delivery app, Uber Eats.

The halal eatery just off Leith Walk sells smoked salmon bagels, hummus and falafel wraps, and turkey bacon.

According to a reporter for Israel’s Channel 12, Elad Simchayoff, the poster was reported to Police Scotland who said the incident was “not a hate crime.”

“I’m told the police were informed and deemed this is not a hate crime,” Simchayoff tweeted.

In the most recent survey of the British Jewish community from JPR, 63 per cent of UK Jews polled identified as Zionist.

Executive Director at StandWithUs, Michael Dickson, said: “An LGBTQ-free zone. A Black-free zone. A Muslim-free zone. A Sikh-free zone. A women-free zone. Any one of these signs would and should cause an uproar.

“This sign bans the vast majority of Jewish people and others besides. It’s discrimination,” Dickson tweeted.

Others compared the flyer to the Nazi policy of Judenfrei.

The poster was first reported in the Scottish capital in March when Leith Walk councillor Susan Rae posted an image of it in a tweet about Gaza.

She later deleted the post and told the Edinburgh Evening News, "Zionism and Judaism are two very different things. Being a Jew is not the same as being a Zionist".

The  poster is believed to have originated from the Edinburgh wing of Industrial Workers of the World. The group posted on Instagram, “Zionism out of Leith! Our campaign will mobilise the Leith community to put pressure on businesses to discontinue trading, selling, and dealing with Israeli goods and services.”

They have threatened to “take the fight [against Zionism] from the streets into our workplaces.”

The manager of Moski’s told the JC, “As an establishment in the Leith area, we welcome anyone who would like to use our window space for posters, adverts, political parties etc.

“At Moskis we do not discriminate against race, religion, sexual orientation or nationality and I am quite saddened to see the response by some members of the community claiming that we do not allow ‘Jews to enter’. This is quite a serious accusation.

The manager added, "Not all Jewish people are in support of the Israeli government's actions and I would like their views to also be heard on the matter and of course again, everyone is welcome. We encourage an open table discussion for everyone to express their views and opinions.”

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