California cafe apologies for blocking Jewish woman from bathroom

Farley’s East in Oakland offered a ‘sincere apology’ and said it does not support the ‘hate speech’


A California cafe has apologised after three workers physically blocked a Jewish customer from using a bathroom that was filled with antisemitic graffiti.

A male worker accused her of wanting to use the bathroom because “Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own”.

They blocked the woman’s path at Farley’s East in Oakland.

“I want to go in the restroom,” the distressed woman tells staff as she films them.

The woman says she “was a patron here and I have a right to go into the restroom”.

But the man replies: “And we have a right to refuse service.”

The woman declines the use of a neighbouring business’ bathroom when an employee says she can use it.

“No, I want to use this one. I should not be excluded and other people allowed,” she says.

Addressing the employees blocking her way, she says: “If you agree with [the graffiti], why are you afraid that I will take a picture of it?”

“Oh, actually, great — please” the male worker says when she pushes her way in.

She films messages including “Zionism = Fascism,” “Your neutrality/apathy is enabling genocide” and “Free Palestine.”

“History didn’t start in 1948, lady,” the male worker says.

“Free Palestine. Now, please leave,” a female worker says. “Free Palestine,” the man also says.

Marc Levine, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Central Pacific, said: “It is sickening to watch Farley's East staff reinforce anti-Israel graffiti scrawled in their restroom and block a customer's access to the restroom all while verbally abusing her.

"Jews everywhere are facing vitriol, harassment, and pure hatred simply for being Jewish and supporting Israel's right to exist. It must stop.

“Farley's East management apologised and committed to staff training so this egregious behaviour never reoccurs. This is the least any business can and should do. ADL offers Farley's our workplace antisemitism resources.”

Farley’s East offered a “sincere apology” and said it does not support the “hate speech” written in the bathroom.

“As context, hate speech graffiti was written in our bathroom. We do not support hate speech; this does not reflect our values.

“After a customer used the bathroom and wished to return to document the graffiti, they were initially denied access and then allowed to enter the bathroom to film the graffiti. We apologise for this error and the distress caused to the customer.

“We’re committed to ongoing staff training for a safe and welcoming environment. Thank you for understanding that we are a small business doing our best to operate a community business in a difficult environment.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive