Israeli food truck banned from festival due to threats

Eat up the Borders have been accused of bowing to antisemitism after they claimed the Israeli truck would cause a 'safety risk'


A Philadelphia food festival was cancelled following a backlash for banning an Israeli food truck from taking part because organisers feared its presence would trigger violent protests.  

Eat up the Borders faced sharp criticism after it announced that the food stall Moshava Philadelphia was not welcome to attend the festival. 

The festival’s decision to ban the Israeli business resulted in accusations that, had it been another vendor under threat, organisers would have hired security to protect them. 

In a statement Eat up the Borders said its mission was to “uplift as many passionate small businesses in the Philadelphia areas as possible.

'We want to provide a platform where we can gather around a table to share history, culture, language, and most importantly, FOOD.

“In order to best serve our guests, we decided to remove one of our vendors for Sunday's event so that we could deliver an optimal experience to all.

“This decision came from listening to the community we wish to love and serve.

“We do stand by our initiative to give vendors from all nationalities a platform to showcase their talents and provide an awesome experience for all.

“We will continue to strive to provide opportunity to learn from one another over a nice dish. We hope to see you on Sunday and join us as we continue to learn and grow.”

The statement was criticised for making no reference to threats the stall had received. 

Writer Blake Flayton pointed out on Twitter: “Israeli food truck expelled from an immigrant-owned event in Philly due to threats of violence. 

“Notice how they word it—it sounds like justice. It sounds like inclusivity and openness. This is how antisemitism becomes mainstream, but the majority of our community remains silent.”

The event that was due to take place on Sunday would have been the second Taste of Home food truck event Moshava was to attend. 

 Moshava chef Nir Sheynfeld told the Daily Mail he was very disappointed about being banned. 

“I think they were genuinely scared of what these aggressive protestors might do” he said.

Mr Sheynfeld said the co-organisers had bowed to antisemitic threats after receiving messages in social media. 

In a statement posted on Instagram he wrote: “We really do hope that in the future you don't succumb to such anti-Semitic and dividing rhetoric and keep true to your words of a safe environment for all religions and nationalities- not just all of them except Israeli and Jewish ones.”

The Philadelphia chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors instances of antisemitism said it was “deeply disturbed” by the decision.

“We have spoken with the event organizers and expressed that we unequivocally disagree with their decision. We do understand that threats to the organizers were made, and we understand the fear and confusion that comes when your community faces that intimidation. 

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