NY restaurants displaying Israeli flags, hostage posters attacked: 'A lot of people came in and threatened us'

Eateries in New York that hang Israeli flags are boycotted; Pro-Palestinian protesters pound on their doors; Swastika were painted at entrance – War in Israel is also affecting restaurants in the US

The delicious and beautiful gestures initiated by restaurants in New York in support of Israel did not last; there have been more and more expressions of antisemitism in New York and throughout the United States. It started with the established Jewish 2nd Avenue Deli, which shared pro-Israel posts on social media and donated all its profits for a day to United Hatzalah and was vandalized with a swastika at its entrance. The owner, Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of the original founder who fled with his family from the Nazis, said that he could not believe that this could happen in his country, and in his city.
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The very next day he hung the Israeli flag and decorated the restaurant with blue and white flowers, but said that he was afraid of the demonstrations outside that openly call for the destruction of Israel. Same goes for the customers of the 19 Cleveland restaurant in Manhattan, who were caught in the middle of a pro-Palestinian march. Videos circulated on social media, showing them cowering in the restaurant lobby in terror.
This is happening not only in the city. Just an hour away from the city center, away from all the hustle and bustle, an American-Greek diner that hung four Israeli flags and displayed posters with pictures of Israeli hostages on the restaurant's windows, has been subjected to a boycott. Above the posters of the abductees, Peter Tsadilas, the owner of the Golden Globe diner (formerly Golden Dolphin) in Huntington, Long Island, hung a sign that read: "We stand with Israel."
3 View gallery
פיטר טסדילס, ניו יורק
פיטר טסדילס, ניו יורק
Peter Tsadilas, owner of a New York diner
(Photo: Courtesy of Golden Globe Diner)
The diner immediately suffered from his solidarity with Israel: three new employees resigned, the diner lost regular customers who used to come every day, and DoorDash (the American courier equivalent of Wolt) decided to boycott the restaurant, which caused sales to drop by about 30% within a week.
"I received calls from customers who said they no longer felt like coming because it was too depressing," said Tsadilas. "And on the other hand, there were people who came in and really threatened us to take down the flags and banners." All this is happening in the heart of a Jewish area, where according to the restaurant owner the boycott and threats do not come from Palestinians or Muslims, but rather from the local population, including quite a few Italians, Irish, and also Jews. "I just couldn't understand it. Instead of attacking me, they should thank me," he said.
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מסעדות בניו יורק, גילויי אנטישמיות
מסעדות בניו יורק, גילויי אנטישמיות
Yet another New York restaurant sprayed with a swastika
(Courtesy of the restaurant)
Tsadilas is not Jewish, but is married to a Jewish woman who has family in Israel.
"It has nothing to do with Judaism at all," he says. "It's the humane thing to do. We need to find these people and bring them back. This is not my family, but I would like people to talk about it. And these posters make the whole story tangible. When I look at the posters I feel a real pain that people feel when their loved ones are missing, Without knowing where they are, what they're doing, whether they're being treated well, whether they're alive or dead. And that's so unfair," said Tsadilas. "We are all human. I don't want Palestinians to die. I don't want anyone to die. But what Israel is going through is an attack. These are people's children, fathers and mothers. It's terrible. Wars should be left to states and armies, not to innocent people."

Famous diner phenomenon

Unsurprisingly, there were those who do not share this ideology, and the backlash was a severe blow to the business, until Tsadilas was ready to take down the flag and remove the posters, but then an anonymous customer came and the posters of the hostages near the front door caught her attention.
"She said she was tired and not hungry, and also eats kosher, so I couldn't offer her anything, but she wanted to come and support me," he says.
That woman turned out to be one of the top leaders in the Jewish community in the area, one of those who knows everyone and everyone knows them. She shared a post on social media in which she called for people to come and support the restaurant, and it was immediately swarmed by dozens of new customers, including some kosher keepers who came to show solidarity.
The story reached the local radio station, which picked up an article about the boycott of the restaurant, and the rest is history. According to Tsadilas, his sales have doubled and he has broken restaurant revenue records. The story gained such traction that, in recent days, people stop their cars on the road, block parked vehicles, and risk a fine just to pop into the diner and take a picture.
3 View gallery
מסעדות בניו יורק, גילויי אנטישמיות
מסעדות בניו יורק, גילויי אנטישמיות
Golden Globe Diner (formerly Golden Dolphin) standing with Israel
(Courtesy of the diner)
According to Tsadilas, the story has reached Israel. "Israeli companies called me and told me, 'We're sending you an open check, just write down the amount.' Of course I didn't take it, but their support warms my heart," he said.
Thee next step, he says, is to cover all the walls of the restaurant with posters, and try to mobilize all the diners in the area to raise Israeli flags as a sign of support. "Many restaurant owners told me that they would never mix politics with food, but I explain to them that the situation is different now. And in general, diners are a Jewish invention, Jews made them what they are today. This is the least we can give them back."
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