Controversy in the state of California in the United States: Staff at a café in Oakland, located on San Francisco Bay, prevented a Jewish woman from entering a bathroom there, shouting anti-Israel slogans at her.
The video, which went viral on social media, shows employees at Farley's East Cafe blocking the path of the Jewish woman, the videographer, and physically preventing her from entering the bathroom. The video appears to have been taken after the woman noticed antisemitic graffiti inside the bathroom stall and the employees apparently feared she would take a picture of the text.
Antisemitism in the US: Coffee shop workers prevent Jewish women from using bathrooms
The workers blatantly confront the woman and say things like "It's not the year 48," referring to the War of Independence and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes during the war. One worker told the woman: "It's private property, you can't invade private land like Israel."
The woman did not provoke Burton employees but repeatedly told them that she was a paying customer asking to enter the bathroom. After about a minute of arguing, the workers allow the woman to enter the bathroom and she takes pictures of the addresses. The words on the walls of the toilets read: "Zionism is fascism" and "Your neutrality allows genocide."
The café responded to the incident in a lengthy post on Instagram: "In response to a recent incident at our family-owned café, we would like to express our acknowledgment and sincere apology. The context of this is antisemitic graffiti written in our services. After a customer visited the bathroom and asked to document the graffiti, at first she was denied access and then allowed to enter and document the graffiti."
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"The staff handled the situation poorly and we apologize for the mistake and distress caused to the customer. We took disciplinary action with staff and removed the offensive graffiti. We are not anti-Semites. We value diversity and inclusion. We are committed to appropriate training for employees and a safe and inclusive environment. Thank you for understanding that we are a small family business trying to operate in a complicated environment," the café said in a statement.
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