WASHINGTON – The White House joined Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shaprio and a chorus of other voices on Monday in condemning the actions of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who targeted a Jewish-owned restaurant in Philadelphia with chants of genocide.
A large crowd of protesters gathered Sunday night outside the Jewish falafel restaurant Goldie’s, one of several restaurants owned by Philadelphia-based Israeli chef Michael Solomonov. Video posted on social media showed the crowd chanting: “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide.”
Protesters also reportedly placed pro-Palestinian stickers on the restaurant’s doors.
“It is antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy, as Governor Shapiro has underlined,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement released Monday.
“This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of antisemitism,” Bates said.
Shapiro called the protesters’ actions “a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest.”
“A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli,” the governor wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history.”
The White House noted that President Joe Biden has recently launched the first national strategy in American history to counter antisemitism. “He will always stand up firmly against these kinds of undignified actions,” Bates said.
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., also criticized the protesters’ actions.
“They could be protesting Hamas. They could be protesting Hamas' systematic rape of Israeli women and girls or demanding the remaining hostages be immediately released,” he wrote on X. “Instead, they targeted a Jewish restaurant. It's pathetic and rank antisemitism.”
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @mcollinsNEWS.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House condemns protesters who accuse Jewish eatery of 'genocide'