Did the disinvite come over supposed threats of violence or absence of a Palestinian food truck? Make up your minds, Sunflower Philly and Eat Up the Borders.
Organizers of a Philadelphia food truck event, Eat Up the Borders and Sunflower Philly, had to cancel the event after they received intense backlash when the public discovered they disinvited an Israeli food vendor.
Moshava, the food truck, said Eat Up the Borders pulled invitations due to fears of protests due to their Israeli ties:
We are deeply saddened by this. The organizers of the event heard rumors of a protest happening because of us being there and decided to uninvite us from fear that the protesters would get aggressive and threaten their event. We were really hoping that the organizers @eatuptheborders and @sunflowerphilly would step up to the plate and defend local, small and immigrant based businesses, no matter where they are from (as per their so called “mission statement”) but By the looks of it fear, violence, and intimidation got the best of them.
We really do hope that in the future you don’t succumb to such antisemitic and dividing rethoric 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.
Eat Up the Borders made all of its social media pages private. Sunflower Philly wrote on Instagram:
“No acknowledgement on antisemitism or how your organization plans to educate staff and volunteers?” asked @ellaimevous.
“So no statement or apology on your blatant antisemitism?” asked @gabrielaasuaje. “Wow.”
“Did you cancel any chinese food trucks?” demanded @nastywomengetloud. “I mean uyghur camps aren’t cool…but I guess since it’s not Israel’s fault you’re cool with it? The antisemitism is on full cruise control here. VILE.”
The decision “saddened” Democratic Rep. Brendan Doyle, who insisted an investigation if someone threatened the event:
That Moshava should be excluded from what is supposed to be an event showcasing food offerings from all around the world, solely due to their being an Israeli food vendor, is completely unacceptable. Given the disturbing rise in acts of antisemitism across our region and country, this decision by the organizers is only helping to embolden those who would use threats of protest or even violence to prevent any people, businesses and entire communities from living and operating freely without fear.
If the explanation of the organizers that Moshava’s invitation was revoked due to the threat of protests and violence is true, then I believe such threats should be investigated by law enforcement, as no person or organization should be coerced or threatened by the prospect of intimidation or violence.
I urge the organizers of this community event to stand up for Moshava and the right of businesses to operate freely, and to reverse its decision.”
Sunflower Philly admitted its mistake to 6ABC:
The restaurant Moshava was supposed to take part in the event, but after word came of planned protests and threats of violence, Moshava was disinvited.
That decision resulted in a backlash, and that’s when the organizers decided to pull the plug.
“Our mistake this time, with not only our event partners, but in general was not educating ourselves. And not properly making sure that everyone is properly represented. So that’s where we made the decision to cancel the event,” said Melvin Powell, the executive director of Sunflower Philly.
However, Powell told NBC10 they disinvited Moshava because of a Palestinian food truck:
Melvin Powell of Sunflower Philly, one of the groups that organized the event, said at past food truck events both Israeli and Palestinian food trucks were present. He said an agreement was made in the past that one truck couldn’t be present without the other.
This year, the Palestinian truck couldn’t attend, he said. “The fact that we couldn’t accurately represent both of them is the reason why we canceled the event today,” Powell said.
Moshava Philly and the organizers have been talking since the controversy erupted.
Moshava put out a second Instagram statement saying they were working together to “educate and grow together in a safe space for everyone.”
“Although we were disappointed with how the situation was greatly mishandled, we do not believe the organizers intention came from an anti-Semitic place, but the threats they were receiving to their event were.”
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