Pro-Palestinian rally outside Israeli-Jewish restaurant Goldie a "blatant act of antisemitism," Shapiro says

Local and national leaders condemn vandalism at Philadelphia restaurant Goldie

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters made their way through the streets of Philadelphia Sunday night as they demanded a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. What they did outside of a Jewish restaurant drew harsh criticism from local and federal leaders.

The White House on Monday joined Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro in calling what happened in Center City "antisemitic" and "completely unjustifiable." Shapiro on Sunday night called it a "blatant act of antisemitism."

The pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Rittenhouse Square and marched through the area and University City, including the University of Pennsylvania campus.

In a Facebook post, the Philadelphia Free Palestine Coalition had urged supporters to "flood the streets" Sunday night.

Video posted on social media showed demonstrators also made their way to Sansom Street, where they gathered outside the Jewish restaurant Goldie, one of several restaurants in the city owned by Philadelphia-based Israeli chef Michael Solomonov.

The group of protesters is accused of shouting antisemitic remarks, and stickers with pro-Palestinian slogans were reportedly left on the doors, though when CBS Philadelphia checked back early Monday morning they had been removed.

Video of the crowd outside Goldie was posted on social media around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Later that night, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro released a statement on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the clip, writing, "Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest. A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history."

Shapiro said in another post that he reached out to Solomonov and the team at Goldie to share his support.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement it's "completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy."

Bates continued, "This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of antisemitism. President Biden has fought against the evil of antisemitism his entire life, including by launching the first national strategy to counter this hate in American history. He will always stand up firmly against these kinds of undignified actions."

Congressmember Brendan Boyle also weighed in Sunday night, writing, "I can't believe I even have to say this, but targeting businesses simply because they're Jewish owned is despicable. Philadelphia stands against this story of harassment and hate."

Solomonov owns multiple restaurants in the city under the banner CookNSolo, including ZahavLaser Wolf and K'Far Cafe. Following the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, Solomonov announced he would donate 100% of all sales to Friends of United Hatzalah, a nonprofit emergency medical service.

CBS Philadelphia has reached out to the group that organized Sunday night's rally but has yet to hear back.

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