With the Iran Deal passing and much of the U.S. Jewish community angered over its many flaws, threats of rioting from various Jewish neighborhoods around the country went unfounded. Irving Sacknowitz of St. Louis said, “We were going to riot here, but I’ve got lower back pain, Saul and Murray have arthritis, it’s just too much trouble.”
Jews throughout various communities in the U.S. were visibly upset when Congress failed to reach the desired number of votes needed to thwart the deal. Shortly after, a groundswell of support for rioting emerged amongst certain communities, but how to implement the rioting became a hot topic of debate. Fifty two year old Cheryl Greenbaum of Miami said, “We’ve never really rioted before. We felt it was time. I contacted the Federation, and by the time they had a meeting about it, the excitement about rioting had died down. I heard they had three follow up meetings to discuss why the first one didn’t work, but by the time they get anything done, I think Iran will have the bomb already anyway, so who cares?”
Mike Silverstein, co chair of the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish Federation in Philadelphia took a more practical approach. “We contacted various shop owners in the Jewish neighborhoods and asked them how they felt about the rioting and they were squarely against it. After we relayed that information to the rest of the community, most agreed it probably wasn’t a good idea. Philly resident Micky Green said, “To go around breaking shops and taking things? To smash up the deli? I need this headache? Like you don’t eat there too?” All of Mr. Green’s comments were in the form of a question.
While many agreed that overall rioting was a waste of time, there was a small minority that wanted to riot in a downsized fashion. David Bruckner of the Pico/Robertson area of Los Angeles took a more practical approach. “We didn’t want to hit any of the kosher places because the thought of ruining a perfectly good stash of kosher meat was unbearable. The dairy places, maybe, but no meat places. Also, we thought a big place probably wouldn’t miss much, so we called Ralph’s.” Ralph’s grocery store, part of a large chain could have easily absorbed the financial hit of a riot, and when Manager Keith Phelps was contacted he was surprised. “They clearly didn’t have a lot of experience in rioting. They first wanted to know if this would affect their Ralph’s Club status, and if so, for how long. Then they said they didn’t really want to smash anything, but maybe just swipe a few boxes of Prilosec, take some packages of salmon, and maybe some deli mustard. I told them that still qualifies as stealing, and they backed off.”
Disappointment over the Iran deal still looms large in many communities, but it seems as though getting rioting off the ground may be more difficult to implement than the Iran deal itself.