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Michael Berenhaus

Newsweek Downplays Philadelphia Restaurant Pogrom

In, “Philadelphia Jewish Restaurant Targeted With ‘Genocide’ Chants’’ (12/4/23), there was more than “targeting” as Newsweek claims; it was an intimidating mob committing a hate crime — still illegal in the United States — even if against Jews.

According to the article, “footage emerged of a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathering outside Goldie on midtown Sansom Street who were chanting “Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” This doesn’t sound like a “chant” but a call for a lynching! And the “demonstrators” weren’t “gathering;” they were impeding and threatening at the entrance.

In the aftermath, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro tweeted “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.”

Since Israel responded to the unprovoked October 7 Hamas slaughter of Jewish men, women, children, toddlers and babies,” there have been pro-Palestinian demonstrations around the world, including on many US college campuses. In some cases, these have spilled over into expressions of support for Hamas’ actions and overt antisemitic threats,” according to Newsweek.

Interestingly, at different points in the article to describe the hate crime at the Jewish-owned restaurant, Newsweek felt the need to identify Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and David Frum, a political commentator, as Jewish — as if that was a clarifying factor in their outrage. Why not say they are human — it would have covered the only context readers need!!

Representative of a society gone sick, hate crimes have been greater in the US against members of the Jewish faith for years, greater than against all other religious groups combined, despite their diminutive 2% of America’s population. Over 50% of religious-based US hate-crimes were against Jews in 2022, and that was before Hamas launched the current war in October. (Community Relations Service | 2022 FBI Hate Crimes Statistics (justice.gov)

It’s hard not to make comparisons to what’s going on today in America to the attacks of the Nazis and their sympathizers against Jewish-owned businesses in Germany in the 1930s. We all just thought America was better than that.

About the Author
Dr. Berenhaus has worked tirelessly as a watchdog for anti-Israel bias in the media. His efforts monitoring and responding to false media reports on Israel have compelled several news organizations to retract inaccuracies and publish letters clarifying the truth about Israel. He has been published widely in highly distributed newspapers and online publications including The Washington Post, The NY Times, The Economist, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Jewish Week, and The American Thinker. He is a crusader in online/social media working to educate the general public as an advocate of Israel and against anti-Semitism. Dr. Berenhaus is a co-founder of ‘Boycott The Post’ and of ‘Eye on the Post’ - two non-profit organizations that monitor media coverage to ensure accuracy, fairness and truth as it relates to Israel. He is also a founder of The Pakistan Israel Peace Forum, an organization dedicated to creating peace between Muslims and Jews. Although many people in the Washington Jewish community know Dr. Berenhaus for his work in journalism, most don't know how generous he is to the Jewish community with both his time and money. Dr. Berenhaus has spent countless hours throughout the years volunteering for Israel and Jewish organizations. He went to Ethiopia and worked with the last remaining Ethiopian Jews. He has lectured to Interns and community groups providing direction and techniques for Israel Advocacy in the media. Currently, Dr. Berenhaus is working with JSSA to coordinate and donate eye glasses to the entire Washington DC region of needy Holocaust Survivors. That effort has now been expanded nationally.
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