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Wednesday, June 23, 2021 

Philadelphia food festival's capitulation to antisemitism leads to event being cancelled entirely

The organizers of a food festival in Philadelphia's Kensington district caved to violent threats because they were initially going to host an Israeli food vendor:
A food truck selling Israeli street food was disinvested from a Philadelphia food festival that took place on Father's Day weekend following what its organizers said was a harsh public backlash, ostensibly including violent threats.

Food truck Moshava said on social media that its invitation to the "Taste of Home" event scheduled for Father's Day was pulled because organizers feared protests over their Israeli ties.

In a statement on Instagram, Eat Up the Borders, an NGO that purports to "promote small, family, or immigrant-owned businesses," said that "in order to provide the best experience to all, we decided to remove one of our food vendors from Sunday's event.
It goes without saying that was pure cowardice, and now, following furious reactions, the managers have practically cancelled the entire event:
After the decision not to include Moshava sparked outrage, organizers decided to cancel the entire event.

"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," said Melvin Powell, executive director of Sunflower Philly. "So that's where we made the decision to cancel the event."
But here's where the flaws really come in:
Sunflower Philly wrote on Instagram that it will "continue to host events with people of all races, nationalities and sexual orientations who are aligned with our mission."
It's actually more stupefying than it seems:
EUTB explained in its statement that Moshava took part in the food festival in May 2021 and afterwards organizers received “some pushback from activists” who criticized the Israeli vendor’s involvement. EUTB’s responded by inviting a Palestinian food vendor to its June 2021 event, which Moshava was also invited to, but the Palestinian vendor pulled out before the festival “due to time constraints.”

“After attendees noticed the absence of the Palestinian food vendor, many suggested boycotting and protesting at the event,” EUTB said. “Two days prior to the event, we decided to prioritize the safety of all — Moshava, other vendors, and our guests — and postpone Moshava’s appearance until a future event. We made it clear that Eat Up The Borders and Sunflower Philly would like to continue working with them in the future, and work together to learn how to address such a fragile situation. We offered to give Moshava 10 percent of our door sales and vendors offered to share a portion of their proceeds to a cause they were apart of.”

“We were ignorant in our actions, and it was inexcusable,” EUTB added. “We are in touch with leaders from the Jewish and Palestinian community to aid us in our growth and further the conversation. We are truly sorry to Moshava, and the Jewish and Palestinian communities. We look forward to listening, learning, and growing from this.”
The real problem - and what's really led to the cancellation of the festival - is that the managers are stuck on moral equivalence, and that could easily risk putting an end to the festival altogether, because they don't have the guts to avoid ideologically-driven approaches to these festivals. As a result, this embarrassment wound up occurring.

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