The organizers of a canceled Philadelphia food truck event apologized for “causing harm to the Jewish community” by booting an Israeli vendor from its roster – a transfer that critics slammed as bowing to anti-Semitism.
“We understand that our actions have hurt you and we are truly sorry,” organizer Eat Up the Borders posted on its website on Wednesday.
“We want to be very clear that we do not support anti-Semitism or allow anti-Semitism in our spaces. Our actions were ignorant and inexcusable.”
The mea culpa comes after the “Taste of Home” event on Father’s Day was nixed amid furor sparked when the organizers rescinded an invite to the Israeli food truck, Moshava.
The organizers allegedly acquired threats of protests if Moshava participated.
EUTB, which says its mission assertion is to assist small family-owned and immigrant companies within the metropolis of Brotherly Love, mentioned Moshava attended a May “Taste of Home” event shortly after the collection was launched.
“After the event, we received some pushback from activists who criticized the attendance of Moshava,” the assertion mentioned. “Not wanting to unintentionally alienate any members of our community, we decided to host a Palestinian food vendor in our future event.”
That’s why a Palestinian vendor was booked for Sunday — however that vendor, who wasn’t named, backed out days earlier than the event.
“After attendees noticed the absence of the Palestinian food vendor, many suggested boycotting and protesting at the event,” the assertion mentioned.
Moshava’s invitation was yanked two days earlier than Father’s Day however EUTB mentioned that they had the protection of everybody — together with the Israeli food truck — in thoughts. The group mentioned it wished to proceed to work with Moshava and even provided them 10 % of door gross sales, in keeping with the assertion.
“We now see that excluding any specific vendor within the identify of attempting to guard them was the flawed resolution, the assertion mentioned.
“We did what we thought was best in the moment, but we failed,” the assertion continued.
“Since then, we have cooperated with authorities to answer any of their concerns. We were ignorant in our actions because we did not take the time to educate ourselves about both sides before taking action which clearly caused harm to the Jewish community.”
Sunflower Philly, the co-organizers whose house was for use for the event, in the end made the choice to cancel the event altogether. Sunflower posted an apology of its own on Instagram.
“Sunflower Philly categorically denounces all forms of hatred, discrimination and injustice,” it mentioned within the assertion.
The group mentioned it often lets promoters and organizations make the decision on occasions, however that may change.
“Moving forward we will be taking a hands-on approach with our productions to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Sunflower Philly acknowledged. “Our daily intention is to be a place of inclusion, diversity, understanding and peace.”
“All mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow,” it concluded.
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia welcomed the apologies in a collection of tweets on Wednesday.
“Representatives from our organizations will be meeting with the Taste of Home event organizers on July 13th to understand the threats of violence, provide education and urge further action to ensure their events are truly inclusive,” the ADL said.
The group had beforehand taken challenge with a media report that quoted Sunflower Philly saying, in essence, there had been an settlement that the Israeli and Palestinian distributors would each should take part collectively or by no means.
“The ‘agreement’ Sunflower Philly has described is discriminatory and constitutes a clear double standard, as it does not appear to apply to Tibetan & Chinese, Turkish & Kurdish, Russian & Ukrainian or any other cuisines hailing from countries engaged in conflict,” the ADL tweeted on Monday.
Neither EUTB, Sunflower nor Moshava responded to inquiries from The Post on Thursday.
Operators of Moshava confirmed they had been working with the organizers to “try and educate and grow together in a safe space” for everybody in an Instagram put up on Sunday.
“Although we were disappointed with how the situation was greatly mishandled we do not believe the organizers intention came from an antisemitic (sic) place but the threats they were receiving to their event were,” the put up mentioned.