Antisemitic graffiti that says “Zionism=Fascism” is displayed inside a bathroom at Farley’s Coffee in California. Photo: Screenshot
Farley’s Coffee in Oakland, California, issued an apology on Thursday after three staffers at the family-owned coffee shop blocked a Jewish woman from using the store’s restroom, which will filled with antisemitic graffiti, and made anti-Israel comments.
The Jewish woman recorded a video, later shared on social media, that showed employees at Farley’s Coffee standing in front of the door to the bathroom and asking her to leave the shop. The employees did not want the woman to go inside the bathroom and record antisemitic graffiti that said “Zionism=Fascism,” and also accused her of “misgendering” an employee.
In a statement posted on Instagram, Farley’s Coffee insisted “we’re not antisemitic,” and said it is “committed to ongoing staff training” after the incident.
“We do not support hate speech; this does not reflect our values,” the coffee shop said. “After a customer used the bathroom and wished to return to document the graffiti, they were initially denied access and then allowed to re-enter to document the graffiti. The staff handled the situation poorly, and we apologize for this error and the distress caused to the customer.”
The video recorded by the Jewish woman showed her repeatedly telling the three coffee shop staff members she wanted to use the restroom. One employee, seen wearing a yellow beanie and a face mask, told her: “This is a private property. I do need you to leave.”
Another employee — wearing glasses, a black shirt, and a black apron — chimed in and said: “We’ve given you all your food. You’ve eaten, you’re holding up s—t. I know Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own, but we gotta head …”
A third employee, who had dyed blue hair and was wearing a red face mask, remained silent during the ordeal but stood in front of the restroom’s closed door.
“I want to go into the restroom,” the woman said repeatedly, noting that she “was patroned here” and had “a right to go into the restroom.” The coffee shop employees keep telling her she needed to leave the establishment.
The back and forth continued for some time until another person, who claimed to work next door, offered to let the Jewish woman use their restroom. But the Jewish woman said she wanted to specifically use the one at the coffee shop and “should not be excluded and other people allowed.” The employees kept on denying her entry until one of them told the woman she could use their other restroom.
“No, I want to use this,” the woman said. A Farley’s Coffee employee then replied, “All you want to get is a video of it saying that Zionism is fascism. Because it is.”
“If you agree with it, why are you afraid that I will take a picture of it?” the Jewish woman replied. Finally, the third employee opened the bathroom door for the woman.
The woman entered and recorded the words “Zionism = fascism” written on the frame of the mirror that was above the bathroom sink. While recording the graffiti, one employee shouted, “History doesn’t start in 1948, lady,” referring to the year that the modern state of Israel was established. The Jewish woman then recorded the baby changing station inside the bathroom where someone had written, with spelling errors, that “your neutrality” is enabling “genocide” and “Free Palestine.” Two of the employees then said “Free Palestine” as the Jewish woman continued recording.
Farley’s Coffee said it has “taken corrective measures with our staff and removed the offensive graffiti.”