A coffee shop in Oakland, California, has fired employees who were involved in an altercation with a woman who was trying to use a restroom that had antisemitic graffiti on it.
The woman who was refused access to the shop’s restroom wanted to take footage of the antisemitic messages posted in the restroom, with the employees spending over a minute refusing access to her. Farley’s East, the coffee shop, issued a statement over the weekend explaining that the employees’ behavior and actions against the woman were “shocking and unacceptable.”
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“Events like these strike fear in the Jewish community and perpetuate the rise of anti-Semitism in our community and around the world,” the statement on social media said. “We do not tolerate any behavior at Farley’s that makes people feel unwelcome or unsafe.”
Footage of the dispute shared online showed several employees refusing to allow a woman to use the facility’s restroom, with one of the employees offering the woman a different restroom. Eventually, the employees conceded and let the woman in, who showed that some of the graffiti on the restroom’s wall read “Zionism = fascism” and “your neutrality/apathy is enabling genocide.” While in the restroom, one of the employees told the woman, “history didn’t start in 1948, lady.”
Farley’s East clarified that employees are allowed to have “differing viewpoints,” but they cannot express them in a disrespectful manner while working. As a result, the employees involved in the altercation were fired.
Comments on the shop’s social media post are turned off.
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The viral coffee shop footage comes two months after the Hamas terrorist group attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Since the attack, many antisemitic rallies have taken place throughout the United States and the world, including on college campuses.
Harvard President Claudine Gay testified to Congress last week, where she avoided questions on whether students who advocate the “genocide of Jews” violate the school’s code of conduct. Former Vice President Al Gore, a Harvard alumnus, said he was “shocked by the tone-deafness” of Gay’s comments.