Israel supporters save restaurant boycotted by pro-Palestinian New Yorkers
The popular Golden Dolphin Diner in Huntington, after posting dozens of posters in its windows depicting Israeli hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was boycotted by delivery drivers and saw its business drop by 40% in one week, the Times of Israel reported.
But now “things are looking up,” said Peter Tsadilas, standing behind the cash register of his small restaurant. Dozens of customers gathered around Tsadilas, waiting to be seated or to pick up takeout.
“Now is not the best time to talk,” the man said. “But things are looking up, very well,” he said with a smile, pointing to the small crowd and tables filled with customers, many of whom spoke Hebrew.
Outside the eatery, cars slowly pass by to look at the posters and Israeli flags, which Tsadilas said anger delivery drivers and a few regular customers. “They came here and tried to take food, and when they saw the flags, they decided that they would stand together and tell us: either we remove them or they will not take our food,” Tsadilas said.
The Golden Dolphin Diner is one of dozens of eateries that have been boycotted in recent weeks for publicly supporting Israel. In Pittsburgh, the Jewish community came out in support of numerous restaurants and bakeries that were subject to anti-Israel boycotts.
In Philadelphia, officials avoided commenting on Hamas bans on “Zionist” restaurants, but the Palestinian Coalition of Philadelphia called on its 15,000 supporters to “boycott Zionist-owned businesses,” kicking off efforts to impose sanctions on Jewish and non-Jewish businesses displaying support for Israel.
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In addition to local “showdowns” between private entrepreneurs, the country’s leading food chains are forced to take sides in the war that began after 3,000 Hamas terrorists entered Israel and killed 1,400 people, most of them civilians.
The 240 Israelis and foreign citizens held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip have become the focus of widespread attention among Jewish and pro-Israel communities across the United States. However, the Golden Dolphin Diner appears to be the only restaurant, at least in the New York area, that has filled its entire front window with posters of prisoners and Israeli flags.
I’m not Jewish
The humble Golden Dolphin Diner has been making headlines since November 1st. Following newspaper articles and widespread television coverage in the New York area, Israel supporters are coming to the restaurant from as far away as New Jersey and Delaware, the owner said.
Still, Tsadilas admits, many locals find the restaurant’s window display somewhat depressing. “We are now getting kickbacks from local residents,” Tsadilas said. “We get random calls from people telling us it’s depressing and we need to cut it all out, that they don’t want to see this crap every day,” he said.
Tsadilas is not the only Greek eatery owner to publicly support Israel. A man has hung a sign on the street saying “Greek eateries support Israel” and is reaching out to other eatery owners. “I’m not Jewish, but my father-in-law is,” Tsadilas said. – My wife is Jewish. My best friend is Jewish. You know, this is a humane act. And we want to find these people and bring them back,” he said.