A cafe in India that serves Israeli food has been subjected to a torrent of criticism over reports that it has enacted a “whites only” customer policy, Channel 10 news reported Tuesday.
The Freekasol cafe in the small village of Kasol will apparently not serve Indian customers, according to local reports.
Channel 10 reported that the owner of the cafe was an Israeli, while Stefan claimed the man was in fact Indian. The cafe is widely being reported as Israeli-owned.
An Indian woman and her British partner told Channel 10 they were turned away from the establishment a few days ago due to the woman’s ethnicity.
“He denied me saying that it was only for members,” the woman named Ritika recounted. But when her white partner Stefan then went over to the cafe and asked for a menu, “he gave the menu to him.”
Stefan added: “It was exclusively white clientele. Most of the diners were Israeli.”
In a Facebook post on the incident he added: “I confronted the owner and accused him of blatant discrimination, he then tried to shoo me out and claimed loudly ‘it is my cafe and [I] can do what I want!'”
An Indian reporter who has spoken to locals said she had been told by several of them that they had been denied entrance.
An Israeli who was familiar with the policy told Channel 10: “I’ve seen it before. He once told three young Indians who had just sat down to leave. They’d already sat down and he came over and told them to leave rather unpleasantly.”
Another Israeli told the news channel he supported the cafe’s policy because Indian customers often made big orders but were later unable to pay for the food.
“I think it’s legitimate, because you can’t trust them,” he said.
Channel 10 noted that the story had caused serious damage to Israel’s image in the country, with news reports all over the media, as well as hundreds of anti-Israeli posts on social media.
The owner refused to comment on the report.