Jewish, Arab vendors in New York turf war

Sides trade accusations of land-grabbing, terrorism in spat over sidewalk space outside Rockefeller Center

A detail of the the cover of The New York Post Sunday, February 15, 2015 (screenshot via
A detail of the the cover of The New York Post Sunday, February 15, 2015 (screenshot via

It seems even the US isn’t free of territorial disputes between Jews and Arabs.

Under the headline “Intifooda,” The New York Post reported Sunday that the operators of a kosher food cart in Manhattan have been involved in a bitter turf war with the Egyptian owners of a rival establishment.

According to the report, the Holy Rollers kosher cart, operated by vendors Yisroel Mordowitz and Yosef Salzbank, settled near Rockefeller Center last Monday after wandering the streets of the city in search of a prime spot.

After the first day, Holy Rollers was rolling in money — some $2,000 — from selling its deli fare.

But by Wednesday things turned south, and according to the report, Mordowitz and Salzbank were “under blockade” by the owners of a rival cart, Street Sabrett, which sells halal hot dogs.

“This guy is hungry — hungry for money,” Street Sabrett vendor Mohamed Mossad reportedly yelled as he and almost a dozen other people kept Mordowitz and the kosher cart off the block.

“Why doesn’t he go to 47th Street?” he shouted, a reference to the Diamond District, where kosher food is in high demand. “He’s just coming to this particular spot, and he wants to grab it from me — and kill me, actually. Kill my business.”

Mordowitz told the Post that one of the vendors even shouted, “This is not Palestine!”

“They’re trying to say that the Jews in Israel are pushing people out, so don’t do it here,” he added. “I said, ‘Why are you terrorizing me?’”

Mossad claimed that Mordowitz had accused him of terrorism.

“He said I am a terrorist. He says I bombed the Twin Towers. That’s racist,” he was quoted as saying, before asserting that religion had nothing to do with his dispute with Holy Rollers.

“To me, it’s not about him being a Jew,” he said.

But we say that instead of resorting to epithets and intimidation, why not just let the food speak for itself, a la Palestinian Chicken?

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