ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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California cafe staff seen barring woman from bathroom where she wanted to film anti-Israel graffiti

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Employees at Farley's East cafe and a neighboring shop in Oakland, California, who sought to block a customer from entering the store's bathroom to film anti-Israel graffiti inside on December 6, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Employees at Farley's East cafe and a neighboring shop in Oakland, California, who sought to block a customer from entering the store's bathroom to film anti-Israel graffiti inside on December 6, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Employees at a cafe in Oakland, California, were filmed in recent days denying a customer said to be Jewish from using the bathroom at their shop.

The female patron of Farley’s East was said to have complained to the staff about anti-Israel messages graffitied inside the bathroom and then wanted to go inside again to film the messages but was blocked from doing so by a staff member with blue hair.

“We’ve given you all of your food… I know Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own, but we got ahead,” a second employee is heard telling the female patron filming the interaction on her phone. “We have a right to refuse service.”

“Currently, this is a private property,” says a third staff member. “You’re also misgendering them, so I need you to leave.”

“You’re not going to let me go into the restroom?” the customer asks repeatedly.

A fourth employee then tells the customer that she is allowed to use another restroom in the cafe if she would like.

The customer insists on using the bathroom with graffiti inside. “I should not be excluded when other people are allowed,” she says.

“All you’re going to get is a video of us saying that ‘Zionism is antisemitism’ because it is,” says the third employee.

“If you agree with [the graffiti], why are you afraid that I take a picture of it?” the customer responds.

The staff then acquiesce and allows the patron into the bathroom.

She films herself walking inside where the phrase “Zionism = fascism” is daubed on the mirror and “neutrality… is enabling genocide. Free Palestine” is graffitied on the baby changing station.

“History didn’t start in 1948, lady,” says the second employee, apparently referring to the year in which Israel was established.

“Free Palestine. Now please go,” the third staffer chimes in.

As the incident began going viral, Farley’s East issued a statement on social media in which it apologized for the incident, characterized the graffiti in the bathroom as “hate speech,” said that it had been removed, that the chain is not antisemitic and that “corrective measures would be taken.”

Oakland made headlines last week when some participants at a city council meeting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza voiced denials of the October 7 atrocities committed by Hamas while others backed the terror group’s right to use violence against Israel.

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