(IntegrityPress.org) – At Farley’s East a coffee shop in Oakland, California, 3 employees were terminated after a video went viral, capturing them preventing a Jewish woman from using the restroom while making anti-Israeli (antisemitic) remarks. Owners Amy and Chris Hillyard took to social media to announce the dismissals, asserting that the actions of the employees were incompatible with the cafe’s commitment to creating a welcoming and safe environment.
The video, recorded by the Jewish customer, showcased the employees obstructing her path to the restroom, where she had earlier discovered antisemitic graffiti. In response to the incident, the Hillyards released a statement emphasizing their intolerance for behavior that makes patrons feel unwelcome, declaring that such actions were contrary to the cafe’s values.
During the confrontation, the employees insisted that the cafe was private property, urging the customer to leave. A neighboring business offered her access to their restroom, underscoring the severity of the alleged behavior at Farley’s. The video depicted the employees asserting that “Zionism is Fascism,” a viewpoint they appeared unapologetic about.
The interaction/video, marked by the cafe employees allowing the woman to enter the restroom to document the graffiti, gained significant attention, amassing over 2 million views after being posted on Tuesday, December 5. The incident not only raises concerns about fostering antisemitism from the current conflict in Israel, but also highlights the broader issue of creating an unwelcome atmosphere that goes against the principles of inclusivity.
The Jewish customer had reportedly informed the manager about the antisemitic graffiti, yet the cafe allegedly had no intention of removing it. Notably, Chris Hillyard, one of the cafe owners, was purportedly aware of the graffiti for two months, adding a layer of concern about the cafe’s handling of such incidents.
The incident at Farley’s East echoes broader apprehensions within the Jewish community, given the recent surge in antisemitic incidents globally. The coffee shop’s swift response in terminating the employees, according to them, demonstrates their stance against antisemitism and sends a message about the importance of what they call fostering an environment of tolerance and acceptance within public spaces.
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