Locals Slam New Restaurant As ‘Openly Genocidal’

The antisemitic phrase “from the river to the sea” appears on the menu of a Palestinian eatery in Brooklyn, New York. This has sparked understandable outrage.

Many have condemned the term as “openly genocidal,” Ayat, a restaurant that boasts “honest, genuine Palestinian cuisine prepared with love,” has defended its use. An image of a Palestinian lady sobbing next to the words “Down with the occupation” also appears on the menus of Abdul Elenani and Ayat Masoud’s third restaurant, which debuted last month.

Elenani maintains his stance that he does not despise Jews and that Islam and Judaism are the most comparable faiths, and he calls for peace. A painting depicting Palestinian children incarcerated and Israeli Defense Forces troops choking a Palestinian lady at gunpoint is among the artworks shown inside the Brooklyn diner, which also contains Palestinian flags and photographs of individuals dressed in traditional Palestinian attire.

Rather than a call for peace, he is calling for the eradication of Israel and perhaps its citizens, as well.

After the assault on Israel by Hamas on October 7, Elenani’s restaurant received a deluge of bad feedback and threats. “From the river to the sea” was a menu item, according to Elenani, because the Palestinians saw it as a symbol of their right to freedom and equality between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. He went on to say that he does not hate Jews; he is opposed to the Zionist ideology.

According to the owner, they will never stop talking about the Palestinian people’s occupation and how important it is to find a peaceful resolution. However, the restaurant’s public attitude has been heavily criticized by those who believe it was an attempt to provoke consumers.

Among the world’s most densely inhabited localities by Jewish people is Ditmas Park, a wealthy neighborhood in Brooklyn. The unrest in the region reflects the turmoil in the United States since the Middle East crisis broke out on October 7. Companies have been ‘review bombed’ for commenting or being silent on the war.

American activist organizations have disrupted public events, such as New York City’s Thanksgiving Parade, on many occasions to oppose Israel’s punitive sieges on Palestine, fueled by tensions over the continuing war in Gaza.