Sunday, July 9, 2017

Reem's of Oakland: Photos of attackers emerge

Reem's in Fruitvale has been widely criticized for its lionization of convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh. Yesterday, a non-violent vigil meant to focus community attention on the local cafe's glorification of violence ended in an assault on the participants, including a 78 year old survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto

Lara Kiswani, the Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) in San Francisco Bay Area has been identified as one of the attackers. She is reported to have ripped a sign out of a participants hands, then strutted around the outside patio with the remnants.

Ellen Brotsky, a self identified member of Jewish Voice for Peace can also been seen on the footage attacking the non-violent protesters

Ellen Brotsky and Lara Kiswani  with stolen signs

This person  was reported to have assaulted a wheel-chair bound activist, cruelly twisting her fingers in an effort to steal her sign. 

Sara Kershnar of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) also made an appearance, participating in the mayhem until the police arrived, then tossing on a lime green National lawyers Guild Legal Observer hat.  (Pssst, Sara- the National Lawyers Guild Manual for Legal Observers specifically says  "...we ask people to commit themselves to act as Legal Observers and not protesters, and avoid blurring of lines between Legal Observer and activist.")

Oops. Fail.

As morally reprehensible as it might be, Reem Assil and her customers have the right to glorify a murderer, but they do not have the right to attack those in opposition. Organizers of the vigil are planning on returning to Fruitvale Station, committed to the sacred task of educating the community about the dangers of incitement and indoctrination and how they act as an obstacle to peace, both in Oakland and overseas.

These are just empty words from an interview with Reem Assil in Berkeleyside:  “People are afraid of politics, but now more than ever people are asking. If my food can stir up a conversation — even if it’s a hard conversation — that’s what I want it to do. I welcome that in my space.”  Yet when people attempting to engage in the very hard conversation Reem says she welcomes- they are met with abuse, harassment and assault.


Anonymous said...

Have you already seen this?

Fresh-baked bigotry: Oakland bakery glorifies terrorist who murdered Israeli Jews

A bakery in Oakland, California sparked controversy shortly after its opening last month when the eatery decided to feature a decidedly un-kosher mural on one of its walls.

In May, Reem Assil opened “Reem’s California”, an Arab-style bakery in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. In 2016, Assil raised more than $50,000 with a Kickstarter campaign to help launch her new business.

But within weeks of its opening, customers began to realize that Reem’s California was not merely a restaurant, but a political statement.

A large mural glorifying PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who in 1969 murdered two Jewish college students and injured nine others in a Jerusalem bombing, covers one wall of the eatery.

Odeh, who was released a decade after the attack in a prisoner swap, managed to immigrate to the US in 2004 under an assumed identity. Odeh was eventually convicted of fraud and stripped of her American citizenship.

While most small business owners – particularly those with a new restaurant struggling to create a loyal customer base – would avoid making politics an feature at their establishment, for Assil, it’s part of the bakery’s mission.

Assil, 34, was raised in a Boston suburb by parents who immigrated to the US from Syria and the Gaza Strip.

For years, Assil has been active in radical left-wing and anti-Israel causes in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was a member of the Arab Resource and Organization Center (AROC), a fringe anti-Israel group responsible for organizing protests to block Israeli imports from entering the US.

Anonymous said...

One more for you:

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, both Lara Kiswani and Sara Kershnar were at a "Its all the Jews fault" (I'm paraphrasing) talk at the Berkeley Senior center over the weekend.

They claimed poor sweet *brown* Reem was targeted and attacked by "white supremacists and Zionists".

Really, they did.

Unknown said...

After 68 years of watching this folly, I can only hope that these fools might turn upon one another.

Kevin Donohue said...

I'll use your post to grandstand, if I might - but "white vs. people of color" is the wrong rubric for the discussion of Jews! It should be "European vs. Middle Eastern" - and we need to shift the conversation. Jews have skin color ranging from white to black (and everything in between) but are bound by 1) a common religion and 2) roots in the Middle East. Jews from Poland, India and Ethiopia are all Jews and all share Levantine ancestry. Reframed like this, it becomes absurd to equate white supremacism with Zionism or indigenous Levantine co-religionists with European colonialists.