White House condemns protest targeting Philadelphia Jewish restaurant as ‘completely unjustifiable’ – live | Ukraine – Freedom Voice


White House says protest targeting Philadelphia Jewish restaurant ‘completely unjustifiable’

The White House has decried a Sunday evening protest targeting a Jewish restaurant in Philadelphia as “antisemitic and completely unjustifiable”.

Video circulating on Twitter shows protesters chanting outside Goldie, a Kosher restaurant in the city owned by Israeli chef Michael Solomonov:

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor Josh Shapiro condemned the protest as “blatant antisemitism”, saying the restaurant was targeted simply because its owner is Jewish:

Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest.

A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history. https://t.co/WS2guahnsQ

— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) December 4, 2023

In a statement from spokesman Andrew Bates, the White House echoed that criticism:

It is Antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy, as Governor Shapiro has underlined. This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of Antisemitism. President Biden has fought against the evil of Antisemitism his entire life, including by launching the first national strategy to counter this hate in American history. He will always stand up firmly against these kinds of undignified actions.

Key events

Fetterman and Schiff condemn protest at Jewish restaurant in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania’s Democratic senator John Fetterman also condemned the protest at Goldie in Philadelphia:

They could be protesting Hamas. They could be protesting Hamas’ systematic rape of Israeli women and girls or demanding the remaining hostages be immediately released.

Instead, they targeted a Jewish restaurant. It’s pathetic and rank antisemitism. https://t.co/zDZQwy84g5

— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) December 4, 2023

As did Adam Schiff, a Democratic congressman from California who is running to represent the state in the Senate:

Targeting a small business solely because it’s Jewish-owned is antisemitism, pure and simple. It must be unequivocally condemned. And it must stop. https://t.co/rofXE7MpjR

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 4, 2023

Since the start of the war in Gaza, the United States has experienced an uptick both in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidences, the Guardian’s Maya Yang reported last month:

Islamophobia and antisemitism are seeing sharp increases across the US after war between Israel and Hamas erupted last month.

According to a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair), the Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization received a total of 1,283 requests for help and reports of bias between 7 October and 4 November.

Cair, which has called the spike “unprecedented”, revealed that the recent increase in Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment across the US mark a 216% increase over the previous year. In an average 29-day period in 2022, Cair received only 406 complaints.

The top reported type of case was first-amendment – or free speech – issues, marking 23.39% of the anti-Arab and Islamophobia reports received by Cair. The organization also said 20.56% of the reports involved targeting employment, and 15.32% consisted of hate crimes. Cair said 9.2% of the anti-Arab and Islamophobia reports revolved around education and bullying.

“The Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric that has been used to both justify violence against Palestinians in Gaza and silence supporters of Palestinian human rights here in America has contributed to this unprecedented surge in bigotry,” said Cair’s research and advocacy director, Corey Saylor.

Back in Philadelphia, Brendan Boyle, a Democratic congressman representing the city, condemned the protest outside Jewish restaurant Goldie as “despicable”.

From his account on X:

I can’t believe I even have to say this but targeting businesses simply because they’re Jewish owned is despicable. Philadelphia stands against this sort of harassment and hate. https://t.co/BfJ2Xxuysi

— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) December 4, 2023

Here’s Doug Burgum’s statement announcing his intention to suspend his presidential campaign:

We launched our campaign with a clear-eyed mission: Bring a business leader and proven governor’s voice to fight for the best of America. We will always remain committed to fighting for that, and for the people who make our nation so exceptional. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ugSM7SysxS

— Doug Burgum (Text “DOUG” to 70177) (@DougBurgum) December 4, 2023

Republican North Dakota governor Doug Burgum quits presidential race

Doug Burgum, the North Dakota governor who staged a long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination, is suspending his campaign, the Associated Press reports.

With his departure, the field of major GOP presidential candidates has narrowed to five: Donald Trump, the former president who polls show has a sizable lead for the nomination, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. The latter four will this Wednesday debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an event that Trump plans to skip, as he has with the previous three debates.

Burgum, who as governor signed North Dakota’s near-total abortion ban, sought to cast himself as having the experience necessary to serve as president in the two debates when he appeared. There were few signs voters were convinced – polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight shows him with less than 1% support.

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, last night’s protest in the city was organized by local groups and called for a ceasefire in the conflict in Gaza.

There was no immediate reaction from the organizers to criticism of the protest outside Goldie, the Jewish restaurant where the demonstrators stopped and chanted outside. Here’s more from the Inquirer’s report:

Led by the Philly Palestine Coalition, protesters also marched through Center City chanting “while you’re watching, bombs are dropping” to Eagles fans in bars.

Some weekend revelers and shoppers were supportive of the message, stepping out to cheer or take a video. Others were less receptive. One driver threw a plastic bottle at protesters because they were blocking traffic.

Protesters in Philly Sunday included families, people of various faiths, and a range of nationalities.

Marzieh, who didn’t want to give her last name over safety concerns, said she made the 30-minute drive from South Jersey with her three young children and husband. The 38-year-old Iranian said Sunday was her fourth protest supporting a cease-fire; the family traveled to New York City and Washington for other protests.

“We couldn’t live our normal life,” she said. “We’re following the news. Nowadays, it’s getting so horrible. We thought this was a way we could show our sadness.”

The family marched in a long line holding hands.

White House says protest targeting Philadelphia Jewish restaurant ‘completely unjustifiable’

The White House has decried a Sunday evening protest targeting a Jewish restaurant in Philadelphia as “antisemitic and completely unjustifiable”.

Video circulating on Twitter shows protesters chanting outside Goldie, a Kosher restaurant in the city owned by Israeli chef Michael Solomonov:

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor Josh Shapiro condemned the protest as “blatant antisemitism”, saying the restaurant was targeted simply because its owner is Jewish:

Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest.

A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history. https://t.co/WS2guahnsQ

— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) December 4, 2023

In a statement from spokesman Andrew Bates, the White House echoed that criticism:

It is Antisemitic and completely unjustifiable to target restaurants that serve Israeli food over disagreements with Israeli policy, as Governor Shapiro has underlined. This behavior reveals the kind of cruel and senseless double standard that is a calling card of Antisemitism. President Biden has fought against the evil of Antisemitism his entire life, including by launching the first national strategy to counter this hate in American history. He will always stand up firmly against these kinds of undignified actions.

According to Punchbowl News, the key point of contention in negotiations over a deal to approve aid to Ukraine and Israel was Republicans’ insistence on passing parts of their immigration plan.

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House approved the Secure the Border Act, which would, among other things, crack down on asylum seekers by limiting their ability to remain in the United States after making their claim for refuge. It would also force the Biden administration to restart construction of the border wall Donald Trump championed.

The border wall is a nonstarter among Democrats, and many in the party also oppose changes to the asylum system. The White House already threatened to veto the bill, saying it “does nothing to address the root causes of migration, reduces humanitarian protections, and restricts lawful pathways, which are critical alternatives to unlawful entry.” Punchbowl reports that the GOP nonetheless made approval of its provisions a condition of supporting a combined Israel and Ukraine aid package, causing negotiations to reach a stalemate.

GOP wants border concessions in return for Israel and Ukraine aid

For Congress to pass their aid package for Israel and Ukraine, the White House will need to convince the Republicans who control the House and make up a sizable minority in the Senate.

In return for their support, the GOP has demanded changes to US border policies that they argue are necessary to deal with the large volume of people entering the country from Mexico. The two parties have been negotiating in the Senate to reach a compromise on their demands, but Punchbowl News reports those talks have broken down:

It’s unclear what will happen next. It’s possible the negotiations could resume again, or that the two parties could break up the request made by Joe Biden and approve aid for Israel and Ukraine individually.

While some Republicans are resisting Joe Biden’s efforts to continue arming Ukraine, his proposal to send Israel new military assistance is alienating Muslim voters, many of whom live in swing states that will be crucial to the president’s re-election campaign, the Guardian’s Edward Helmore reports:

Muslim community leaders gathered on Saturday in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the US, to protest President Biden’s refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, reiterating that the president’s stance could affect his support in crucial swing states next year.

Jaylani Hussein, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Biden’s unwillingness to call for a ceasefire had damaged his relationship with the American-Muslim community beyond repair. (Cair-Minnesota is not involved in his work on the Abandon Biden effort, which the organization said Hussein is doing in his personal capacity.)

“We are not powerless as American Muslims. We are powerful. We don’t only have the money, but we have the actual votes. And we will use that vote to save this nation from itself,” Hussein said. “Families and children are being wiped out with our tax dollars,” he added. “What we are witnessing today is the tragedy upon tragedy.”

After Israel resumed its bombing offensive on the territory after a five-day pause, the health ministry said 15,200 Palestinians, roughly two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed thus far. Israel’s air and ground strikes began after Hamas militants killed 1,200 Israelis and took around 240 hostage in a cross-border attack on 7 October.

From behind a lectern that read “Abandon Biden, ceasefire now”, leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania issued similar warnings that the president could not afford to lose the support of the Arab-American community in states critical to his chances for re-election.

US industries would benefit from sending military aid to Israel, Ukraine, White House argues

In her pitch to Congress to approve new military aid infusions to both Ukraine and Israel, White House office of management and budget director Shalanda Young argues American factories would be among the biggest beneficiaries of the new spending.

“The President’s most recent national security supplemental request will build on our successful efforts to date and will direct over $50 billion into our nation’s (defense industrial base), which builds on the funding that has already been invested in manufacturing lines across 35 states,” writes Young.

She then alludes to the opposition among some Republicans to providing new funding to Ukraine by naming both swing and GOP-led states whose businesses could benefit from the new funding:

While we cannot predict exactly which U.S companies will be awarded new contracts, we do know the funding will be used to acquire advanced capabilities to defend against attacks on civilians in Israel and Ukraine — for example, air defense systems built in Alabama, Texas, and Georgia and vital subcomponents sourced from nearly all 50 states. We will modernize vital munitions and equipment like Javelins made in Alabama; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) made in West Virginia, Arkansas and Texas; tactical vehicles made in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana; and 155mm artillery shells made in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Iowa and many other states.

Warning ‘we are out of money’, White House urges Congress to approve new support for Ukraine

In a new letter to Republican House speaker Mike Johnson, the Biden administration issued a stark warning about its ability to continue supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russia. “We are out of money – and nearly out of time,” top White House budget official Shalanda Young wrote. “Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories.”

While Joe Biden has long been a proponent of continued aid to Ukraine, in October, he proposed approving new funding alongside aid to Israel and funds to improve US border security. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been holding talks on passing that package for weeks, and it’s unclear if an agreement is near. One obstacle the request faces is that a growing number of Republican lawmakers oppose new aid to Ukraine, even though many of their leaders, including Johnson and Mitch McConnell, the top GOP lawmaker in the Senate, say they’re in favor. We’ll see if the White House’s letter moves the needle at all.

Here’s what else is going on today:

  • You’ve heard of Bidenomics, now get ready for “MAGAnomics”. In a new memo, the White House uses the term to brand Republican efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act. Expect to hear the line much more if Donald Trump becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

  • House Republicans are reportedly planning a vote to authorize their impeachment inquiry against Biden as soon as next week.

  • The White House press briefing will be at 1pm eastern time, and feature Karine Jean-Pierre alongside national security council spokesman John Kirby.

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