Support Toronto Store Foodbenders!

Support Toronto Store Foodbenders!

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Toronto food store Foodbenders has recently come under vicious attack by the Jewish Defense League (JDL) for daring to support Palestinian rights. 

On Saturday July 6, the Foodbenders window was vandalized by a person spray painting Stars of David. The owner was also spat on.

On Sunday July 7, a group known as the Jewish Defense League (JDL), classified as a right-wing terrorist group by the FBI since 2001, staged an intimidation action in front of the store.

Groups like the JDL have worked hard to manufacture a false narrative of Israeli victimhood, leading, at best, to the public viewing the issue as complex, and at worst to viewing any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.

There is no other social justice issue in the world quite like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, simply because one cannot support Palestine without having the charge of anti-Semitism laid on them. This is ensured through the violent silencing and intimidation tactics of extremist groups such as the JDL.

It works. A group of 30 right-wing supremacists showed up to intimidate a local restaurant because of the owner's political stance. Not a single local news outlet covered this. Moreover, since Sunday Foodbenders has been losing clients, and Uber Eats has terminated their working relationship with the store.

This is outrageous. It's also dangerous to continue to push the narrative that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism, as it harms both non-Zionist Jews as well as Palestinians.

Zionism is a political ideology. It set out to establish a Jewish homeland in historic Palestine. It is an inherently divisive and nationalist ideology, one that is rooted in racism and white supremacy. Zionism has predictably resulted in the establishment of an Apartheid state in Israel, where Palestinians live as second-class citizens and are subjected to systemic violence and racism. The Zionist Israeli government also viciously discriminates against Jews of African descent through policies of forced sterilization and mass deportations.

Israel and many of its extremist supporters continue to peddle the narrative that all Jews are Zionists. This is simply untrue. Many Orthodox Jews, for example, are explicitly anti-Zionist, and groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Not in Our Name continuously advocate against the racist and violent policies of the Israeli government.

On the other hand, many Zionists are not Jewish, such as many Christian Zionists who believe "that the return of Jewish rule in the Holy Land will bring about the Rapture and Second Coming." These groups can often be anti-Semitic, supporting Zionism simply for their own benefit and agenda, but espousing prejudice toward Jews.

We stand in solidarity with Foodbenders, and call on the community to continue in their support. We also denounce Uber's cowardly action of terminating their relationship with Foodbenders, and call for a boycott. We encourage DoorDash and Foodbender's clients to respect freedom of speech and Palestinian rights, and call on them to continue supporting the store.

In Solidarity. Viva Palestina.