Countering Anti-Semitism: Support Manny’s in San Francisco

You might have heard stories over the past couple weeks about the disturbing intimidation tactics that anti-Israel groups like QUIT (“Queers United against Israeli Terrorism”) are using an attempt to scare away business from Manny’s in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Manny Yekutiel in his 16th and Valencia space. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez

The leaders of these fringe elements claim that the owner of Manny’s, A Wider Bridge Mission Alumnus and social entrepreneur Emanuel Yekutiel, has no place opening a business in the neighborhood because he is a “gentrifying Zionist.” These detractors then rattle off false statistics and misleading statements about Israel, and tie Manny to these supposed misdeeds.

Manny’s eloquent reply to his critics in the San Francisco Chronicle can be found here.

In our view:

These allegations are plainly anti-Semitic.

  • “gentrifying Zionist” is a dog whistle that implies that as a Jewish American, Manny is assumed to have privilege that harms communities of color (despite the fact that Manny himself is a Jew of color, and ignores the fact that this business is a social enterprise promoting civil discourse)
  • Tying a citizen to the actions of any foreign state (with accurate facts or not) is an implication of dual loyalty – another common form of anti-Semitism lobbied against American Jews.

The actions of these protesters are also homophobic.

  • QUIT was established to provide an anti-Israel voice in the LGBTQ community. Groups like these undermine the aspirations of LGBTQ Israelis to create a brighter future by discouraging the cooperation and support LGBTQ people abroad deserve.

You can count on A Wider Bridge holding a community event later this year at Manny’s to lend our support. In the meantime, there are two ways you can help Manny’s and push back against these intimidation tactics:

  1. Make a donation to support Manny’s civil discourse programming, providing a place for San Franciscans of different stripes to come together to share ideas and understand one another.
  2. Go visit! Drop in for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, or check out their upcoming events, like next week’s program on the LGBTQ movement with NCLR Director Kate Kendall or a conversation with Congresswoman Jackie Spier. Find all of their upcoming events here.

There is NO place for this kind of hate in San Francisco. Manny created this space in the Mission in the spirit of bringing communities together – something we as bridge builders can all get behind.