Reem Assil, Arab owner of Reem's Bakery restaurant in Oakland, California, sticks her tongue out at Jews with a new event to happen later today (Sunday, 28 Jan 2018).
As if the huge painting of unrepentant terrorist Rasmea Odeh smiling out at us from a wall of the restaurant is not enough!
I wonder if Americans would abide by a restaurant honouring any one of the 9/11 terrorists. Or perhaps the Orlando nightclub terrorist. But if this is too racist for you to consider, perhaps one of the white high schoolers who gunned down fellow students in Kentucky, Spokane or Columbine. I imagine that would make your stomach curl. That is how Jews feel passing by the image of Odeh smirking out at them from inside Reem's at the Fruitvale BART station (except for the anti-Zionist fringe Jews, that is).
And now, Reem Assil is continuing to feed the minds of her diners with pearls of wisdom from anti-Zionist professor Sunaina Maira. Maira is the author of the book featured in this event. She calls out Israel using all the buzz words of anti-Zionist propaganda: apartheid state, oppressor, colonizer, ethnically cleansing all the land it has grabbed from the Arabs to whom it really belongs.
Silly Israel cannot do any of that right: Arabs in the PA live longer than Arabs in the surrounding countries, their population has grown and they are treated in Israeli hospitals when their own cannot provide them with the care they need. Is that the way for a occupier-oppressor to behave when they want to cleans the lands of Arabs? Maira even calls out the Zionist racist state for oppressing the Arab citizens of Israel itself. Silly Israel again: you call this discrimination and oppression when Arabs rise to high ranks in the police and legal system, teach at universities, etc? But none of that matters to Maira, to Assil, and likely not the diners who will race to make sure they get a seat at this important cultural event.
Take note: unless you are a Jew who hates Israel, you are not welcome here. I guess they want sycophantic applause and not stimulating debate.
And the storefront window of Reem's Bakery is likewise inviting:
Response to the Boycott Israel Book Event
In anticipation of the event, notices have gone out announcing a demonstration against the event. On his blog, Michael Lumish shared this announcement:
COME TO THE VIGIL: Reems Bakery: Sunday, January 28, Reems Bakery Will be Hosting a Book Signing Promoting Academic Boycotts Against Israel. — San Francisco Voice For Israel
ACTION: Please come and join our vigil against this book signing.
So for those of us who cannot make it to the vigil, Lumish is just letting us know that:
that there are still a few people who give a damn.
Reem's Bakery Mural Is Incitement Against Jews
The image of Rasmea Odeh was not recognized by the authorities for what it really is: a call to murder Jews — Jews who live in Israel, for sure, but Jews. Reem Assil and others like her try to convince themselves that Odeh was falsely convicted. They claim that her confession was secured by torture and rape. I think they just shunt aside her braggart co-conspirator's freely given version of the events:
Reem Assil explains her admiration of Rasmea Odeh in an interview with Telesur:
"I put Rasmea up there because she is an emblem of resilience," she told Eater. "She reminds me that as an Arab woman, I should never be afraid to speak up against injustice, no matter what the consequence."
Speak up as much as you want, Reem Assil, but the moment someone blows up a supermarket, he or she has gone beyond the realm of speaking up. When you do not make that distinction, Assil, you are encouraging others to "speak up" using the language of violence and murder. But I think you know that.
Response to Reem's Bakery Mural
After the restaurant opening last May, a spontaneous vigil materialized outside Reem's Bakery. The vigil was in honour of Odeh's victims, two students who happened to be shopping in the supermarket that was bombed. The New York Times wrote a favourable review of the restaurant, showing sympathy for Reem Assil:
While Ms. Assil's food has drawn plenty of praise, the bakery's mural has invited criticism: in late June, an online op-ed charged that Ms. Odeh's portrayal glorified terrorism, and the bakery's Yelp page was besieged by a slew of one-star reviews. "It was really scary," Ms. Assil said of the experience, but added that it won her new allies.
I do not condone the use of threats and the disgusting language I saw in some of those comments. The truth is strong enough without resorting to that. But to say:
"It was really scary,"
is a bit much. I challenge Reem Assil to walk along the roads, sit in restaurants and shop at supermarkets in the Palestinian Authority, speaking Hebrew, if she wants to know what scary really is. Or perhaps it would be enough to wait at a bus stop, sit in a restaurant and shop at a supermarket in Israel the next time we have a flare-up of knifings, car rammings and suicide bombs. Come on, Reem . . . join us for some real scary. (And do not tell me about night raids in the PA by the IDF! The families in which members do not engage in terror activities sleep just fine at night.)
This was published simultaneously on Israel Diaries.