Outrage Erupts After Israeli Food Truck Uninvited from Philadelphia Event

"The Taste of Home" event was cancelled after the controversy erupted, but now both sides now are working toward understanding

Moshava Philly

A food truck festival planned for Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood was cancelled Sunday after outrage when a Israeli food truck was uninvited to the event.

The Israeli food truck, Moshava Philly, said in an Instagram post that they were asked not to come to Sunday's "The Taste of Home" event after organizers, Eat Up the Borders and Sunflower Philly, heard there could be protests over its inclusion.

"We were really hoping that the organizers … would step up to the plate and defend local, small and immigrant based businesses, no matter where they are from … but by the looks of it fear, violence, and intimidation got the best of them," one Instagram post read.

"We really do hope that in the future you don't succumb to such anti-Semitic and dividing rethoric," the post continued.

Reaction was swift, from politicians, Jewish groups and on social media.

The American Jewish Committee of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey put out a statement calling for an investigation into Moshava's exclusion and the rumors of threats. State Rep. Jared Solomon also issued a statement condemning the exclusion as promoting division.

The festival's organizers said they never intended to divide the community -- and certainly did not mean to be anti-Semitic.

Melvin Powell of Sunflower Philly, one of the groups that organized the event, said at past food truck events both Israeli and Palestinian food trucks were present. He said an agreement was made in the past that one truck couldn't be present without the other.

This year, the Palestinian truck couldn't attend, he said. "The fact that we couldn’t accurately represent both of them is the reason why we canceled the event today," Powell said.

Moshava Philly and the organizers have been talking since the controversy erupted.

Moshava put out a second Instagram statement saying they were working together to "educate and grow together in a safe space for everyone."

"Although we were disappointed with how the situation was greatly mishandled, we do not believe the organizers intention came from an anti-Semitic place, but the threats they were receiving to their event were."

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