You can be gay, intern in the Obama White House, work on Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, and serve as the Silicon Valley fundraising director for the Clinton presidential campaign in 2016, but if you also happen to be Jewish and support the existence of Israel, hard leftists want you gone, as 29-year-old Manny Yekutiel found out the hard way when he opened a café/bookstore in San Francisco’s Mission District
Yekutiel was catalyzed to open his café/bookstore, which also hosts leftist political events, after the 2016 election. He said it took two years to create it, asserting, “Over 1,000 people were involved in the building of this space.” Among the people he has hosted have been incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and activists with Black Lives Matter, according to The Forward. According to Eater, donors gave over $75,000 to the project on Kickstarter. Yekutiel pointed out that the idea of a café with political events was not new, saying, “For centuries there have been certain cafes, bars, and restaurants that have doubled as spaces for civic engagement, social justice, and activism, places to consume, react, and create the news.”
But on Wednesday, protesters associated with the Lucy Parsons Project, a self-described “radical black queer direction action group,” joined other groups to yell Yekutiel was a “Zionist gentrifer,” and “Zionists out of the Mission!” The Lucy Parsons Project even tweeted their instructions to do so:
The Forward reports that the group “has protested at Manny’s every Wednesday this month, and says it will continue protesting every Wednesday until Manny’s is ‘shut down.’ The Project only has about 300 Twitter followers, but among the protest’s supporters is a local rapper, Equipto, with 14,500 followers.”
Equipto had tweeted, “Tonite & every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. 3092 16th st & Valencia.The people are boycotting Manny’s cafe. A proud zionist & gentrifier has come into the Mission district. Please read the literature to fully understand why folks have organized. #BoycottMannys #SaveFrisco #FreePalestine.”
The Lucy Parsons Project echoed, “Come out Tonight and every week Wed. at 6:30pm to help our comrades at Black and Brown run this gentrifier Zionist Manny (Emmanuel Yekutiel) the f*** out of San Francisco!!!
The Forward notes:
The Lucy Parsons Project claims that Yekutiel is furthering gentrification in their neighborhood and criticized him for posting things like “Happy 70th Birthday Israel!” and “I am so proud of Israel and its people” on his personal Facebook page. They also wrote that he is “pinkwashing and blackfacing his gentrification and Zionism” by bringing in minority and LGBT guest speakers.
Mission Housing Development Corporation, a not-for-profit affordable housing development company, rents the space to Yekutiel. Mission Housing executive director Sam Moss told The Forward that Yekutiel’s café has actually increased safety in he neighborhood.
Yekutiel told The Forward, “We are seeing greater and greater ant-Semitism not just in this country but globally. I do think it’s important for me to be visibly Jewish.”