by David Rosenberg
Left-wing community activists and the local chamber of commerce have set their sights on a new kosher cafe in Los Angeles, accusing the owner of “hateful” conduct towards illegal immigrants, citing his support of President Donald Trump as evidence.
Far-left group organizes protest against Israeli immigrant's cafe, protesting 'gentrification' and owner's pro-Trump views.
The establishment at the center of the controversy is Asher Caffe, run by Israeli-born businessman Asher Shalom.
A legal immigrant himself, Shalom says that he never expressed hatred for fellow immigrants, telling Fox News that most of the 70 employees working in his businesses are immigrants.
The Asher Caffe & Lounge, which opened on July 12th, initially drew criticism from local left-wing activists simply over its location – Boyle Heights.
Once a predominantly Jewish area in central Los Angeles, Boyle Heights underwent a major demographic shift in the mid-20th century, and by the early 2000s was over 90% Latino, with a majority of Mexican-Americans.
A radical left-wing “anti-gentrification” group which calls itself “Defend Boyle Heights” protested Shalom’s plans to open up a kosher establishment in the area.
DBH activists later discovered that Asher Shalom had in the past expressed support for President Donald Trump, latching on to retweets of Trump’s comments as proof of the kosher restaurant’s allegedly malignant intent.
“This Gentry business is trying to creep in without folks noticing that their owner is an anti-immigrant Trump loving gentryfier! If he hates immigrants so much, he can stay the f*** out of our hood,” DBH said in a social media post.
“In #BoyleHeights we love and defend immigrants! Show up bring signs and show these f***ers how we stand up for our immigrant families and neighbors!”
According to CBS Los Angeles, roughly 30 DBH demonstrators showed up to protest the opening of Asher Caffe, hurling expletives – and even feces – at the café.
“It was very scary,” said Shalom’s daughter, Yael. “There was a lot of people protesting outside wearing masks,” she added, “and they threw a significant amount of feces at our windows.”
Speaking out on Fox News last Thursday, Shalom said the fact that the establishment is kosher was a factor in the harassment his business has suffered.
“It’s because [of me] supporting Trump, because it’s kosher, and because it is a successful business… they prefer to stay like 100 years ago.”
But it’s not just a handful of anti-gentrification demonstrators that are opposed to the kosher café – even the local chamber of commerce has turned on Asher Shalom’s business, claiming that his retweets of the president’s comments constitute “hateful” conduct towards local immigrants.
Just days before the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce was slated to send a representative to attend Asher Caffe & Lounge’s opening, BHCC president Jennifer Lahoda penned a letter to Shalom, not only cancelling the BHCC’s appearance at the grand opening, but terminating Shalom’s membership in the BHCC.
“Boyle Heights thrives because of our diverse immigrant population — The Chamber will always celebrate and support this fact. We will not support anyone who chooses to conduct themselves in a hateful manner, especially toward members of our community.”
Lahoda, CBS Los Angeles reported, was incensed by Shalom’s retweet of a comment by President Trump in which he wished that “Democrats would fight as hard for Americans as they do for illegals.”
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