Israeli food truck banned from Philadelphia food festival

22 Jun 2021

(c) Chef Nir Sheynfeld, right, with colleagues at the Moshava food truck. (Moshava/Instagram)

A Philadelphia food truck festival was cancelled Sunday amid outrage that organizers had bowed to pressure to disinvite an Israeli food truck.

The controversy began Saturday when one of the organizers of the food festival, Eat Up the Borders, announced on Twitter that they removed the Israeli food vendor, Moshava, in order to “deliver an optimal experience” and “best serve” their guests. 

Responding to the Eat Up the Borders decision, Moshava wrote on Instagram that they were “deeply saddened by [the announcement],” noting that the organizers were concerned that protests would become aggressive because of the Israeli vendor’s presence.

While it appeared that the festival would continue despite the controversy, it was canceled mere minutes before the scheduled start time by the other co-organizer, At Sunflower Philly, who explained, “We truly believe in creating a positive and inclusive community space.”

Community leaders from across the aisle were outraged at the organizers’ decision to disinvite Moshava from the festival. Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, who represents the district that was set to host the festival, said he was “stunned and outraged” at the decision and “urged the organizers of this community event to stand up for Moshava and the right of businesses to operate freely, and to reverse its decision.”   

“Given the disturbing rise in acts of antisemitism across our region and country, this decision by the organizers is only helping to embolden those who would use threats of protest or even violence to prevent any people, businesses and entire communities from living and operating freely without fear,” Boyle said.