Intifooda A Microcosm Of Middle East Conflict

21515intifoodaThis piece on a hot dog war in New York city is in many ways a microcosm of the conflict here.

There’s the Jew just trying to make it, being prevented by many Muslims and Arabs who feel entitled to block him out.

There is no peace in the Mideast — or Midtown.

A Jewish kosher-food purveyor says he’s being prevented from settling in the heart of Manhattan by the “halal mafia.”

Yisroel Mordowitz insists he just wants to peacefully peddle sandwiches piled high with brisket or pastrami from his Holy Rollers cart in the lucrative Rockefeller Center area, 48th Street off Sixth Avenue.

But a group of irate Egyptian competitors block the kosher vendor from setting up on the sidewalk, literally squatting on the curb or placing umbrellas and beverage cartons to cordon off the space.

The antisemitism.

Modal Trigger“This guy is hungry — hungry for money,” bellowed 48th Street Sabrett-slinger Mohamed Mossad, who along with nearly a dozen others successfully kept Mordowitz off the block.

The calls for the Jew to “Go elsewhere”

“Why doesn’t he go to 47th Street?” Mossad shouted, referring to the Hasidim-heavy Diamond District.

The accusations of genocide.

“He’s just coming to this particular spot, and he wants to grab it from me — and kill me, actually. Kill my business.”

The Jew withdrawing after thinking there could be peace.

After two unsuccessful attempts to work on Sixth, Mordowitz made his exodus southwestward to 35th Street and Ninth Avenue, near B&H Photo, the Hasidic-run electronics megastore.

“I thought I could bring peace to Midtown,” lamented Mordowitz, 30, of Queens. “I’m not an enemy — I’m a friend.”

Of course, the major difference is here, the Mossad guy is the Muslim.

Update: There’s another similarity: The Jew coming to vacant land, which is still not accepted by the Muslim/Arab.


Update: The Jewish vendor Yisroel Mordowitz comments at the Gothamist article on this:

Our dear friends, fans and loyal customers,

Holy Rollers Kosher Carts want to thank everyone for the tremendous support we’ve received. In light of the difficult situation and the partially detailed article in today’s New York Post, we feel blessed to have such passionate customers along with the most loyal friends.

While we appreciate the NY Post’s role in raising the level of awareness of this situation, we want to emphasize that our issue is with a specific group of cart owner’s. These particular cart owners have a history of using intimidation and bullying tactics to achieve their goals. This group does NOT represent all Halal cart’s, and definitely NOT all Muslim-owned cart’s in NYC. This has nothing to do with religious conflict, despite what was implied by the headline of today’s New York Post.

To clarify, we are NOT making broad statements about food cart owner’s who serve Halal food or happen to be Muslim. This is simply a method used by a specific group of food cart’s to eliminate even the slight possibility of competition. (Despite the established fact, we aren’t competitors)

Most Cart owners offering Halal food are peaceful and kind people, they would never resort to such underhanded tactics. In the year’s I’ve worked in this business, I have formed very close relationship’s with many of these operators, I am proud and happy to call many of them my friend.

The original location we setup our food cart, inciting this conflict, was vacated by an Outdoor Oven Cart six months ago. No one has the right to claim food cart locations according to New York City law. This kind of tactic cannot be tolerated regardless of who’s behind it, a specific race or religion, be it Jewish, Christian or Muslim, or any other faith. This is not about Jews & Muslims or Israel & Palestine, its about liberty, justice and the American dream which cannot be trampled on by intimidation and underhanded tactics.

Thank you again for the outpouring love and support we’ve received. Please do not use this misconstrued article to springboard any belief’s of hate or religious bigotry. This is NOT what we believe nor is it what provoked this situation (despite today’s headline).

We look forward to the day we work side by side with any and all food cart’s, feeding the wonderfully diverse resident’s of our great city.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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