Piece on ‘Palestinian’ Restaurant Qanoon in Manhattan Hides Fact Owner is Not Really ‘Palestinian’


Eater New York has profiled Qanoon, described as “one of the city’s few Palestinian restaurants,” and mentions the owner’s palestinian background (hat tip: Michal).

Qanoon (a creative spelling of kanoon, meaning grill) is one of the city’s few Palestinian restaurants. (Others include Tanoreen, King of Falafel, Oasis, and Duzan.) It was founded a year ago by chef and owner Tarek Daka, who grew up as one of nine children on a farm in a Palestinian town on the West Bank.

Except this is a lie. He grew up in Israel, as the restaurant’s own website mentions.

Baqa al-Gharbiyye, to be precise

which is actually in Israel.

In fact, I have dealt with Daka’s background before; not only was he born in Israel, but he clearly benefited from life here.

After high school, Daka worked odd jobs and began studying accounting and economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“I worked at Kesselman & Kesselman, which is part of the big PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm. I also taught at the university. I got an MBA and was on the dean’s list. I worked all the time. I lived in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and then I went back to live with my parents.”

Eventually, though, he grew tired of life in Israel. “On the one hand, I was doing very well and I came from a family where the children are lawyers, engineers, in high-tech. On the other hand, you aren’t rewarded in Israel for your abilities and you have no control over this.

So why is Daka lying about being born in “a Palestinian town on the West Bank?”

I am guessing he thinks it will be good for business.

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A lawyer by education, David Lange - founder and managing editor of Israellycool - found his calling in advocating for Israel and the Jewish people. He is available for public speaking engagements.