New Yorkers flocked to a Midtown eatery after fears circulated that the kosher restaurant was vandalized in an antisemitic hate crime over the weekend.
Social media posts made the rounds on the internet claiming that Pita Grill Kosher— located on 57th Street and 2nd Avenue — became the latest target in an antisemitic hate crime; however, according to police sources, law-enforcement currently do not believe the restaurant was targeted due to the ongoing Middle Eastern Conflict but was instead a victim of a burglary on Nov. 25 in which two bikes were stolen.
The social media posts nonetheless spurred anxiety that the establishment’s glass door was smashed thanks to its ties to the Jewish faith.
Even though the crime was found not to be related to the Israel-Hamas war, New Yorkers from across the city descended upon Pita Grill Kosher in an effort to make one thing clear: hate has no place in the Big Apple.
“That’s the beauty of the city,” shopper Allison Edan told amNewYork Metro after making her first visit to the storefront. “We need to stand up to this violence and realize that we are all one. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, what color, where you’re from, if you live in New York City, you live here because you want to be amongst people of every race and nationality.”
Many new patrons said they shared this sentiment as they yearned to support a business they worried was vandalized out of antisemitism.
“We live in a democracy, people shouldn’t feel scared because they’re kosher,” Ilana said. “I wouldn’t normally come here but I think it’s so horrible what people are doing and what they’re saying about Israel right now.”
Supporters of the business say that in light of the property damages and the concerns of a hate-fueled vandalism, they hope that several silver linings will emerge from the increased clientele.
“I would hope that they would get enough money to at least cover the damages. But I really hope it would raise awareness about antisemitism and violence,” Gary Goldenstein said. “We should all have cooler heads.”
Another shopper, also named Allison, shared that she believes by doing something as small as backing a business that has been victimized will help show support to those who have been harmed.
“There’s so much division right now and I’m sure that the owners of this store did not do anything wrong. I just want to stand on the side of innocent people who are being hurt,” Allison said.