Shots fired at Montreal Israeli cuisine eatery on anti-Zionist boycott list

In the latest shooting against a Jewish-owned institution in Montreal in the wake of the October 7 Massacre, an Israeli cuisine restaurant was shot at over Tuesday night, according to the eatery and local Canadian politicians.

No casualties were reported by authorities. Falafel Yoni said on social media that one of their locations had been targeted on Tuesday night, and that they had closed for the day due to the holes in the storefront windows.  

“Thanks so much for the overwhelming amount of support we’ve recieved,” said Falafel Yoni. “We’ll be back to business as usual tomorrow.”

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said that she was shocked by new acts of violence against the Montreal Jewish community, but said that she had full confidence that the Montreal Police would put in the necessary resources to locate and arrest the perpetrators.

“Antisemitism and violence, whether expressed in images, words or gestures, do not represent us and have no place in Montreal,” said Plante.

PROTESTERS GATHER at an encampment in support of Palestinians at McGill University’s campus in Montreal in April. According to the writer, too many students are harassed for being Jews; it’s an ‘inexcusable failure’ of the Trudeau government. (credit: Peter McCabe/Reuters)

Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney-General Arif Virani said Wednesday that stricter penalties for violent acts of hate had been tabled to combat the violence and hatred that “Jewish people in Canada are being bombarded with.”

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal called for decisive measures against antisemitism in the country, which they said could not longer be tolerated.  

Mount Royal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather called on the Montreal municipality to support the police in efforts to protect the local Jewish community. Housefather and Outremont MP Rachel Bendayan noted that the eatery was listed on a list of businesses to boycott. 

‘Anti-Zionist’ boycott list publicized

Alliance4Palestine Quebec, Montreal-Nord for Palestine, and Flipinos for Palestinian Liberation Montreal posted such a list of Montreal restaurants to boycott on Instagram on June 4. 

Falafel Yoni was the third business on the list, because the owner allegedly traveled to “occupied Palestine as he wanted to bring ‘Israeli’ cuisine back to Montreal,” and a co-owner sent a video featuring the IDF to a coworker.

“Here’s the extended list of restaurants that support/acknowledge the Zionist state. If a business made it to this list, we highly recommend you think twice before purchasing their products,” said Alliance4Palestine. “boycotts are a non-violent way to encourage social and economic pressures.”

Falafel Yoni noted on Wednesday that they were also being bombarded by “politically motivated” Google reviews from people who hadn’t been to the restaurant, including on the day that the eatery wasn’t open because of the holes in the windows. Falafel Yoni called to report such reviews, and to leave one’s own if they had visited the restaurant. 

“American style gentrified culturally appropriated Arabic food that is so full of fillers you cannot even taste the falafel. It has Nothing to do with a real falafel sandwich,” said a reviewer two weeks ago. “Falafel sandwiches should be basic. But it’s perhaps what they do usually do, whenever they culturally appropriate food. Just make it into a Big Mac version of that food.”

One reviewer was alleged by Falafel Yoni of being in Edinburgh when they left a review for the eatery. 

Israeli Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism Michal Cotler-Wunsh indicated on X that the boycott showed that “anti-Zionism equals antisemitism.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said that it was in contact with the owners and was working with the Montreal Police in their investigation, but noted that two days prior that they had been involved in a rally to call on municipal officials to take action against antisemitism. 

CIJA Quebec and Federation Combined Jewish Appeal had gathered with members of the local Jewish community in front of Montreal City Hall to tell Plante to arrest those calling for the murder of Jews, fire anti-racism commissioner Bochra Manai, and direct the police to dismantle anti-Israel protest encampments.

The Belz School at the Young Israel of Montreal synagogue was the target of a shooting on May 29. Abdirazak Mahdi Ahmed, 20, was arrested May 22 for shooting at the Yeshiva Gedola school on November 12. On November 9, bullets struck the doors of the same school and the nearby United Talmud Torahs of Montreal.