Manny's Cafe. Sunday, June 6, 2021, 4:50 p.m. Photo by Lydia Chávez
Manny's Cafe. Sunday, June 6, 2021, 4:50 p.m. Photo by Lydia Chávez

An unknown person or persons scrawled “Racist Pigz,” “Zionist Pigz” and “Free Palestine” on Manny’s cafe at 16th and Valencia over the weekend on the outer wall along Valencia Street. It was the second incident in the past month of a Jewish-owned business being vandalized.

A photo of the graffiti at the popular restaurant, political bookstore and civic engagement hub on the corner of 16th Street was Tweeted Sunday morning, but it was no longer on the building on Monday. Cafe proprietor Manny Yekutiel did not respond to a request for comment. His spokesman, David Perry, also declined to comment on the graffiti. A request for information with the San Francisco Police Department yielded no additional information on the incident.

Manny’s was the target of protests when it opened in 2018, after the owner, Manny Yekutiel, showed support for the existence of Israel in a Facebook post in 2017. It was also vandalized by graffiti last September, SFist reported.

“If you want to get out in the street and put out signs that say you don’t like Israel, that’s not antisemitism. If you want to get out in the street and put out signs and put something out in support of Palestinians, that’s not antisemitism. Criticizing Israel, even harshly, is not antisemitism,” said Seth Brysk, the Central Pacific regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But targeting a Jewish person, their business, a Jewish community institution, in essence you are holding a community collectively responsible for a sovereign government.”

Manny’s Cafe, June 6, 2021. 4:52 p.m. Photo by Lydia Chávez.

The incident occurred less than a month after the Chabad preschool in Noe Valley was vandalized with graffiti that read, “Israil terror” (sic) and, “Death to Israil” (sic). Both incidents occurred during reports of a rise in antisemitic incidents nationally and locally following Hamas rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes this spring that killed at least 256 Palestinians, 13 Israelis and dispossessed nearly 60,000 Palestinians in Gaza. 

From the beginning of the year to June 4, the SFPD counted four hate crimes against Jews citywide, the same as the total number of hate crimes against Jews in all of 2020.

And, in the Bay Area, the regional branch of the Anti-Defamation League has anecdotally seen a rise in antisemitic incidents of around 75 percent — the rise the league has seen nationally from reports by community members, law enforcement and the media, Brysk said.

The league counts harassment, vandalism and assaults against Jews as antisemitic hate incidents, Brysk explained.

While some activists have questioned the numbers on the ADL tracker because it has included signs held at protests, Marc Dollinger, a Jewish Studies professor who teaches a course on antisemitism and social justice at San Francisco State University, said that identifying what’s antisemitism is complicated, and the ADL offers the best tracker available. 

Also, he said, how exactly incidents are converted to statistics shouldn’t be the takeaway amid the recent incidents. The focus, he said, should be the clear spike happening now.

What happened at Manny’s and Chabad were two such instances, he and other Jewish scholars said.

“There’s a lot of different arguments on when anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitism, but when you scrawl graffiti on Manny’s, you’re not getting into the sophistication of what the differences may be,” Dollinger said. “In this case, it’s crystal clear because they wrote, ‘pigs,’ and pig is un-kosher, according to Judaism. To call someone a Zionist pig is to play on their Jewishness in direct relationship to their Zionism.”

He added that the rise in antisemitic incidents has been scary.

“The idea that there can be so much anti-Jewish speech, and just under the surface — we saw the Chabad one, the Manny’s one, New York City — and the fact that this can be provoked in a place that we would think is ostensibly safe is really disheartening,” Dollinger said.

David Mamaril Horowitz

David’s one of those San Francisco natives who gets excited whenever City College is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in...

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13 Comments

    1. Oh but it is…just see the comment right below. Intolerant liberals is not an oxymoron.

  1. When Israel repeatedly and indiscriminately bombs Palestinian civilians, and Israeli mobs beat Arabs on the street, all in the name of a “Jewish” state which discriminates on the basis of religion and ethnicity, we can expect anti-semitic actions, no matter the irrationality.

    1. But isn’t that kind of logic the same/similar to people attacking Chinese-Americans (or even other Asians because these people are very stupid) for perceived affronts by China? Or putting Japanese-Americans in detention camps because of a war with Japan?

    2. It was the Arab mobs who attacked Jews, murdering one of them and setting multiple fires. And it was Hamas firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. You inverted facts to feed your prejudice. This is incitement to violence against Jews.

    3. “Indiscriminately bombs”…errr…ummm….didn’t hamas send thousands of rockets into Israel? And they were deliberately targeting civilians. Matter of fact some of those hamas rockets didn’t make it into Israel, but killed their own civilians in Gaza…but of course you’ll never hear about that in pseudo liberal news media.

      And didn’t Israel bomb hamas military targets, which hamas purposely places in and under (think tunnels) schools, civilian homes, and yes even in office buildings rented out to global media?

      Maybe you missed all that, but thanks for showing your intolerance and hatred towards Israel. We won’t dare call that racist attitude; only rednecks in red states can do that.

    4. Thanks for proving that barely under the surface “anti-Zionists” are really raving “anti-Semites”. Of course most of know that, despite your pathetic protestations to the contrary.

      1. Michael JC,

        There’s a genuine live fully possessed huge Demon who sits on the concrete at the bottom of Dolores Park.

        I spent the walk thinking about the nature of demons in literature and religion in particular and recalled my Pentecostal parents laughing when I threw a fit and saying things like:

        “Look at the Demon possessing him.”

        Their lifelong battle with Evil was a dominating force in the family life.

        My father believed that there is no Hell.

        That Earth is Hell.

        “Well, I’d counter …

        Where do you go when you die and don’t make Heaven if there’s no Hell?”

        Pop replied:

        “God erases you and you just no longer exist.”

        I countered:

        “Is your god all powerful and contain everything?”

        Pop:

        “Yes, of course.”

        I sprang:

        “Well, if his mind no longer contains you then he doesn’t contain everything does He?”

        We went on like that.

        For over 50 years.

        My sisters were afraid he’d rise up out of the coffin in the funeral parlor.

        You know?

        There was enough rigor in the body to raise his right arm a bit but not over the edge of the coffin.

        My sisters, the nurses who feared a Second Return thru him just smiled.

        “It’s just rigor mom, Pop ain’t coming back today.”

        Personally, my beliefs are inspired by Jefferson and Washington who were into Deism where no one threatens you for not joining their cult.

        There seeds for a conversation about religion that is not dominated by anger and hate and paranoia.

        You sound like Woody Allen.

        All the best JC.

        Go Giants!

        h.

  2. So disheartening! How could this possibly serve to educate the American people about the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism? How could it help to build support for the Palestinian struggle for justice as the only way to real peace? False flag?

  3. David,

    In this case I don’t think this is anything but Extortion.

    There’s a small group of ‘activists’ who approach any new business once open and attends City Hall and Neighborhood meetings while the process continues.

    Put simply, they want the new businesses to them money.

    Regularly.

    They hate Mission Local and Joe in particular.

    I had LaPaglita street market on my list.

    Lobbied Ronen about keeping the free tables in the Alley/Street next to the Armory.

    They killed it after a trial run and they killed a golden child.

    Last chance for some of the homeless to make money selling scavenged diver stuff before knocking someone upside the head or breaking into garages for bikes.

    So, I’m here lamenting the closure and this group of poop disturbers is putting out their rant and I told them they should take it to Mission Local.

    Their ‘spokesperson’ started screaming about how useless Joe was.

    I defended y’all and that got me on their Enemies List.

    I’m on so many of these ban list I’ve lost track of them.

    Used to trade flirts with Bill Lee’s Chief of Staff when Bill was City Administrator.

    Yuk, yuk, yuk, she was a reader and it was fun.

    Saw her after I don’t know why and ran into her in Civic Center Plaza going for her car.

    We caught eyes and both started smiling and heading toward one another and she stopped a few feet away.

    Her expression changed as she caught herself and pondered then admitted …

    “I don’t know if I’m supposed to not talk to you or not.”

    Again, welcome to he hood.

    Go Giants!

    h.

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