Community rallies around Jewish café owner after employees quit

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A cafe in New York City was left high and dry and on the verge of closing after pro-Palestinian employees quit over the Jewish owner’s support of Israel.

But locals and members of the community weren’t going to stand for that and showed their support for Caffe Aronne and its owner, Aaron Dahan, to ensure it would remain open.

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Dahan was left short-staffed after he tried to talk to two of the baristas about their Free Palestine pins, but they refused to listen and walked out on him.

“Our staff was young,” the owner told the New York Post. “They think they know everything, liberal, college-educated.”

He added, “They think we’re supporting genocide, we’re supporting colonialism. They know the keywords but they don’t really know what they mean.”

Dahan has had five baristas quit on him since Oct. 7, the day Hamas terrorists attacked Israel.

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He explained that an Israeli flag was put up in the shop a “couple of weeks ago,” but “our staff was not for it.”

Dahan called his former baristas “family,” saying he was disappointed by their walkout.

“We knew our staff. We knew they were thinking these things,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s go for dinner. Let’s sit. Let’s ask questions. Let’s learn. Let’s realize that we’re not all here trying to kill each other.’”

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Dahan was working a private event when the employees left, and he was going to close up shop, but his mother, Peggy Dahan, refused to let him.

She quickly learned on the fly — how to work the cash register and “pour a cold brew and use the espresso machine.”

Word spread and soon friends and Peggy’s assistant came to help out and others arrived to show their support.

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“It’s insane what’s going on,” Peggy told the Post about people offering to lend a hand, adding that a line quickly formed around the corner.

“It just shows what an amazing community we have.”

Bina Dabbah, who lives in the neighbourhood, offered to “wash the dishes, to mop the floors, whatever she needs.”

She said, “All this anti-Semitism is very frightening,” adding that she knows the baristas who quit.

“It’s just very upsetting that all these young people are – I don’t know what they are, ignorant? Hateful? Brainwashed? It’s very scary, this is what’s happening in this country.”

A local rabbi stopped in to buy a coffee and, along with a doctor in the area, encouraged people to support the coffee shop or to buy gift cards for one of its three locations.

Others urged those looking to support the shop to donate to the shop’s fundraiser to help Magen David Adom (the Israeli Red Cross).

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