Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon reports that the Democratic party’s slate of nominees for DNC chair has agreed to participate in a candidate forum hosted at a restaurant owned by a rabid critic of Israel. The decision to hold it there may give the leading contender for DNC chair — the rabidly anti-Israel and one-time Louis Farrakhan backer Keith Ellison — something of a “home field” advantage. Sadly, however, it’s far from clear that any of the participants will feel out of place. (Tom Perez is the only contender who has not confirmed he will attend.)
The restaurant in question is called Busboys and Poets. It is owned by Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-born anti-Israel activist. According to Shallal, Israel is an “occupation” force guilty of “terrorizing” the Middle East. Shallal has also claimed that the United States receives its “marching orders from Tel Aviv.”
Ellison likewise said in 2010 that United States foreign policy is governed by “what is good or bad” for Israel.
Shallal uses his restaurant to promote his anti-Israeli views. For example, according to Scher, in 2013 a group of customers tipped a waitress less because she was wearing an anti-Israel shirt that said “Occupation isn’t pretty.” The shirt, created by Code Pink, is sold at Busboys and Poets.
The restaurant explained that it “encourages” staff to wear shirts that are “in line with the beliefs of Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal.” The restaurant’s marketing director added, “we’re a restaurant with a specific political point of view.”
Since the restaurant’s point of view regarding Israel reflects the emerging line of the Democratic party, and the long-time line of Keith Ellison, it makes perfect sense to hold the DNC candidate forum at Busboys and Poets.
In doing so, the Democratic party joins an illustrious collection of left-wing outfits that have convened there. Scher reports:
Busboys and Poets has become the go-to venue in D.C. for events held by radical left-wing groups such as Code Pink. It has hosted 9/11 “truther” organizations, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, and a series of pro-Hugo Chavez events sponsored by the Venezuelan government.
Shallal hosted a fundraiser at the restaurant in honor of the man who was killed attempting to stab an Israeli soldier during the 2010 Turkish flotilla to Gaza.
Shallal also produced a play called “The Admission,” which centers around the fictional slaughter of Palestinian civilians by an Israeli soldier.
9/11 truthers, Bill Ayers, Hugo Chavez, a Turkish terrorist, Israel haters, Keith Ellison, the DNC. These days, there is little dissonance here.