Montreal: isn’t it sad when we politicize its food industry and intimidate its Jewish residents?

Thanks to an article by Mr. Josie Desmarais published today in La Presse, Bambi learned the following facts: “For several months, a list of Jewish Montreal restaurants has been circulating on social networks, calling for them to be boycotted because of the “links” they allegedly have with Israel. Negative ratings, hate messages and calls for violence have since multiplied against restaurateurs. One of them found projectile impacts in the window of one of his restaurants” (

After reading this French article, she searched for English information about the topic to be able able to share it with you on this blog. She found and article in the Montreal City News entitled “Mile End restaurant targeted, owner believes it’s because of his Jewish heritage“, published two weeks ago (, and a video shared below. This place is located near Bambi’s old college.

If there is anything amazing about restaurants in Canada’s cities, it is the richness and the beauty of their diversity. For instance, in Toronto, we often come across fusion restaurants or multi-ethnic or cross-cultural restaurants. An example may be a Lebanese cuisine with Indonesian food at the same restaurant or a place serving both Korean and Mexican cuisines, etc. In Montreal, we have the choices of eating at the delicious Schwartz’ deli ( Yes, it is Jewish and delicious, or enjoying a mouthwatering Québec poutine ( or a tasty Shawarma at the Lebanese Basha restaurant (

The above example is now making Bambi recall how, when she was a student in Montreal working long hours at her lab located downtown, she used to call the Basha restaurant sometimes. She used to inquire about the daily homemade Lebanese meal to take back home with her. Kindly, and more than once, the owner told her on the phone: “oh sorry, we do not have it, but if you give me extra time, I can see what I can do”. Can you imagine the generosity and kindness of this service? This is the hospitality of Montreal restaurants, regardless of its type of food or place of birth of the owner.

Bearing the above in mind, why are we using conflicts at the other side of the planet as an excuse to intimidate restaurant owners and harm their businesses and reputations? The pandemic was not enough to affect small businesses and family-owned restaurants? Let them earn a living and let people eat wherever they want and whatever they wish.

You personally want to boycott a business for whatever noble reason, you are absolutely free. Go ahead, but please do not impose it on the rest of your fellow residents or harm family businesses. Bambi is saying so for all and any restaurant owner’s background: Malaysian, Russian, Iranian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Israeli or simply Jewish without any family ties to Israel. Who cares? What matters is the fun of eating out, the taste of food, the good times with friends, the costs, etc.

Let Montreal, Québec, and Canada remain what they have always been: a welcoming and loving place to live and dine in with peace. May open-mindedness find its way again to our society. May only love have the final word, regardless of any political view or conflict-related emotional scar or trigger.

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