Hajem Almukdad is the owner of Old Jerusalem restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District, which was recently targeted with anti-Palestinian graffiti. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Hajem Almukdad is the owner of Old Jerusalem restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District, which was recently targeted with anti-Palestinian graffiti. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

Palestinian restaurant in San Francisco targeted with anti-Palestinian graffiti

The owner of a Palestinian restaurant in San Francisco discovered intimidating anti-Palestinian graffiti outside his restaurant late last month.

Hajem Almukdad, who owns Old Jerusalem restaurant in the Mission District, credits Jewish Voice for Peace members for cleaning it up, as well as his Jewish customers of many political stripes for uplifting him after the incident.

“I really am getting support from the Jewish community,” Almukdad said Tuesday.

The graffiti, which was first reported by CBS on Jan 26, appeared to be a stencil and read: “From the river to the sea, this is what you will forever see” in English and “Am [Star of David] chai” in Hebrew, or “Am Yisrael chai,” which means “the people of Israel live.”

“I didn’t give it much attention,” Almukdad acknowledged.


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But a customer saw the graffiti and contacted Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist group that has been intensely active calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Group members helped him clean up the graffiti immediately and also called local media.

“I can’t thank them enough,” he said.

Almukdad said he subsequently received a call from state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-S.F.), who told him to get in touch if he needed anything.

Old Jerusalem is a neighborhood favorite in the Mission. The original owner, Ahmad Nasser, was from the West Bank and opened the restaurant in 2005, according to the website. Almukdad, who has owned the restaurant for many years, said that ever since the war began, he has felt supported by his longtime customers, including many Jews who love the food he serves.

“We’ve got to learn to live together,” he said. “We learned that when we came [to America].”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.