A Greek restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, named Mediterranean Greek Tavern, received an unexpected backlash after expressing solidarity with the Jewish community via Facebook.
According to co-owner Perry Le Greco’s statement to Daily Mail Australia, he aimed to convey his support to the tavern’s Jewish visitors. In his post on Facebook, he stated: “To all our Jewish customers, we are thinking of you in these difficult times. We hope that your family and friends are safe back home in Israel.”
The restaurant faced a distressing backlash, including cancelations, no-shows, and instances of offensive abuse. As a result, the Greek tavern experienced a drastic ninety percent decline in reservation bookings, according to Perry Le Greco.
Le Greco also claimed he received numerous abusive calls from anonymous numbers. Daily Mail reports that people called him a “f***ing Jew lover” or said he had “picked the wrong side.”
Wow. This isn’t racist at all 🤮. If you need another reason to boycott the Mediterranean Greek Tavern in Elsternwick here it is… pic.twitter.com/4LAYf0RnpG
— PJA (@P_J_J_A) November 1, 2023
Greek Restaurant Got Support After Empathy for Israel
However, the situation saw a positive shift when local MP David Southwick highlighted the issue during a Melbourne radio show. He urged the community support the Greek restaurant.
This was followed by a significant response, with an outpouring of solidarity and an influx of patrons. There was also widespread online outreach. The incident was explained on the Internet, and people expressed their support for the Greek restaurant and its co-owner. This has led to a revival in business, with the restaurant owner saying that “the phone hasn’t stopped ringing.”
Israelis Seek Refuge in Greece and Cyprus
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is affecting Greece in a different way. Amid the escalating conflict with Hamas in Gaza, a growing number of Israeli citizens are seeking refuge in Greece and Cyprus. Many are turning to short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, particularly in Athens and Thessaloniki.
These cities host a sizable Jewish community. Spilios Papaspiliou, the executive manager of gembnb.com, noted a significant increase in bookings from Israel. According to Papaspiliou, there has been a surge in last-minute reservations, with many inquiring about properties for friends and family.
Other industry professionals have corroborated this trend. Israelis have canceled vacation plans but have shown an increased interest in Airbnb-style accommodations in Athens. Some Israelis are also exploring Greece’s “Golden Visa” program, seeking permanent residence and free movement in Europe.
As for Cyprus, it has become a preferred transit point for many Israelis. At the same time, Larnaca is witnessing an influx of expatriates, including traumatized children seeking shelter and support.