Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Symbol of Angst? How an Ad for a Peaceful Vigil Caused an Uproar Outside a NJ Bagel Shop

Cellphone footage of a confrontation between strangers outside a local bagel shop shows that the emotional toll of the crisis in the Middle East can extend well beyond the seat of war.

The four-minute clip posted Saturday, and spread widely on social media, depicts a man holding his phone and pointing its camera toward two people at a table outside a Walnut Street café.

The man, Shai Goldman, accuses them of tearing down a flyer that he said he tacked on a utility pole to advertise a vigil for victims kidnapped by Hamas.

News reports say the Israel-Hamas war has claimed the lives of 1,400 Israelis and 9,700 Palestinians, and that 241 Israelis remain captive.

The vigil was held Sunday, as several hundred rallygoers met on Walnut Street to pray for the release of the hostages.

The event was near where Goldman approached the pair eating breakfast.

According to the video, Goldman asked the café patrons to explain why the flyer was removed.

“Because it doesn’t need to be there,” one of them explained. “Thank you — you can go away now, please.”

“Do you have a problem with people abducted by Hamas?” Goldman asked the café patrons. “You’re OK eating bagels, which is from the Jewish culture, but you’re not OK with a vigil for people abducted by Hamas?”

Another man tried to break up the confrontation before Goldman, who identified himself as Jewish, told him to leave.

“Listen, buddy — I’m Jewish, too,” said the second café patron. “And there ain’t nothing more antisemitic than Zionism.”

The customers then picked up their breakfast sandwiches and walked away from the café.

The video was posted by Goldman on X — formerly Twitter — and shared by a watchdog group called StopAntisemitism.org, whose followers reposted it more than 13,000 times.

The high level of angst in this area reflects the uneasiness being felt across the country.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, on Oct. 19 that “we are seeing an increase in reported threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions.”