Restaurants and cafes opened on Sunday to sit-down dining for the first time in six months. Already squeezed by coronavirus crowd control rules and difficulties hiring staff while generous unemployment policies remain in effect, these businesses now face another threat: Anti-vaxxers who say that restaurants shouldn’t comply with regulations allowing sit-down dining only to people who can show they have been vaccinated with the government’s Green Pass or a negative COVID test.
The controversy around vaccinations and the Green Pass has already gone from debate to threats and verbal violence, mainly on the part of anti-vaxxers. The controversy has surfaced on the Tivonei Ta’im (Tasty Vegan) Facebook group, whose 35,000 members ordinarily trade information on vegan products and recipes.
In response, the site’s administrator was forced to set rules: “Don’t discuss being for or against vaccines at all; don’t mention anything related to Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, yellow badges, fascism and all that; political issues shouldn’t be discussed; do not incite or call for a boycott against any side, any person or business; under no circumstances should you defame, belittle, slander, swear and speak ill of each other.”
Ilil Yahav, who owns the Tel Aviv vegan restaurant Goodness, had posted earlier that she planned to adhere to the coronavirus directives on access. The negative responses didn’t take long in coming both on her private Facebook page and on that of the restaurant’s.