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Israeli Restaurants Shalom Y’all and Aviv Were Vandalized in What Appears to Be a Larger Graffiti Spree

A sports memorabilia shop on Hawthorne Boulevard was also tagged with references to Indigenous sovereignty—despite being Native-owned.

Three restaurants with Israeli-inspired menus were tagged over the weekend in what appears to have been part of a larger spree against Portland businesses.

Vandals targeted both locations of Shalom Y'all, as well as Aviv's brand-new Pearl District eatery. Spray-painted messages on the buildings' exterior and sidewalk included "Free Palestine," "Murder" and "Yuppie Scum."

Other phrases accused the business of cultural appropriation, including "Falafel is from Palestine" and "Hummus is not Israeli," Some of the restaurants' outdoor tables were also defaced.

An investigation is ongoing, according to Derek Carmon, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau.

Owners of Sesame Collective, the restaurant group that includes Shalom Y'all, Mediterranean Exploration Company, Yalla, and Bless Your Heart Burgers, released a statement condemning the graffiti.

"We are incredibly disheartened by these actions. We are committed to operating inclusive spaces, and do not tolerate messages of hate or racism in any form," the message read. "We are so thankful for the outpouring of support we have received from the community over the last 24 hours."

Sesame Collective also encouraged people to support the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime, a partnership between community groups and government agencies.

In 2019, Shalom Y'all had its phone number hacked, which was then used to make multiple threatening prank calls. The restaurant's voicemail was also repeatedly recorded over with anti-Semitic and sexually explicit content.

Those weren't the only properties hit with graffiti in the same time frame.

Ball Was Life, a sports memorabilia store that opened just a few months ago on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, was tagged with references to Indigenous sovereignty, such as "Land Back" and "1637 Pequot Massacre," a reference to the mass murder of approximately 500 Native men, women and children that occurred in a Connecticut village.

The message, however, appears to be misplaced: Troy Douglass, owner of Ball Was Life, is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. He also shares the building with another Native-owned business, Tattoo 34.

"Right message, wrong place at Ball Was Life," Douglass wrote in an Instagram post. "I'm native to this land. Yes, right here under the cement of 'Portland.' I'm Chinook/Wasco and an enrolled tribal member of Grand Ronde. Let these photos live forever, but I need to get back to work. I'm trying hard to get some land back."