Bistro Takes a Stand
Anti-Dead Sea Scroll exhibit, pro-restaurant rights
Delicacy surrounding public expressions of political allegiance is a professional hazard for journalists, clergy, elementary school teachers, and the like; now, apparently, it’s a concern for restaurateurs as well. Toronto eatery Le Sélect Bistro entered into an online scuffle when proprietor Frederic Geisweiller used its Web site to advise against visiting an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Royal Ontario Museum. Geisweiller asserted that the show features “artifacts seized by Israel in its 1967 surprise war which it waged against its neighbours,” and, although he has since removed the statement, he stands by it, saying, “restaurants should not shy away from voicing opinions.” His proposed boycott set off a chain reaction of arguments on sites such as Martiniboys.com and Proudzionist.com. While we certainly don’t begrudge restaurants their freedom of speech (although we’d stop short of allowing them the vote), Geisweiller may, for his own sake, want to stop flaunting his woefully oversimplified understanding of the 1967 war; according to the National Post, he cited Wikipedia as his source.