Shalom Life | April 19, 2015

The Battle of the Food Trucks: Kosher Vs Halal

In Manhattan, a kosher food cart and Egyptian halal cart are at a turf war

By: Daniel Koren

Published: February 17th, 2015 in Business » World

Photo: Cover of New York Post

Credit: NY Post


You'd think that the Jewish vs. Arab turf-war was only restricted to Israel, where Palestinians and Israelis continue to clash on whose land belongs to who.

But, then again, keeping in mind the constant struggles both Jews and Muslims in Europe are forced to put up with, and the perpetual "war" that exists between them and the radical Islamist extremists that are hellbent on Jewish destruction, it isn't all that surprising that this animosity has spread far beyond Israel.

In fact, there's a Jewish-Arab turf war broiling right here in Mid East Town, Manhattan.

As reported by the New York Post in a piece appropriately titled 'Intifooda', a kosher food-cart vendor by the name of Yisroel Mordowitz has accused Halal food cart vendor Mohamed Mossad of preventing him from peacefully selling his pastrami and brisket sandwiches in the Rockefeller Center area, on 48th street off Sixth Avenue.

Apparently, a group of Egyptian competitors have been blocking Mordowitz from setting up his shop on the sidewalk, taking up all the space they can to keep him off the block.

Mordowitz, who operates his Holy Rollers food-truck by adhering to a strict kosher guideline, has since referred to the group as the "Halal mafia."

“This guy is hungry — hungry for money,” retorted Mossad, reports the Post. “I have a family, too!”

“Why doesn’t he go to 47th Street?” he shouted across the street. “He’s just coming to this particular spot, and he wants to grab it from me — and kill me, actually. Kill my business.”

Mordowitz has since tried working on other spots in the bustling city, but really hoped that he and Mossad would be able to peacefully operate in the same district.

“I thought I could bring peace to Midtown,” said the 30-year-old Queens native. “I’m not an enemy — I’m a friend.”

Mordowitz added that one Egyptian vendor even yelled "This is not Palestine!" at him.

“They’re trying to say that the Jews in Israel are pushing people out, so don’t do it here,” he said, adding that one of the Halal Mafia members even followed his partner to make sure they parked their cart far away from them. “I said, ‘Why are you terrorizing me?’ ” Mordowitz recalled.

But, as the Post reports, the Halal vendors argue that they are innocent in all this. “He said I am a terrorist. He says I bombed the Twin Towers. That’s racist,” states Mossad, adding that this turf-war has nothing to do with religion. “To me, it’s not about him being a Jew,” he said.

Whether or not the two sides can find peace remains to be seen, but it sure would be a testimonial to what can be accomplished if they did indeed find a way to work together.

After all, kosher and halal aren't really that different.

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