Anaheim's Little Arabia is heating up! As the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza continues, Olive Tree restaurant co-owner Alan Abdo is upset with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. The lawmaker sat down with KNBC-TV Channel Four's Conan Nolan for an interview that touched on the issue. "If what it takes is boots on the ground, that might be the last recourse that the Israelis have," Sanchez said.
Abdo–who runs perhaps the best Middle Eastern restaurant in Southern California–didn't take kindly to those remarks calling them "disgusting" in a YouTube video.
A week ago, 200 protesters took to the streets of Little Arabia to denounce the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. Afterward, Olive Tree restaurant offered to donate a portion of the proceeds from its iftar buffet that night to an Islamic Relief USA emergency fundraiser for Gaza humanitarian aid. It's clear where they stood.
After catching flak for her comments, Sanchez issued a press statement trying to minimize the damage of her stance. "My heart breaks for these grieving Gazan families," she says. "I also condemn the indiscriminate attacks upon Israel." She failed to condemn the Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza that counts civilians among its fatalities.
Just last month, Sanchez visited Olive Tree and gave it a certificate of congressional recognition. After calling Israel a "terrorist state," Abdo, a Palestinian-American, said that Sanchez is no longer welcomed at the restaurant, took the certificate and ripped it in half. No more lamb shanks for Sanchez.