Palestinian restaurant receives bad reviews amid recent tensions from Israel-Hamas war; owner staying hopeful
This past weekend, a Bay Ridge Palestinian restaurant was flooded with one-star Google reviews. Some say these reviews are being made simply because it's a Palestinian restaurant.
"I wake up and see a bunch of one-star reviews, across the board. Not just at this location."
Abdul Alenani opened Ayat in Bay Ridge three years ago and has three other restaurant locations.
"I'm like what the hell is going on here," said Alenani. "And it was about the attack back home."
Alenani reported the reviews to Google and was able to get most of them deleted. News 12 found one just four days ago reading "Boycott this restaurant. The owners are denying atrocities committed by Hamas."
"What's the reason to spur up some hate or violence against each other when we can stand with each other and end the violence that's happening back home?"
The New York Times reported on Alenani's restaurant, mentioning the reviews, and Alenani's restaurants started getting new attention - there were online orders with messages of support for Alenani's businesses and Palestine.
"They're sending these positive messages of like, end this violence, and all this crap that's happening right now and let's just get back to normal," said Alenani.
An email about the one-star reviews reads, "I want to apologize to you; doing that is hurtful, unfair and against Jewish values. We are all suffering, and I at least feel the pain of your people as much as the pain of mine."
"There's a lot more good than bad out there. There's a lot more support from the people than people going against us, or the Palestinians in general," said Alenani.