Swastika engraved on restaurant door in Lincoln Heights – NBC Los Angeles
An Israeli owner of a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Lincoln Heights is receiving messages of support after someone carved a hate symbol on a door at his business last month.
Tal Zaiet said that on June 25, his surveillance camera captured someone walking past the Mazal restaurant in the northeast neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. Later, he found a swastika carved into his security gate.
This is not the first time he says he has faced anti-Semitic hatred.
“I was naive, I think. I should have expected and seen this kind of thing happen,” Zaiet said.
People who had never tasted the restaurant posted “restaurant reviews” accusing it of cultural misappropriation. Another review called him “anti-Muslim”. Another linked her menu to what she called “apartheid” in Israel.
But Zaiet, whose family is from Israel, never made Mazal a politician.
The restaurant’s Hebrew name means “good luck,” but its hamsa logo is a nod to its mother’s Moroccan heritage.
It symbolizes unity and protection.
“If that’s not a sign of two cultures colliding, then I don’t know what is,” Zaiet said.
He posted photos of the swastika on Instagram to alert others that someone is targeting businesses. Zaiet believes restaurants should be about good food and friends, not hate.
“It feels like it’s still something we have to deal with in 2022,” Zaiet said.
Over 1,000 people liked her post on Instagram. Dozens of people posted messages of support.
“It’s been really heartwarming and really overwhelming,” Zaiet said.