Couple claims reservation refused over Arab name

Arab-Israeli couple from Tel Aviv unable to book table at Rishon Lezion's Soho restaurant; establishment flatly denies claim.

By JTA
November 11, 2012 22:27
1 minute read.
Cabina

Cabina. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

An Arab-Israeli couple said an Israeli restaurant refused to give them reservations because they are Arab.

Sama and Muhamad Sufri of Tel Aviv said they tried to make a reservation late last week at one of their favorite restaurants, Soho in Rishon Lezion, using the Arab name Walid, but were told that the restaurant was full for the time that they wanted to eat. Minutes later when they called back and used a Hebrew name they were able to make a reservation for the same time.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The couple told Yediot Aharonot that the same thing happened to them in May and also four years earlier, and at other times they dined at Soho, they went with Jewish friends who made the reservations.

Muhamad Sufri told the newspaper that he posted his experience on Facebook and learned that he and his wife were not the only ones who experienced difficulty making a reservation when using an Arab-sounding name.

The restaurant responded with a statement.

"Soho restaurant is one of the busiest restaurants in Israel. Hundreds of people call daily to make reservations, and the restaurant employs six receptions so as to deal with the demand," it said. "It is not uncommon that a customer will receive a negative reply when attempting to reserve a table because of lack of availability, while another one will receive a positive one a few minutes later because of a cancellation that happened in-between."

"Mr. and Ms. Sufri are regular customers; they have at least four reservations to their name during the last few months, as well as other reservations made with friends. All of these reservations were registered with no problems. Soho believes in complete equality without prejudice against religion, creed or gender. Mr. and Ms. Sufri are always welcome at the restaurant."

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD