A staff-member at a bar in Portland, Oregon, has been praised for his actions after he challenged a table of customers who had been overheard making antisemitic remarks.
Ilan Moskowitz, who is Jewish, works at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall on Portland's Northwest Quimby Street. As reported by Corey Pein of local newspaper Willamette Week, staff at the bar have recently been finding cards left on the premises listing links for neo-Nazi websites.
During his shift on Sunday Moskowitz became aware of the table of 10 customers who had been making the comments. He approached the group and questioned them about the fliers.
14/ Oh and in case you doubted Nazis were recruiting kids online, here’s the flyer boosting Daily Stormer, 4chan and Trump. pic.twitter.com/mCbWkn6Chr— Corey Pein (@coreypein) 15 March 2017
One of the group, wearing a Make America Great Again hat, told Moskowitz: "No, you've got it all wrong, we're a black power group."
The group then started chanting "black power," and ignored staff who asked them to leave. One of the group was heard declaring: "I called my Nazi friends." Another insulted the bar's manager with homophobic language.
Police responded to a call reporting "10 people refusing to leave, shoving staff." The group is understood to have eventually left the premises, and no arrests were made.
Asked about his decision to confronting the group, Moskowitz told Williamette Week: "My whole life, I hear about this s***. My grandfather survived two prison camps. I'll tell you what was going through my head: 'This is how Hitler got started. In a beer hall.'"
Portland, a city well-known for its tolerance and progressive politics, has recently been hit by a spate of swastika graffiti, and attempts by a neo-Nazi group to recruit students at Portland State University.
On March 6 Portland's Mittleman Jewish Community Center received an email bomb threat. "This is a continuation of the 6-week-long barrage of threats made at Jewish institutions around the country," said Marc N. Blattner, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. "The MJCC leadership was fully prepared and took all necessary precautions, and law enforcement did its work. Fortunately, everything was found to be safe."