Tel Aviv Bar Comes Under Fire for Allegedly Banning Uniformed Soldier

After the initial uproar, bar owners apologize for 'misunderstood' joke, stress staff served in elite army units.

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Women soldiers in the IDF.
Women soldiers in the IDF.Credit: Michal Fattal
Oded Yaron
Oded Yaron

The Israeli Internet was in an uproar this weekend over the story of a young woman who, according to a post she wrote on Facebook, was kept from entering the Rosa Parks Bar in Tel Aviv. Employees had refused to admit her and a friend because they were in army uniform.

“My friend asked innocently, ‘Why not? Is it because of the alcohol?’” wrote Noy Eliyahu, an officer in the Medical Corps. “He said they didn’t like the army or soldiers very much. My friend answered that we didn’t like draft dodgers all that much either.”

Writing in Hebrew, Eliyahu added that when a waiter spoke with the managers, “They laughed at us and looked at us.”

Thousands of people shared the post, flooding an automatic Facebook page that was created for the bar. One thread contained a comment from a user posting in the bar’s name: “Noy, we’re sorry about your experience. We just don’t like soldiers.”

But replies came in from the bar’s managers, including shift manager Ido Anderson, who wrote that this post was a fake.

“The friends of the Rosa bar, its owners and employees, are alumni of elite units, and six of them are alumni of the same elite unit,” Anderson wrote. “There’s no chance that someone at Rosa wouldn’t serve a soldier.”

On the bar’s official Facebook page, the managers said a bartender’s bad joke had gone very wrong. They said the bartender was a paratrooper on active duty and “supports the army and believes in its values.”

“The bar owners are veteran combat soldiers from the most elite units in the army. Since the owners have fought in every operation and war over the past 20 years, including Operation Protective Edge, the last thing that can be said of them is that they have no respect for [the army],” the managers wrote.

“In light of this, the post about the bar and its owners hurt them very much on the personal level, since it reflects the total opposite of reality. Rosa’s staff members respect every person, no matter who he may be, and especially the soldiers of the Israeli army, who, we are happy to say, are frequent guests.”

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