Blaming government’s refusal to label attack as terrorism and compensate him, Hany Baransi files for bankruptcy
(SOURCE) Hany Baransi, the Christian Israeli Arab whose Columbus, Ohio, restaurant was attacked in February by a machete-wielding assailant, has announced he will soon file for bankruptcy and close his restaurant.
Only months ago, Baransi triumphantly reopened the Nazareth Restaurant & Deli, wielding his signature baseball in front of Israeli flags, only weeks after the attack by Mohamed Bary, a West African Muslim with a history of making radical Islamist statements.
Four people were injured in the attack, one seriously. All have since recovered.
Baransi blamed his financial woes on not receiving any compensation from local, state or federal governments following the attack. He said he personally footed the bill for the expensive cleanup.
“I fell $12,000 behind on payroll and tried to work out a deal with my employees so I could keep the doors open, but it didn’t work out,” the restaurateur told The Times of Israel by phone Sunday, only three weeks after returning to Columbus from a vacation in his native Haifa.
Baransi, who proudly displayed an Israeli flag at his Middle Eastern-style restaurant, is convinced he was Bary’s intended target and has consistently asserted the attack was terrorism.
In late February, the Associated Press reported the FBI had not found any evidence to suggest that the assault was an orchestrated terror attack.
“Business bounced back once we reopened. Customers were coming, but we just couldn’t make it work. I’m going to be filing for bankruptcy,” said Baransi, 50.
While the demise of his 27-year-old restaurant is hard to face, even more difficult is the criticism he has received from both fellow Americans and his friends and relatives in Israel for speaking his mind about what happened.