Christian Arab Owner of Ohio Restaurant Attacked by Machete-Wielder Mulls Returning Home to Israel
The owner of a Columbus, Ohio restaurant is contemplating his future in the US following last week’s machete attack at his eatery, which left four people injured, Ohio’s WBNS-10TV reported on Thursday.
Hany Baransi, a Christian Arab from Haifa, said his initial response to the attack was to decide to close the Nazareth Restaurant & Deli and return home to Israel, on the grounds that he no longer feels safe where he is.
He has since changed his mind, he said at a press conference on Thursday, partly because of pressure from his wife. However, he added, though the restaurant will remain open for now, he plans to take a step back from daily operations while contemplating his next move.
The press conference came a week after Somali immigrant Mohamed Barry stormed the restaurant and attacked diners with a machete. Barry was later shot and killed by police, and his four victims are expected to recover.
Though authorities at first believed that Barry terrorized the restaurant randomly, The Algemeiner previously reported that new information makes it seem likely it was targeted because Baransi is from Israel.
The restaurant owner told 10TV he has no doubt the incident at his establishment was a terrorist attack.
“I come from the Middle East,” he said. “I come from Israel. And, this has been a big thing here. People ask me, ‘Where are you from?’ I’m from Israel. Sometimes it offends people. I don’t know but I still am. I’m not going to change. I am what I am.”
Columbus police and the FBI investigating the attack have not ruled out its having been an act of terrorism.