In a letter to the community posted on Facebook, the owner of Holy Land Deli announced he fired his daughter for a string of racist tweets and Instagram posts that screenshots show date back to at least 2012. In response, Midtown Global Market, where Holy Land has a location, announced Thursday that it was exercising its right to terminate the lease. Additionally, several Midwest Costco stores have been instructed to pull the products from its shelves.
Majdi Wadi, who joined the business in 1995 and is now the CEO of Holy Land Brand, wrote in a letter that it was brought to his attention that “a team member of the Holy Land posted racial slurs onto social media prior to beginning employment with us. We were not aware of these posts.”
In the second paragraph he noted that the employee is his daughter, Lianne Wadi, who had been the company’s catering manager.
“Although she was a teenager when she made this mistake, my daughter[‘]s employment with the company has been terminated effective immediately,” Majdi Wadi wrote. “We have decided to take this measure as a reflection of the seriousness with which we approach this matter. Moving forward as a company, we intend on implementing additional training and educational courses to ensure all our team members possess knowledge of what is and is not insensitive, offensive, and appropriate for all races, cultures, and religions.”
However, nowhere in his letter nor her apology on Instagram does it reference the anti-Semitic social media posts she shared – including several replies to a now-defunct account called @TrueAdolphHitler.
Calls to Majdi Wadi went unanswered; the voice mailbox at Holy Land Brand’s Central Avenue headquarters was full.
In her own apology posted to Instagram, Lianne Wadi also declined to mention her anti-Semitic posts, and referenced her own support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“First, I was so shocked that I even posted something so offensive,” she wrote on Instagram. “Second, I recognize the gravity of my words and how hurtful they can be and how hurtful they were. I wasn’t thinking.”
The comments are turned off on her Instagram post, and that is now the only post on that account. Her Twitter account has also been deactivated.
Holy Land Brands, in addition to their Northeast Minneapolis headquarters, has a location in Terminal 1 at MSP Airport. Metropolitan Airports Commission Director of Corporate Communications Patrick Hogan said that the Wadi family has no role in running the location at MSP; the location there is run by Midfield Concession Enterprises, Inc., which operates 34 eateries in airports around the country.
Samir Mashni, the vice president of business development and general counsel of the Romulus, Mich, company was not available for comment.