Jose Andres on Gaza: 'Time for the Best of Israel to Show Up'

World Central Kitchen founder implores Netanyahu's government to 'start the long journey to peace today'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2024 6:38 AM CDT
Jose Andres on Gaza: 'Time for the Best of Israel to Show Up'
Jose Andres of World Central Kitchen speaks on Sept. 19 in New York.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Less than 48 hours after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed seven aid workers tied to Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen charity, Andres is making a simple plea: "Let people eat." In an op-ed for the New York Times, the 54-year-old celebrity chef honors the dead, whom he calls "the best of humanity ... [who] risked everything for the most fundamentally human activity: to share our food with others." Andres notes that "food is a universal human right" and "not conditional on being good or bad, rich or poor, left or right." "We do not ask what religion you belong to," he writes. "We just ask how many meals you need." He also takes Benjamin Netanyahu to task for the fatal strike, scoffing at the Israeli prime minister's resigned assertion that "it happens in war." "It was a direct attack on clearly marked vehicles whose movements were known by the Israel Defense Forces," Andres bluntly states.

He also appeals to the Israeli people, writing, "We know Israelis. Israelis, in their heart of hearts, know that food is not a weapon of war." Andres details all of the work that WCK has done in Israel, delivering nearly 2 million hot meals across the country, including to families affected by the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. "In the worst conditions, after the worst terrorist attack in its history, it's time for the best of Israel to show up," Andres writes. "You cannot save the hostages by bombing every building in Gaza. You cannot win this war by starving an entire population." He adds that the Israeli government "needs to open more land routes for food and medicine today. It needs to stop killing civilians and aid workers today. It needs to start the long journey to peace today." Read his essay in full. (More on Andres' charity, and himself, here.)

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