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Reservation: Israel?

The movement to send Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain last year.(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

A quick count reveals that chef-turned-writer-turned-TV-host Anthony Bourdain has visited and filmed episodes of his Travel Channel show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in more than 50 countries on six continents. (A sizable chunk of his episodes are devoted to exploring the culinary foodways of these United States, with a sizable chunk of those devoted to the Tristate Area.) Thailand? Sure. India? A couple of times. Paris? For the first and 100th episodes. Buffalo? I have personally watched Bourdain eat that upstate town’s eponymous wings. (My pick for favorite Bourdain episode? The Russia one is great, loony fun; the Rust Belt one, with those wings and with him eating Lake Trout in Balmer with Snoop from The Wire, is incredible. But I’d have to pick the original New York City one, in which he and Eric Ripert grab some late-night bone marrow at the East Village’s very own Prune. Anyway.)

Where has Bourdain never been—or at least, where has his show never filmed an episode? Israel. Los Angeles Jewish Journal editor-in-chief and food blogger Rob Eshman wants that to change: he first called on “Tony” to visit the Holy Land in March (Eshman notes that Bourdain’s first episode from Beirut, which was filming right as the 2006 war began and quickly turned to coverage of those events, was nominated for an Emmy), and more recently we’ve come across this Facebook page, “Send Anthony Bourdain to Israel.” If you scour it, you’ll find that I’ve “liked” it.

Bourdain was apparently at best a par chef, but he is an outstanding personality (and writer; Kitchen Confidential is excellent). He can be trusted to illuminate pretty much all the places he visits with insight and fairness (a stop in the West Bank during an Israel show would be appropriate) and without ever losing his grasp on the importance of fun and the centrality of food.The Holy Land is a logical next stop. You just know he’s going to go nuts over shakshuka.

Anthony Bourdain: Visit Israel Already [Foodaism]

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Dani Levi says:

My favorite series is him in Iceland. Killing Puffins and getting wasted. Very very good.

Binyamin in O says:

Maybe he feels it would be seen as an endorsement of Israel’s apartheid policies? He went to Northern Ireland, and the theme was, hey why all this oppression of the Catholics, everybody chill out and have a bowl of Irish stew.

He should go to Israel, and the theme should be, apartheid rule over the West Bank and Gaza is neither healthy nor does it taste good.

Abbi says:

um, since there is no apartheid in the west bank (as the palestinians democratically vote for their own leaders, when they ever get around to having elections) that would be a nonsensical show.

Binyamin in O says:

But, um. Abbi, do those leaders have any power? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but if you are Jewish and live in a West Bank settlement, you are protected by one set of (Israeli) laws, and if you live 500 feet away in a refugee camp and are an Arab, you live under Israeli military law. The Arab can be arrested and imprisoned FOREVER (or simply shot to death), by the IDF. And those elected Palestinian leaders cannot do bupkiss.

Its apartheid when you live under laws where one ethic group has more legal rights than any other.

And precisely because the PA is a sham that allows Zionism to pretend the Arabs have “self rule”, the PA will likely soon abolish itself. Then what will the pretext be? Read this: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/erekat-palestinian-authority-cannot-exist-without-independent-state-1.375258

Dani ben Leb says:

He needs to go eat and film at The Basta in TLV. There are so many very good chef’s in Israel, so much talent, so much hard work. I recon Tone’s could be well impressed by the cuisine. Rarely has Med-fusion been that good.

Binyamin in O says:

One of Israel’s “celebrity chefs” recently entertained Palestinian women that had been smuggled in to Tel Aviv as part of an effort by righteous Jews to protest Israel’s Jim Crow laws.

Here is an account from the NYT story: “Hagit Aharoni, a psychotherapist and the wife of the celebrity chef Yisrael Aharoni, is a member of the organizing group, so the beachgoers dined on the roof of the Aharonis’ home, five floors above stylish Rothschild Boulevard, where hundreds of tents are currently pitched by Israelis angry with the high cost of housing. The guests loved Mr. Aharoni’s cooking. They lighted cigarettes — something they cannot do in public at home — and put on joyous Palestinian music. As the pink sun set over the Mediterranean, they danced with their Israeli friends.

Ms. Aharoni was asked her thoughts. She replied: “For 44 years, we have occupied another country. I am 53, which means most of my life I have been an occupier. I don’t want to be an occupier. I am engaged in an illegal act of disobedience. I am not Rosa Parks, but I admire her, because she had the courage to break a law that was not right.”

Politics and food do mix well, if its the right kind of politics.

Fairness he already went to how many Arab countries. No to the PA . Visitt israel and what israel claims as her territory on the west bank.

Don’t visit the palestiean areas they are not israel and it would turn into another anti israel show. As far as a good place to eat is gespachos at the holiday inn in ashkelon. Great lamb kabab and great original recipies.

Carrie says:

Us Jews should stop being such beggars. He went to Lebanon twice and even Saudi Arabia. I think it’s rather obvious he has no interest in visiting Israel and really, who cares? I think the above poster is right. In any case, if he went he would probably launch into anti-Israel polemics.

To the fake Binyamin:
“Correct me if I’m wrong here”

You are, as usual. Palestinians in Judea and Samaria live under the Palestinian Authority rule.

Dani ben Leb says:

I hope he finally finds that recipe with the children’s blood and the bread and all that!

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Reservation: Israel?

The movement to send Anthony Bourdain

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