Growing up, my favorite restaurant in the world was Tel Aviv’s Kimmel, which was the kind of place that served you very good food without any airs. You’d come in, and the shelves stacked thick with onions and parsley and artichokes informed you that you whatever consumed you in the outside world—work, politics, and other irritants—had no room here. A few slices of country bread with butter and Za’atar later, you’d be at peace. If the restaurant’s chef and owner, Shaul Ben-Aderet, had a motto, it would be this: Keep Calm and Eat Something.
This weekend, Ben-Aderet proved the triumph of his philosophy in London, where he is cooking for the week as part of a festival, TLV in LDN, recreating Tel Aviv on the Thames. When the mischievous chef noticed a crowd of anti-Israeli demonstrators holding up pro-BDS banners and chanting slogans against the Jewish state, he knew just what to do. Calmly, he walked over with a tray of desserts and offered some to the protestors.
At first, some were reticent. Were these, they asked, Israeli desserts? Don’t worry, Ben-Aderet replied, smiling, they’re just desserts. Here, take a bite.
The protestors did, of course, because if there’s anything that years of political activism teaches you, it’s that very, very few principles in this world ever manage to transcend a delicious dessert. Anyone thinking seriously about Hasbara, anyone angry that Israel’s point of view so often gets ignored or obscured, pay attention. Watch the video below, and realize that what you need are more treats, not talking points:
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) September 11, 2017