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José Andrés: Israel ‘fighting the basis of what humanity should be standing for’

The celebrity chef and friend of U.S. President Joe Biden accused the Jewish state of a “targeted” airstrike on aid workers.

José Andrés, founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, speaks at the April 12, 2019 World Bank/IMF spring meetings. Credit: Josh Cogan/World Bank.
José Andrés, founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, speaks at the April 12, 2019 World Bank/IMF spring meetings. Credit: Josh Cogan/World Bank.

The celebrity chef José Andrés, a friend of U.S. President Joe Biden’s, accused Israel during an interview with CBS News of intentionally targeting an aid convey and of waging a “war against humanity itself.”

“You cannot be fighting the basis of what humanity should be standing for,” said Andrés, founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen and of the Global Food Institute at George Washington University.

Seven aid workers who were killed on Monday were “targeted systematically car by car,” Andrés said. “This was not just a bad-luck situation, where ‘Oops. We dropped the bomb in the wrong place.'”

Israel has taken responsibility for the strike and is investigating the incident. U.S. officials have at times cautioned against drawing conclusions before the completion of Israel’s investigation; however, Biden and senior members of his administration have said that they are “outraged” and that the Jewish state doesn’t do enough to protect civilians.

Andrés said that the cars had a “very colorful logo that we are obviously very proud of,” and that it was “very clear who we are and what we do.”

“What I know is that we were targeted deliberately non-stop until everybody was dead in this convoy,” he said. “That cannot be the role of an army that has hundreds of drones above Gaza in any single moment.”

“At the time, this looks like it’s not a war against terrorism anymore,” Andrés added. “It seems like this is a war against humanity itself.”

“Andrés is a good man, in my humble opinion,” wrote Jonah Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Dispatch. “I’ll chalk this up to understandable grief and shock. But this is a grotesque and wholly unsubstantiated slander. Be nice if there was a bit more skepticism from the press.”

World Central Kitchen Gaza
The remains of a car that was part of a convoy of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen that was struck by an April 2, 2024 airstrike in Gaza. Israel has taken responsibility and is investigating. Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

On Oct. 8, the day after Hamas’s terror attack on Israel, Andrés wrote, “This is a heartbreaking time in Israel. There is no excuse for the murder of innocent civilians! We must condemn senseless violence and stand with the families who are suffering. Peace can only come from compassion and understanding that we share this world with each other.”

When the Spanish politician Ione Belarra accused Israel of genocide on Oct. 16, Andrés wrote in Spanish, “You as minister have to first recognize that the Hamas attack against civilians is a terrorist act” and “that Israel is defending its citizens.”

“Then you can ask for restraint and respect for the lives of civilians in Gaza,” he added. “Do you also support Russia? Who has killed children and women and old people and civilians? I have not heard you say a word against such a massacre?” He added that Belarra neither represents him nor Spain and doesn’t deserve to be a minister.

Andrés has also met with Israeli officials to plan food deliveries in Gaza and his nonprofit provided food and water to displaced Israelis after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks.

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