Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anthony Bourdain, Israel Hater... Damn it!

Who can travel the world over and over again and only eat Asian?  Anthony Bourdain of course!  That's really cool about this Travel Channel host, and I LOVE that about him!  I think he is witty, and though more than slightly self absorbed, even a bit charming.  Though, as I watched his Travel Channel show "No Reservations" (if Rolling Stone had a travel-food show), It became increasingly clear there was something missing.  Then, I became increasingly aware of the demographic mix of some of his favorite locations, and the places he avoided. 

For example, I watched as he did a walkabout in the smorgasbord that is the Five Burroughs, waiting for the blintzes... nope, it would seem that there are no more Jews in New York. 

This gave me an inkling I was a tad uncomfortable with - did he just think Jewish cooking was bland, greasy, and just plain yucky?  Or was it something more sinister... Well, he is a foodie. Who knows, possibly just not his cup of green tea.  I mean, he can't hate Jews... he has Jewish friends.  I bet some of his best friends are... oh Lord.  Wait for the click.  Shit.

With my suspicions no longer in check, I watched as No Reservations visited just about every Arab and Muslim country around the world, without ever setting foot in Israel.  Hmm.  What's wrong with Mediterranean and Israeli cuisine?  He's no stranger to chickpeas, right? 

Oh, and the sad day came... Bourdain in Beirut. 

Beirut, the Paris of the Middle East... until extremists took over.  A beautiful city that the world would blame Israel for destroying - forget that they were overrun with Hezbollah who practice pot shots from within innocents.  A once flourishing Christian majority country now awash with angry Muslims - now the majority.  Bourdain was there just in time to document the heinous war crimes of Israel's self defense.

It is true, my one time favorite show features a kafiah wearing, pork eating, vegan hating, anti-Israel asshole.  Crap!

Though the court of TV opinion isn't exactly out on this rarely discussed topic, I'm hoping to help it out a bit.  Why?  Because I believe he would LOVE the Tel Aviv nightlife, the fine dining, the cultural mix, the up country... well maybe not the north, no bombs on Bourdain, please.  But you get my point. 

Please, prove me wrong Tony!  Help me watch No Reservations with a clear conscience!


  1. I consider myself quite sensitive to antisemitism and detected none in Bourdain's show from Beirut. He may or may not be (though I had the impression he's Jewish) but there's no evidence here. And he never wears a keffiyeh.

  2. In his NY shows he has devoted a good amount of time to the old Jewish establishments that have been shutting down. My theory is that he isn't anti-Israel. His show relies on him going to many countries; if he were to go to Israel then it would probably be hard for him to go to other countries in the Middle East.

  3. i, for one, am thankful bourdain that has respected the BDS boycott of israel for its genocide against the palestinian people.

  4. For one... Israel has ZERO respect for International law and UN resolutions..2 They are a Religious state. I am not anti-Semitic but religion and state should be separate and Israel needs to stop feeling they are so god damn entitled all the time.

    1. Are there really any Muslim states that separate church and state?