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World Central Kitchen Founder Andrés, with Humanity and Biting Sarcasm, Indicts Netanyahu and Biden

Jose Andres. Credit: Jose Andres’ Facebook page

April 7 (EIRNS)—José Andrés—Spanish-native celebrity chef who lives in Washington, D.C., has numerous restaurants in the capital—founder of World Central Kitchen, seven of whose workers were killed by the IDF in Gaza on April 3—appeared today on ABC News’ Sunday show, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Using laser-like sarcasm and his own humanity, Andrés delivers a blistering attack on both Israel’s and Joe Biden’s callous non-response to the enormity of the tragedy, and the killing of Palestinians and other aid workers. He was interviewed by ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz.

Raddatz: It was the loss of seven aid workers this week that seemed to galvanize a new level of outrage…. You said you wish you’d never founded World Central Kitchen.

Andrés: You know, I will forever have to live with this, as well as the families and all the members of both World Central Kitchen. I founded it with one very simple idea. Can we provide food and water quicker than anybody else? Obviously something like this makes you think. We did what we did because there’s a lot of people that are always forgotten, people that are always voiceless. I know very often many people joined the organization because they saw me doing the work before, and this began being an organization of one that became an organization of millions. And these are seven internationals, six internationals plus Saif, the Palestinian who is buried, and I received the photo from his father, his family on where he’s already resting. And this has become news because these six internationals, that they’ve been impacted by this war and where they’re dead now, many are mourning.

Raddatz: The initial report released Friday [by the IDF], calling the drone strikes a grave mistake that should not have happened. Satisfied with that report?

Andrés: Well, I want to thank, obviously, the IDF for doing such a quick investigation. But at the same time, I will say … the investigation should be much more deeper. And I would say that the perpetrator cannot be investigating himself. I would say we need more information. We need to see better quality videos. We need to be saying what was the conversations, the radio conversation between the different officers and soldiers in charge of saying that those cars were a target because they were an imminent threat? Those weapons can only be used with very sophisticated drones. And we all know that those drones have high capabilities day and night with cameras that can see in very powerful way what’s going on.

Raddatz: That’s one of the things that they said is that they could not because it was night, see the logo from World Central Kitchen, which was so clear on top of the vehicle in the daytime, they said they couldn’t see it at night. Do you buy that?

Andrés: Obviously, I would like to see high quality of the video, high quality of the images. I’m very sure that probably, those logos were visible. These were white cars. That [WCK] logo is very colorful. Even in a dark night, I guarantee you that [for] those drones, [the logos] could be seen.

When Raddatz said that the IDF says the video shows Hamas, Andrés rejoined, “Every time something happens, we cannot just be bringing Hamas into the question…. There’s way too many cases now of humanitarians dying, many civilians, women, children that the only thing they did was trying to get close by to somewhere that they were giving them flour or bread.

“This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. This is happening way for too long. It’s been six months of targeting anything that seems—moves. This doesn’t seem a war against terror. This doesn’t seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it’s a war against humanity itself. That’s why, yes, I’m requesting Israel, I’m requesting Prime Minister, I’m requesting IDF that this investigation, and many others should be done right, should be done in an independent way.”

Raddatz: José, you said earlier this week in an interview, “We were targeted deliberately, nonstop until everybody was dead in this convoy.” Do you believe … that they were deliberately targeted, your aid group?

Andrés: That the convoy was deliberately attacked, it was obvious. The precision, the continuous following over 1.8 km until the three cars were totally destroyed and all the members inside those three. Obviously, this was targeted. We could argue that the first one [car], let’s say, was a mistake. The second? The third?

Raddatz: Do you believe World Central Kitchen was targeted on purpose?

Andrés: …I’m sure they knew our teams. I’m sure they were in direct contact with the different people that coordinate, in these situations.

But obviously these things keep happening, these breaking of communications keeps happening…. Civilians must be protected. Humanitarian organizations must be protected. They are people that have names and last names. They are people that matter. They cannot be voiceless. They cannot be ghosts of wars that don’t make sense.…

Raddatz: You spoke to President Biden. Did you say to him what you’re saying to me now?

Andrés: I spoke as a person. I spoke as the founder of the organization. I spoke on behalf of the seven people who are no longer with us. I spoke about the hundreds of other humanitarians, that they are no longer with us, and I spoke about the thousands of civilians that, probably, they didn’t have to be perishing in the way they are.

President Biden, you, you, you can and America will stand behind you, support the right of Israel to defend themselves on this massive attack. But at the same time, I would say that President Biden also can be defending and supporting the right of Palestinians not to die just trying to be getting a piece of bread.

Andrés added that Biden can be telling Benjamin Netanyahu: “You cannot be destroying every building, every hospital, every school, every university!”

Andrés concludes: “We need to make sure that the humanitarians doing this work are safe. Hundreds have died, close to 200 already. In a way, I’m sad that it had to be the killing of six foreigners that brings all this outrage. Sometimes history is written, unfortunately, in moments like this. But if there’s anything to the lives of these six heroes, brave souls can bring, it is the real understanding of what’s really happening in Gaza. Not … because there’s a Hamas operative in every building. We cannot be winning a war, destroying the livelihoods of 2 million people. This is not a way to create safety for Israel. This is not the way to create safety for the Middle East. This is not the way to create safety for a better tomorrow. I don’t believe in higher walls. I believe in longer tables. What is good for me must be good for you.”