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Anthony Bourdain: The Only Mensch on Gaza


Anthony Bourdain: The Only Mensch on Gaza

Juan Cole

Anthony Bourdain was the only major American celebrity who succeeded in depicting publicly the Palestinians as rational, caring human beings rather than as irrationally angry “inciters” to violence. He was the anti-Bernard Lewis. Lewis smeared the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims with the charge of “Islamic Rage” (as though large swathes of humankind are angry for no reason).

Bourdain said, “The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinians, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity.”


Perhaps Anthony Bourdain saw too much of the world at a level that reached into the real lives of those with whom he visited. Much has been speculated on his habits and I shall not comment on matters about which I am ignorant. He was a genuine human with a passion for informing, developing, and amplifying empathy. For that his life should be celebrated.



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Indeed, he will be missed!

Sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, there is more truth and humanity to be found in a cooking show than in so-called “hard news” propaganda. Just saying.