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Sabra Express | Recipe for Disaster

Patrick Reilly, New York Post, April 3rd, 2024

 

Recap:

Chef José Andrés, founder of the World Central Kitchen (WCK), accused Israel of targeting his aid staffers “systemically, car by car” when seven were killed in an airstrike. The IDF said it misidentified their vehicles.

 

The Context:

·      The Gaza war erupted after Hamas’s October 7th attack on Israel, which resulted in 1,200 Israeli deaths, mostly civilians, and 253 being taken hostage. Israel believes 130 hostages remain in Gaza, including 34 presumed dead. The Hamas-run health ministry claims over 32,000 Palestinian casualties, although this unverifiable figure includes both Hamas militants and civilians, some of whom may have been casualties of Hamas rocket misfires. Gaza faces a near-complete blockade, with the United Nations (UN) accusing Israel of hindering humanitarian aid delivery to its 2.4 million inhabitants [1].

·      WCK was founded in 2010 by Andrés, a Michelin-starred chef, and stands out as one of the few aid organizations successfully delivering food to Gaza. WCK's construction of a makeshift jetty has been instrumental in delivering essential aid to Gaza's 2.2 million Palestinians, including 42 million meals [2]. The first food shipment arrived in Gaza on March 20th, with the second shipment turned back to Cyprus after WCK suspended its operations this week [3]. According to the UN, nearly 200 aid workers were killed during the current war between Israel and Hamas. [4].

·      US President Joe Biden accused Israel of not doing enough to “protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians” although his administration has no plans to change its policy toward Israel [5]. A senior adviser for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called claims that the strike was intentional "absurd" [6]. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi apologized, saying “it was a mistake that followed a misidentification, at night, during a war, in very complex conditions [7].”

·      A report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) said famine is "imminent" in northern Gaza [8]. Israel contested the methodology used in the report. For instance, the IPC claimed that before the war, 500 trucks entered Gaza daily, whereas now it's only 200. Israel countered this claim, stating that before the war, nearly 400 trucks entering Gaza carried items like construction materials and other consumer goods, while only around 100 trucks contained food.

 

Conversation Points:

·      Are Israel’s critics oversimplifying the complexities of war?

·      Which other conflicts globally face similar scrutiny to Israel’s war with Hamas?

·      Why is the United States hesitant to leverage its influence to compel Israel to change its war strategies?

·      Will Biden's strategy of both supporting and admonishing Israel resonate with his base?

 

Notes:

2.     Biden’s not changing Israel policy after deadly strike on aid workers, Alexander Ward, POLITICO, April 3rd, 2024.

3.     What to know about the World Central Kitchen attack in Gaza, ELLEN MITCHELL, The Hill, April 2nd, 2024

5.     Biden’s not changing Israel policy after deadly strike on aid workers, Alexander Ward, POLITICO, April 3rd, 2024.

6.     'Absurd': Israel rejects claims of targeted attack on World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, Britt Clennett, Dragana Jovanovic, Jordana Miller, Kuba Kaminski, and Meredith Deliso, ABC News, April 3rd, 2024.

8.     'Absurd': Israel rejects claims of targeted attack on World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, Britt Clennett, Dragana Jovanovic, Jordana Miller, Kuba Kaminski, and Meredith Deliso, ABC News, April 3rd, 2024.

 

 

 

 

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