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Protests at Israel supporting restaurants in London, Rome, Berlin & Barcelona

December 7, 2015
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VIDEO: http://tiny.cc/apartheidRoundT Anti-apartheid activists picketed Stazione di Posta in Rome, Tragaluz in Barcelona, Fruehsammers in Berlin and the Cinnamon Kitchen in London to protest their participation in a culinary event in Tel Aviv intended to whitewash Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians.

VIDEO: http://tiny.cc/apartheidRoundT Anti-apartheid activists picketed Stazione di Posta in Rome, Tragaluz in Barcelona, Fruehsammers in Berlin and the Cinnamon Kitchen in London to protest their participation in a culinary event in Tel Aviv intended to whitewash Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians. Dubbed by its Israeli organizers as an offensive of “gastro-diplomacy”, the Round Tables event brought chefs from nine international restaurants for a cook-in in Tel Aviv during the month of November. A letter sent to the nine restaurants and signed by 130 civil society organizations denounced the event, sponsored by Israeli government ministries and an illegal Israeli settlement business, as a cynical PR ploy while Israel denies Palestinians food sovereignty and even counts how many calories Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are allowed to consume. In a video released by the “Apartheid Round Tables” campaign, protesters are seen challenging restaurant management about their participation. The owner of Tragaluz told protesters she wasn’t aware of Israel’s political exploitation of the event and had she known in good time, they would have pulled out. “We want to inflict as much bad publicity at this Israeli government cover-up event so no other international restaurant dares to participate in the Tel Aviv Round Tables next year,” said Laia Haurie from BDS Catalunya. “Restaurants willingly lending credibility to Israeli apartheid and its war crimes against Palestinians risk a local boycott.” In a welcome development, the Città dell’Altra Economia, the alternative economy complex where Stazione di Posta is located in Rome, issued a statement disapproving of the restaurant’s association with illegal Israeli settlements, embarrassing the owners. “We booked tables at Stazione di Posta and staged a walkout in protest at their participation in the Apartheid Round Tables event in Tel Aviv. Customers and passers-by supported our action, showing that association with Israel is increasingly seen as a liability,” said Loretta Mussi of the campaign group BDS Rome. Protesters outside the Cinnamon Kitchen in London prepared a special menu for the restaurant (featured photo) which included among other dishes a “Tel Aviv tikka with pepper spray” in reference to the violent repression Palestinians face daily at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces invading their villages in the West Bank. Israeli activists supporting the campaign staged a similar action at one of the participating restaurants in Tel Aviv. On social media over 3500 tweets denounced the event with the hashtag #apartheidRoundTables and hundreds of users posted disapproving comments on the Facebook page of the participating restaurants, in response to an action call by the campaign. ## Read blog post by NYC chef Ora Wise about participation of The Fat Radish in Apartheid Round Tables: https://thebigceci.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/take-apartheid-off-the-menu/

December 7, 2015
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