Chef José Andrés’ Remarks About Gaza Spur Response From The White House

( – On April 1, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired on a convoy of World Central Kitchen workers, killing seven of them. In the aftermath, celebrity chef and founder José Andrés spoke out, saying that there is much more going on in Gaza than anyone realizes. His statements prompted a response from the White House.

Andrés hasn’t been afraid to speak out about how he perceives the situation in Gaza. He said in broader terms, that the conflict isn’t about the people his organization lost. It’s not about the “war against terror” or even “a war about defending Israel.” Rather, he sees it as “a war against humanity itself.”

The celebrity chef’s comments drew a swift response from the White House. National Security Communications adviser John Kirby said that there “have got to be changes” to ensure that what happened to the World Central Kitchen workers doesn’t happen again. However, when pressed about whether the IDF would’ve recognized the humanitarian aid convoy’s insignia, Kirby refused to broach that subject.

Kirby also refused to comment on whether Israel would face consequences for skirting its commitments to allowing more humanitarian aid into the strip. Instead, he said that it would be judged “over time, and see if there’s a sustained and verifiable way so that confidence can be restored.”

Israel has been on the defensive since Hamas attacked on October 7. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been steadfast in his goal of eradicating the militant group. However, Palestinians in Gaza are running out of places to go, and many are suffering from food insecurity. There’s a lack of basic necessities, and more than 30,000 people—many women and children—have reportedly been killed in the conflict.

The IDF said on Sunday that it had “concluded its mission” in Khan Younis and had withdrawn ground forces from the region. Whether it’s a sign of things to come is yet to be seen.

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