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September 16, 2013 1:23 pm

TV Host Anthony Bourdain Reveals His Jewish Roots During Visit to Jerusalem (VIDEO)

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Anthony Bourdain. Photo: WikiCommons.

Superstar food personality and all-around heathen Anthony Bourdain is part Jewish, he revealed in the first episode of the new season of his CNN show Parts Unknown, in which he visited Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Bourdain, who has made no secret of his French heritage throughout his more than ten years hosting travel shows, said that one of his parents was Jewish while the other was Catholic, “I think.”

Bourdain, despite having traveled the world, had never been to Israel, noting that he was unsure of what to think of it and that perhaps he had hesitated because of the country’s complicated political climate. He added, however, that though raised without religion,  and having never been to synagogue, he didn’t think that made him any less Jewish.

During the show, Bourdain goes on a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City with Yotam Ottolenghi, the London-based Israeli-born chef, and co-author of cookbook Jerusalem, visits settlers in the West Bank, and a refugee camp. He also takes a detour from the traditional tourist attractions, meeting Palestinian female race-car drivers and spending time with an interfaith couple who run a restaurant in the Judean Hills. He heads to Gaza and joins a married couple willing to defy conventions—by cooking dinner together.

Bourdain is no stranger to the region’s conflicts. During filming in Beirut for a show in 2006, he was caught in the middle of the Second Lebanon War. The ordeal was the basis for the show and Bourdain and his crew eventually had to be evacuated from the country, as Israeli planes struck targets in the city.

The episode maintains a safe distance from deep exploration of the issues that wrack the region, but Bourdain, visibly hesitant throughout much of the show, settles on one fact, telling his companions at one point: “It’s beautiful here. I don’t know why I didn’t expect that.”

Watch a video clip of the show, below:

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  • Bill Cohn

    I was banned from the Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown site defending Israel from the likes of the co founder of FRee Gaza Movement and others that flooded the page with anti Israel propaganda. Guess what they banned me.

    • Sarah Leah

      Because what you were saying was B#llsh*t … I would have banned you too.

  • Michael Goldstein

    Did the author actually watch the episode or just go with the PR package from CNN and a few clips. One of the most virulently anti-Israel pieces of propoganda I have seen. He spent 1/3 of the show focusing on some graffitti on the wall seperating the Palestinian territories from Israel that was scrawled by some Jewish kids, saying “We hate Arabs” -Asking every person on the show why it hadn’t been taken down- never asked why it was put up in the first place,never asked about stones, bullets bombs and stabbings by the Palestinian side. Never asked about Arab graffitti on the other side of the wall.Can you believe people in the territories have never seen the ocean, been to Jerusalem their “holiest” city, never visit relatives in other areas. Tony the “Jew” joins the very long list of celebrity self-hating Jews who only wish they were anything else but Jewish in his own sel-loathing and disdain for Israel. It was a disgusting thing to watch , made all the more vile by the fact that he waited for 11 years to spew his hatred and propoganda on us and at the same time try to cloak it in hey I’m one of you guys so I can say and od all this stuff. He was much better off when he was cooking and eating cockroaches which to Bourdain is almost like cannabilism. I guess when you are appearing on anti-semitic and anti-Israel CNN you have to lead the conga party. Can’t wait to see his new show on Al-Jazeera, Kosher Confidential: How the Rothchilds Rule the World.

    • Richard

      Michael…I agree with you.I just saw that episode. Bordain is in the kitchen of the settlers where he asks them about the graffitti. Meanwhile they are serving him a meal which I thought looked pretty sparse and unappetizing. I think he did that on purpose. Then he goes to visit the Palestinian kitchen..and he oohs and aahs over the chicken and rice.
      What’s my point? Bourdain, in the interests of media transparency, should just come and say…I don’t like Jews, but I do love Arabs. Or better yet, stay out of geo-politics.

      • Sarah Leah

        Adults .. are responsible for childrens behavior. The graffiti is disgusting, shameful .. and simply disrespectful bad behavior.

  • Daniel

    I already knew – had a very strong hunch – that he was Jewish.

    • Sarah Leah

      Yes. And like many other non-Zionist, non-elitist, non-fascist Jews .. knows, Israel has been in the wrong .. for a very long time.