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November 2, 2016 7:52 pm

Leading Jewish Group Calls on Pro-Israel New Yorkers to Show Support for BDS-Defying Michelin-Starred Chef

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Musket Room chief executive chief and co-owner Matt Lambert. Photo: Musket Room website.

Musket Room executive chef and co-owner Matt Lambert. Photo: Musket Room website.

A major New York Jewish group is calling on members of the pro-Israel community to show their support for the chef of a Manhattan restaurant who has come under fire from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement over an upcoming trip to Israel.

Matt Lambert — the New Zealand-born executive chef and co-owner of the Musket Room in the Nolita neighborhood — is set to travel to Tel Aviv later this month to show off his skills in the American Express-sponsored Round Tables World Culinary Tour. Lambert — a Michelin-starred rising talent — will be one of 13 renowned chefs from around the globe who will take over the kitchens of some of the top restaurants in Israel’s gastronomical capital between Nov. 15-19.

Since his participation in the festival was announced, Lambert has been targeted by the BDS movement via a Twitter campaign and demonstrations outside his restaurant.

Earlier this week, in response to this BDS effort, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) issued an action alert, urging New Yorkers to patronize the Musket Room, leave positive reviews on Facebook and Yelp and thank Lambert via Twitter.

“We wanted to show that restaurants or any other business should not be afraid of having relationships with Israel,” Noam Gilboord — the JCRC-NY’s director of Israel and International Affairs — told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. “It’s a really big deal for New York to show its appreciation for Chef Matt Lambert for his willingness to go to Israel and participate in this tour despite the BDS pressure. We’re encouraging people to show their thanks to this one guy who is doing the right thing.”

“Remember,” Gillboord continued, “this is not about a guy going to a West Bank settlement. He’s going to Tel Aviv. The BDS movement is trying to isolate Israel from the international community and discourage as many people as possible to not have anything to do with Israel proper. That’s what it’s about. The BDS movement is not an anti-occupation movement. It’s an anti-Israel movement. And this should be very clear.”

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  • The BDS-Movement is an entirely anti-Semitic organization. BDS is not involved at all with the well-being of Israeli Arabs or Falastinians. On the contrary, many Falastinians lost their jobs because of the evil activities of BDS.

    The same financial supporters who are also supporting the Falastinian terror, financially support the BDS-Movement. In the websites below, is well-documented information.

    In meantime, the corrupt and criminal PA, together with BDS invented the
    “Apartheid-Libel”, again an outrageous lie. Its purpose is to demonize and
    defame Israel.

    BDS is supported by certain Israeli and “Jewish” organizations, actively
    supporting the Falastinian cause. Namely the “new Israel fund”, the NIF

    For well-documented information, revert to

  • herbcaen

    “this is not about a guy going to a West Bank settlement. He’s going to Tel Aviv. … I support the chef and he would be welcomed in Judea and Samaria anytime

  • Ben Packer

    That last paragraph is a pretty stupid thing to say. Besides, I would imagine he’s planning to visit the Western Wall, which is considered a “west bank settlement” by the overwhelming majority of the world. Its time the “pro-Israel leadership” in America stop saying such boneheaded things. They sound stupid and are counterproductive.

  • bargouti

    These NY Jews will be too busy supporting Hillary Clinton instead….

  • jobacon

    ““Remember, this is not about a guy going to a West Bank settlement”. So what if he was? The land of the West Bank is legitimately Israel’s since the Jordanians, who owned it in 1967, were the aggressors and anyway it is historically part of Biblical Israel. It is not owned by the Arabs who now live there, it never was, the land they now call Palestine, was never an autonomous, self-governing region in its entire history– unless you go back 2,000 years when it was the land owned by and settled by the Jews.

  • watsa46

    To many Jew haters in NYC!

  • cpa cpa

    Thank you for writing this story. I have already contacted Matt Lambert to show my support of him.

  • brenrod

    I beleive that there is a legal case about interfering with ones livelihood. The answer is always to attack the purse of those doing the damage.

  • crinedel

    “Remember,” Gillboord continued, “this is not about a guy going to a West Bank settlement. He’s going to Tel Aviv.” What’s to remember? What’s the difference? And if he goes to a town in Judea or Samaria, all the better.

  • Isahiah62

    YES please support those who support doing the right thing..perhaps this star chef will consider a special night for all kosher menu, which would bring even more people who otherwise could/would not eat there.

  • LoriLowenthalMarcus

    So is Gillboord saying that if Lambert were going to say, Efrat or Ariel, the JCRC would not oppose the BDStrds? It sure sounds like that. Shame on him and anyone else who supports boycotting Jews living and breathing anywhere in the world, including in the DISPUTED (not occupied) territories of Judea and Samaria.