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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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