* In Gaza 97% of water is currently contaminated by sewage and/or salt due to the ongoing blockade of 1.7 million Palestinians living there (Oxfam)
Judy Joo is a chef, writer and restaurateur. We love the creativity of her work at London’s Jinjuu — but we hate apartheid, so we’re hoping Joo will turn down the Israeli government-sponsored ‘Tel Aviv Round Tables’ food festival. More than 70 chefs and food writers in the US are choosing to speak out against Israel’s violation of Palestinian land rights, water rights and basic human rights. Please join them Judy Joo!
Dear Judy Joo,
We understand that you and your restaurant, Jinjuu, are scheduled to appear for a week in Tel Aviv in November this year as part of the American Express Round Tables event.
We’re wondering if you’ve seen this appeal to you and all the other participating chefs by Palestinian women’s and farmers’ associations.
You will see that the Palestinians are characterising Round Tables as ‘gastro-diplomacy…to cover up Israel’s decades-old system of occupation and apartheid’.
We can understand that for people who don’t necessarily pay close attention to the politics of the Middle East, the circumstances of Palestinian lives, in exile and under Israeli military occupation – circumstances that lead Palestinians to describe themselves as enduring an apartheid system – might be unfamiliar.
Would you be prepared to meet with a couple of us to discuss this, and the implications of your appearance in Tel Aviv, further?
You’re a respected and highly visible figure in the culinary world, renowned for your promotion of Korean cuisine and the quality of your cooking. You are lending your reputation to a PR exercise that masks a grim daily reality for Palestinians.
Our organisation, Artists for Palestine UK, represents more than 1,300 UK artists who, since early 2015, have publicly declared that they will not perform or accept other professional invitations from official Israeli bodies until Israel ‘complies with international law and universal principles of human rights’.
This is a stance that is increasingly supported by creative professionals around the world. You may be aware that in the last year alone, numbers of high-profile artists, including Lorde and Lana Del Rey, have cancelled appearances in Israel once they understood their performances could be interpreted as endorsing the oppression of the Palestinians.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Artists for Palestine UK