Monday, March 16, 2015

Insightful Portrait of the Israel/Palestinian Conflict from the Travel Channel

Breaking Borders: Jerusalem (first aired 3/15/15)

Is hard news analysis being taken over by cooking shows?

It seems that way.  In 2013 Anthony Bourdain began hosting a food oriented travel show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN, which won an award for its segment on Gaza and the West Bank.  Bourdain shared meals with interesting chefs on all sides of the conflict, including the West Bank, Gaza, and Sderot.  Now the Travel Channel has gone CNN one better with an excellent program "Breaking Borders" which gets everyone around one table. The result is a compelling glimpse at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  The hosts are award winning Portuguese journalist Mariana van Zeller and heavily tattooed, but charming, Southern California chef Michael Voltaggio.  Zeller gathered a Palestinian book store owner from East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers, and an Israeli Peace Now activist for a memorable kosher meal at Tanya Winery, located in the Ofra settlement.

The video provides an excellent flavor of the atmosphere and tension in Jerusalem, Hebron, and around the settlements.  Judging by this first program, Breaking Borders will be show to keep your eye on.

Hat tip to "Kris" and "Just," commenters at Mondoweiss who brought the program to my attention.

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