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Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen Forced to Close Over Death Threats

The restaurant hopes to "reopen shortly."

Conflict Kitchen

Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen — a restaurant that "only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict" — has closed its doors after receiving death threats. According to the restaurant's Facebook page, they received a letter "containing death threats" and will be closed until the "credibility of the letter can be established by the Pittsburgh police."

The Guardian notes that most recently, Conflict Kitchen has been serving Palestinian food, which has made some people incredibly unhappy. Namely, pro-Israel groups have accused Conflict Kitchen of putting "anti-Israel sentiments" on its food wrappers for its take-out orders.

The wrappers include text from interviews with Palestinians about many subjects including food, "religion in daily life," and "dating." According to the Post-Gazette, many have taken issues with certain subjects covered. The "settlements" section includes the following text:

"The Israeli settlements in the West Bank perform three key functions. The first is territorial; it's about fragmenting and isolating Palestinian communities. The second is to control the distribution of resources. Water, land and government services are taken away from Palestinians and given to Jewish settlers. The third is surveillance. In the Occupied Territories, all the settlements are on hills; this gives them a military advantage and lets the settlers watch the Palestinians. If Palestinians cross boundaries to harvest olives, the settlers can see this and attack them."

Conflict Kitchen, however, defended the wrappers over the weekend, writing that those who claim that the wrappers feature "anti-Israeli messages" demonstrate a "distinct lack of research into what is actually on the wrappers, a reinforcement of right-wing accusations, and thoughtlessness about our current situation." The restaurant's statement also confirmed that the interviews were conducted by restaurant representatives with Palestinians in Palestine, and noted that while it may be "hard for some people to hear that Palestinians are not happy with Israeli policies or the actions of some of its citizens" the sentiments are not anti-Israel.

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