Culinary Union Statement Leads to Debate on Israel-Hamas Conflict

Posted on: March 12, 2024, 10:26h. 

Last updated on: March 12, 2024, 09:36h.

The Las Vegas-based Culinary Union and its parent organization, Unite Here, recently issued a call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas forces.

Ted Pappageorge
Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, pictured above. The union wants to see a ceasefire in Gaza. (Image: Nevada Independent/Jeff Scheid)

This week, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said there is now a “humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” given the ongoing conflict.

“The Culinary Union is calling for ceasefire in Palestine, democracy in the region, and will continue the dialogue with workers and their families,” a union statement said.

The union also wants to “ensure the freeing of hostages and freedom for Palestinians,” according to the statement.

In its similar statement, Unite Here said it wants “to be part of a movement toward a lasting peace.”

As of this week, there are an estimated 134 people still being held captive by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

In total, Hamas captured some 250 hostages from Israel in October. Many have since been released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

The Oct. 7 attack killed about 1,200 people. Most were civilians, and many victims were reportedly mutilated or sexually assaulted.

In the ensuing months, Israel has conducted military operations to eliminate Hamas militants and leaders. Israeli forces also are attempting to free the remaining hostages.

Hamas Should Be Dismantled

In response to the union statement, Rabbi Yitz Wyne, who is the spiritual leader of Young Israel Aish synagogue of Las Vegas, said, “The Jewish community appreciates Unite Here’s call for the release of the Israeli hostages.”

Wyne told the union’s statement “fails to recognize the tragedy of the over 1,200 people who were murdered by Hamas and their dedication for the complete destruction of the State of Israel, and [their] commitment to continue the violence against the Jewish people.”

He wants to see Israel successful in its military operations.

“We reject a call for a cease-fire until Hamas is completely dismantled — and call for a recognition that the suffering brought upon those who live in Gaza is a direct result of the hatred and violence of Hamas against Israel and the Jewish people,” Wyne said.

Don’t Alienate Guests

In a social media post, Eve Edison responded to the union’s statement, saying, “If I were a culinary worker who was forced to pay dues, this is NOT what I’d want my union focused on.”

“Get me a raise, better working conditions, a reliable pension. Don’t alienate my guests,” Edison added.