Colbert Gets Serious About World Central Kitchen Tragedy: ‘Nothing Just Happens’

Late-night hosts have largely steered clear of the war in Gaza, but Stephen Colbert took some time out on his show Wednesday night to address the Israeli airstrikes that killed seven humanitarian aid workers earlier this week.

On Monday, a strike by Israeli Defense Forces killed seven volunteers from World Central Kitchen, the organization founded by chef José Andrés that provides meals on the frontlines of humanitarian crises.

After his monologue last night, Colbert addressed the tragedy from his desk.

“Here at The Late Show, we talk about whatever we want…” he said. “But one of our self-imposed mandates is that, if we can, we talk about what everybody’s talking about. And today, what everybody’s talking about is something that’s pretty hard to talk about. And that’s Israel and Gaza.”

“There is passionate disagreement in this country about what is the best way for Israelis and Palestinians to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future,” he continued..”I’m sure there are disagreements in this room. But I hope there is one thing we can all agree on: Human beings should have food and water.”

Colbert specifically named each of the victims before offering his thoughts. After playing a clip of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that the strike was unintentional and that “this happens in wartime,” Colbert responded with a straightforward plea: “Nothing just happens. You are responsible. If your answer is ‘this happens in war,’ then maybe consider ending the war.”

Calling the World Central Kitchen “near and dear to [his] heart,” Colbert noted that Andrés is a friend of The Late Show. The chef has appeared on the program eight times since 2018, most recently last November.

Quoting an op-ed Andrés wrote for The New York Times yesterday, Colbert stated  “Food is not a weapon of war.”

Colbert concluded his remarks by encouraging donations to World Central Kitchen, displaying a QR code to their website and saying, “Do something radical: Feed people.”

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