Conflict Kitchen closes after death threat

Oakland restaurant Conflict Kitchen, which recently has been the focus of controversy over its serving of Palestinian food with what other groups have called anti-Israel messages on its food wrappers, has closed until further notice after receiving a letter containing death threats, according to a post on its Facebook page.

Conflict Kitchen will remain closed until the credibility of the letter is confirmed by police. The restaurant in Schenley Plaza serves foods from countries with which the United States is in conflict. 

“We hope to reopen shortly,” the post says.

Jon Rubin, co-founder of the restaurant, on Friday referred questions about the Facebook post to Pittsburgh police, who are investigating the legitimacy of the letter. It was not delivered to the restaurant but to Pittsburgh police at the Zone 1 station on the North Side. Police later notified the restaurant.

Pittsburgh public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler declined to say Saturday evening whether the letter was credible. She also declined to reveal the contents of the letter or when it was delivered.

Attempts to reach anyone else at the restaurant through e-mail was unsuccessful Saturday evening.

Clarification, posted Nov. 10, 2014: In an earlier version of this story, a paragraph failed to attribute to other groups the characterization of food wrappers that they said contained anti-Israel messages. As reported by the Post-Gazette Nov. 6, the food wrappers are designed with text from interviews with Palestinians living in the U.S. and Gaza.


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