Balthazar owner Keith McNally’s post on Hamas terror attack sparks fury: ‘Listen to the other side’

Famed Balthazar and Pastis owner Keith McNally stirred outrage from many of his loyal diners by suggesting Israel “listen to the other side” after the deadly Hamas terror attacks on the Jewish state.

“The More Utterly Repugnant The Facts, The Greater The Responsibility Becomes To Listen To The Other Side,” McNally captioned a photo he posted Monday to Instagram showing a barrage of Hamas rockets flying into Israel.

The Big Apple restaurateur’s comment came as wounds remain raw from Saturday’s shocking incursion into Israel by the terror group that left more than 700 dead and dozens of others taken hostage – including women and children.

Many of the innocent who were slaughtered or abducted were attending a music festival near the Gaza border.

“Replace ‘concert’ with ‘Balthazar,’ can you imagine someone terrorizing your innocent and beloved team and customers? War is the ugliest (and often most utterly senseless) thing known to man but there is never justification for targeted terror on civilians, especially children FFS,” wrote one user.

McNally, 72, doubled down in his defense of his post, revealing that he is part Jewish and that he lived in the 1970s “for long stretches of time on an Israeli kibbutz.”


McNally’s post stirred outrage from many of his loyal diners.

McNally urged all to “listen to the other side.”
Instagram/Keith McNally

“My older brother Peter risked his life spying for Israel. Everything you describe in your comment is Utterly Repugnant to me. … This doesn’t mean Forgive. It means Listen. There’s nothing ever to lose by listening.”

McNally reiterated the argument when contacted by The Post.

His logic, however, failed to sway many of his followers, with some vowing to boycott his popular bistros.

“Keith, you’re a business person who is in the hospitality business, many of your customers are Jews. I will never be eating at one of your establishments again and think everyone who’s listening should think twice about supporting any of your restaurant[s] until you get educated,” wrote Tal Alexander.

McNally’s stance on Hamas’ attack is a stark contrast from his actions following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Instead of asking Ukraine to “listen to the other side,” he donated money to help Ukraine.

At the time, he told The Post: “I’m doing it because I feel it’s my duty. I’m not sure I could live with my conscience if I didn’t. I don’t care whether other restaurants do the same thing, but nonetheless I’m surprised that none of the restaurateurs in London and New York I’ve asked to join in have said yes. After all, in the end, we’re all connected.”

The famed restaurateur doubled down in his defense of his post.

When reached by the Post on Monday, McNally said by email: “Early on, while raising money for Ukraine, I did say we must at least to listen to [the] other side. I believe at the beginning of any war you must always Listen. NOT SUPPORT, BUT LISTEN. After spending the first month of Russia’s invasion reading as much as possible on Putin’s reason for invading Ukraine I totally and comprehensively didn’t agree with it.”

“I think we could at least listen to the Palestinians. This does not mean forgive or not retaliate. It simply means listen. But I would listen to the Palestinians far more than the vile terrorist gang, Hamas. There’s nothing ever to lose by listening. That’s all I’m saying.”

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