Hummus Becomes the Latest Target of Israel’s Enemies

June 23 2020

Such is the nature of hostility toward the Jewish state that referring to such culinary staples as hummus, falafel, and shakshuka as “Israeli food” is considered a grievous afront to Palestinian dignity—not on Iranian propaganda networks, but in polite discourse in America. Gilead Ini writes:

A few years ago, for example, after the television food-show host Rachael Ray wrote about her “Israeli nite” dinner of hummus, eggplant, and other Middle Eastern dips, pollster James Zogby responded on Twitter with hashtags of fury: “Damn it. . . . This is cultural #genocide. It’s not #Israeli food.” Likewise, in 2017, when [the comedian] Conan O’Brien made the mistake of describing shakshuka as “Israeli,” he was accosted on camera by anti-Israel activists who insisted that the eggs-and-tomato dish is really Palestinian. (It isn’t. As the Libyan food writer Sara Elmusrati has explained, Sephardi Jews brought the dish from its original home in North Africa to Israel, where it’s been “showcased in a way it has never been in the Maghreb states.”)

The denial and erasure, [in fact], tend to go in the opposite direction. The delegitimization of Israeli food is a predictable outgrowth of a broader campaign to denigrate Israel itself and to deny the culture and humanity of its Jewish citizens. We can look to campus for some typical examples: “The only Israeli food that they eat is the blood of the Palestinian people,” wrote a Kent State student who later headed the university’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. . . . Similar slurs come from higher up the ivory tower. “Israeli food, you Zionist occupiers and thieves? It [is] as Israeli as apple pie is Arabic,” mused the California State professor Asad Abukhalil.

And this bring Ini to another absurdity in this line of reasoning:

Throughout the multiethnic Middle East, Jews ate and made hummus for as long as anyone has. If you search for the world’s earliest known published hummus recipe, for example, you’d find it in 13th-century Egypt. There, you’d also find a prominent demographic minority of Jews—the ancestors of so many Egyptian Jews who took the short voyage east to Israel.

[Moreover], for centuries after the Roman victory, Jewish communities thrived in and around northern Israel. Today, we can still find the remains of their towns and synagogues. Arab villagers who subsequently resettled one of those Jewish towns named their new village Yehudiya, a reference to the Jews who, they fully understood, preceded them. . . . In the 10th century, for example, an Arab geographer wrote of their flourishing in Jerusalem—“Everywhere the Christians and the Jews have the upper hand”—working as tanners and dyers and moneychangers.

In the subsequent millennium, although the Jewish population of the Land and Israel waxed and waned, it never disappeared. Surely some of those Jews occasionally enjoyed a bowl of hummus.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Zionism, Jewish food, Ottoman Palestine

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror