Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Weather? That Won't Work Either; Neither Will Felafel

From the satiric Onion:

Middle East Small Talks To Focus On Getting Israel, Palestine To Discuss Weather

According to State Department officials, the violently clashing peoples of Israel and Palestine have agreed to resume small talks this week in an effort to move toward eventually having a discussion about the weather. "Our goal is to achieve a preliminary open dialogue about the weather that will be mutually beneficial for all involved," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...At press time, officials were trying to find the easiest way for representatives from Israel and Palestine to bump into each other at the grocery store

Grocery store?

Try hummus stand. But not a felafel stand.

Why not? I guess some moonbeams would call it 'gastronomic colonialism". Why not. Here, read:

...the falafel became synonymous with the Israeli figure. It is a quick, messy, spicy, no-frills street food, which packs plenty of nutrition and value into a small portion. Adopting it as a national food matched an ideology that attempted to negate the Diaspora in favor of a new and vital Jewish existence in Israel. The fact is that this low prestige street food is in step with the ambivalent attitude toward the local Arab population: treating it as a role model on the one hand, but also as a primitive society in need of modernization and acculturation on the other...[a] belief shows the paternalistic attitude of the Jewish settlers toward the local population, projecting them as primitive and in need of modernization. The adoption of certain practices from the Palestinian population is done not only without acknowledging their source, but is actually implemented through an erasure of these sources. Because of the ambivalent attitude toward the products of the Arab population and culture, these products must be divorced from their Palestinian heritage if they are to play an important role in Jewish-Israeli culture.
Since falafel became such an emblem of Israeli cuisine the tendency to erase its Arab ancestry grew. A recent Israeli government publication, a booklet of recipes distributed in the United States by the Israeli Embassy, described the falafel as a dish that became popular in Israel...

Let's be blunt:

Lebanon: Israel stole our falafel

Country's Industrialists Association says Jewish state trying to claim ownership of traditional Lebanese delicacies like tabouleh and hummus, plans international food-related suit

As if Jews in Arab countries hadn't been eating felafel for centuries.

Wait, are French Fries French?

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