Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Right To Make And Eat Felafel

Over at Anne's Opinions, she's tearing up Guardian Israel correspondent Harriet Sherwood. Most of the piece is about coverage of the new anti-BDS legislation, but she added something else that caught my Jewish foodie eye. Anne writes:

In a similar, and totally related, development, Harriet Sherwood reports on McDonald’s withdrawing its McFalafel from Israeli restaurants due to its unpopularity.

So far so tasty.

Then she scrambles her omelette by adding in this nasty little aside right at the end:

"Falafel is thought to have originated in Egypt, although Israel now claims it as a national dish."

Oh! Those thieving Israelis! Not only content to steal other people’s land, now they go and steal other people’s foods! They can claim it as their national dish but we liberal-minded people know better.

Once again Sherwood betrays her bias by inserting an unrelated dig at Israel.

May she stew in her own falafel oil.

This sort of tripe is not uncommon with anti-Zionist types. Assuming as they do that Israelis plopped into the Middle East like Martians from outer space, they are constantly on the lookout for examples of appropriated Middle Eastern foods and such, in order to better define Israelis as fundamentally inauthentic and nonindigenous. I thought I should add a note at Anne's blog, reproduced below:

Lemme ‘splain, Harriet. In 1948, Egypt had 75,000 Jews. Currently, it has less than a hundred. Most of those people headed to Israel, after state persecution and confiscation of their property. In 1956, the Minister of Religious affairs announced that ‘all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state’, and promised to expel them. Almost no one managed to stay after the 1967 war.

In Israel, these fine people continued to make felafel, and along with other Jews from the region popularized it with the multicultural population of the new nation.

Now, of course, not only is their right of return to Egypt not a potent talking point with left-wing pundits, but even their right to make and eat felafel is apparently up for grabs.


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