‘Comment is Free’ contributor: Israel sparks fury with its postcards of falafel.


In a commentary focusing on food as a unifying element in the Middle East, (Could palates, rather than politics be the key to peace in the Middle East?, Aug. 13) ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Rachel Shabi couldn’t help but lament that ‘some countries’ in the region, for obtuse nationalist reasons, claim ownership of legumes that aren’t their own.

More often, we hear about the politics of Middle Eastern food in the context of nationalistic battles over ownership. Israel sparks fury with its ubiquitous postcards of falafel skewered with an Israeli flag and a strapline declaring the pitta-nestled chickpea balls to be their “national snack”. President Obama unwittingly picked that barely-covered scab when it was revealed that he’d be served falafel by the Israeli president on a recent regional trip.

The link provided by Shabi confirms that this is the offending postcard:

tumblr_mqq9k9YsPY1s4lolfo1_500

Zionist Expropriation

While questions remain as to where precisely in the Middle East the deep-fried round patties (made from ground chickpeasfava beans or both) originated, as Shabi surely knows, nearly half of Israeli Jews are Mizrachi – descendants from Jewish communities in the Middle East.  So, to suggest that Israelis are ‘colonizing’ the ubiquitous street food is not only petty, but ahistorical.

Oh, and if you think I’m reading too much into Shabi’s passage about Israeli ‘culinary incitement’, you should note that this isn’t a one-off for the CiF contributor when it comes to complaints about such Zionist theft:

shabiHere’s the money quote from her post about a form of Israeli ‘fanaticism’ which evidently escapes the media’s radar:

it’s one thing to admire a neighbour’s cooking, quite another to name it your own national dish, as Israelis have done for hummus and that other Middle Eastern chickpea favourite, falafel.

Would you say it’s fair to conclude that when folks are truly driven to outrage by Israelis who promote falafel as their national dish it is a much greater commentary about the former than the latter? 

105 comments on “‘Comment is Free’ contributor: Israel sparks fury with its postcards of falafel.

  1. What a lot of tosh. I believe the title of “national dish” in England is hotly contested between roast beef, fish & chips and chicken balti. Does that mean that the English are claiming that cows, cod, potatoes, fowl and curry are uniquely English inventions or cannot be enjoyed anywhere else? Does it bollocks.

    Is there a rule that says if felafel is Israel’s “national dish” it can’t also be the “national dish” of Lebanon, or Syria, or Botswana, or American Samoa?

    • Bataween thank you.
      The last paragraph of the article is what samerise Israel.

      We, Israelis, will not deny the Arabic links of bot humous and Falafel.
      Whether Egyptian style, Lebanese, jordanian, Yaffo style or Abu Gosh style.

      They on the other hand deny the Jewish link to that food as if they own it alone and we never been a part of their culture (or they part of ours).

  2. Israeli falafels are small, spherical balls of lighter and spongier textured chickpeas batter. They are served in a pocket pita unlike the Lebanese and Arab way of wrapping their much denser, larger, saltier and pattier in a thin pita. Israelis have made from falafel what Americans have made from pizza, an adaptation to the taste and preferences of Americans. I don’t see Italians go berserk over their national food being colonized or whatever.

  3. “.. when folks are truly driven to outrage by Israelis who promote falafel as their national dish” it means that they are short on material, and are scrapping the bottom of the barrel for demonizing ideas.

    • …it means they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for a national identity. The Arabs of Palestine adopted (stole) the Scottish bagpipes. If anything we would be touched that someone else appreciated an aspect our culture. Just shows the concept of sharing is totally alien to them.

  4. Bigotry knows no bounds – on the other hand their food is ours because we share common humanity and their houses are also ours now get out of here you do not belong here – we have the right to determine who belong here and what is ours – 30,000 Bedouin homes are being destroyed as we blog One can only imagine what will happen to the Bedouins who are moved out of their houses. Incidentally, Lebanal English accept Asian food as their own, particularly the Balti, which for your information, does not exist in Asia as a food dish but than the English do not take over Asian houses, demolish them and say now move on.

    Bigotry and spin take a form of its own on this blog.

    • Bigotry and spin take a form of its own on this blog.

      Poor syntax but, corrected. the statement is self-referring to you!


      Violence abated for about a year while the Peel Commission deliberated and eventually recommended partition of Palestine. With the rejection of this proposal, the revolt resumed during the autumn of 1937. Violence continued throughout 1938 and eventually petered out in 1939.

      The British responded to the violence by greatly expanding their military forces and clamping down on Arab dissent. “Administrative detention”, curfews, and house demolitions were among British practices during this period. More than 120 Arabs were sentenced to death and about 40 hanged. The main Arab leaders were arrested or expelled.

      The only difference was that it was Jews the British – British! – told to “move on”. Most shamefully, out of Hevron.

    • “30,000 Bedouin homes are being destroyed as we blog.” Quiet a lie you know.
      What will happan when they will be move you mean. They will get new houses and will be compensated.

  5. NSIsmail aka ranamirza aka John Walsh aka whatever alias is back. I guess his clear name could be traced by now, giving his constant presence in about fifty various disguises.
    Looking forward to .. :-)

  6. I have just completed my English assignment any takers for correcting it before I send it to the teacher for assessment. It seems some very good English Teachers on this blog. I have never met, so many bigoted English teachers in my life as I have virtually on this blog.

    • Ismael aka Nat:

      “I have never met, so many bigoted English teachers in my life as I have virtually on this blog.”
      Why the comma? your text in this sentence makes no sense at all.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma

      Perhaps you should continue the study of English before moving to a more advance subject such as History?

  7. Akusia But the Jews were living in Berlin why did they ask them to move out of Hevron which in further East in Germany. They tried to move the Palestinians out of Hebron. Did not work.

    • Ismael,

      You are boring. Read this and let me know in which Period the Jews completely left Hebron?

      i believe you will find it was when the British kicked them out…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebron

      “The Jewish community fluctuated between 8-10 families throughout the 16th century, and suffered from severe financial straits in the first half of the century.[97] In 1540, renowned kabbalist Malkiel Ashkenazi bought a courtyard from the small Karaite community, in which he established the Sephardi Abraham Avinu Synagogue.[98] In 1659, Abraham Pereyra of Amsterdam founded the Hesed Le’Abraham yeshiva in Hebron which attracted many students.[99] In the early 18th century, the Jewish community suffered from heavy debts, almost quadrupling from 1717–1729,[100] and were “almost crushed” from the extortion practiced by the Turkish pashas. In 1773 or 1775, a large/substantial amount of money was extorted from the Jewish community, who paid up to avert a threatened catastrophe, after a false allegation was made accusing them of having murdered the son of a local sheikh and throwing his body into a cesspit. Emissaries from the community were frequently sent overseas to solicit funds,[101] but often money was still scarce.[102] In 1807 the community did however succeed in purchasing a 5-dunam (5,000 m²) plot where Hebron’s wholesale market stands today”

      • The reason why I chose this episode was that it portrays exactly how the Muslims repaid the Jews, how “wonderful” life was for the Jews under Muslim control, and how early did the muslim caught up with blood libel brought about by Christians.

        “The Kurdish Muslim Saladin retook Hebron in 1187 – again with Jewish assistance according to one late tradition, in exchange for a letter of security allowing them to return to the city and build a synagogue there.”

        • Interesting that things got worse after the Arab population changed from Christian to Muslim.

          I know of someone whose family lived in Hevron since 1492 but only until the British ethnically cleansed it of Jews.

          The least Britain could do in way of reparation is to tell the truth about its betrayals and failures in the Mandate. It seems that we have to wait until the oil runs out for even the start of that.

    • My friends?
      Can you name any?
      Please provide court cases where any of my friends was found guilty of people trafficking.
      I’m very interested to learn this about any friend of mine.

    • His statements might be forthright but wasn’t there rather a lot of Muslims slaughtering Muslims during Ramadan – and wasn’t there before and and isn’t there after?

      My unforgettable memory of Erekat is his screaming in 2002 that Israel was “transporting” Muslim Arabs. That was his version of taking them to a place of safety to avoid Muslim terrorists.

    • sanity, to answer your question;

      Out of order.
      He should apologise for any offence caused.
      That is my personal opinion as an Israeli.

      On another note the Japan deputy PM is not much better:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23527300

      As for various Muslim leaders and Arab leaderships, there is far worst comments coming from their controlled media outlets about Jews and Jewish “culture” that places the comments made by Seaman as mild.

      Simply search Anti Semitism in Arab press, or protests against El Baradei after his comments:

      “An Egyptian newswoman said, “One of the most remarkable things is that ElBaradei has no problem denying the existence of Allah while considering Holocaust denial a serious problem.”

      http://weaselzippers.us/2012/11/28/egyptians-outraged-after-elbaradei-slams-islamist-for-being-a-holocaust-denier/

      • Ah, why did you have to spoil your comment with end of it? We can all agree that there are bigots everywhere, but this is not to do with Japanese or Egyptians, but Israel’s official head of propaganda.

        Anyway, I applaud you for recognising the offence.

        • Nothing to applaud me for.
          Truth is truth.
          Lies are lies.
          I call it as I see it.
          I don’t play games and i try to observe things through other people’s perspective if my feelings allow me to.

          • Good for you, Itsik. I for one agree – and will not defend Seaman’s comments.

            I fail to see, however, what they have to do with the ridiculous argument about felafel being Israel’s “national dish”? Perhaps sanity can explain the link?

    • His views are perfectly reasonable, Erekat is a compulsive liar whose views are of no worth and muslims eat each other every day of week – sometimes literally.

      Nevertheless, paying people to post comments – if true – is out of order.

  8. More first class British imperialism from the Guardian – the self-proclaimed moral arbiters of every aspect of life in a sovereign nation 2000 miles from Blighty.

  9. Itsik I still cannot provide any evidence of fascists being convicted in the Third Reich for racism. I think I will find it difficult to find any examples of convictions on People trafficking in Israel’s Apartheid regime.

    • Didn’t realise you and Frederick were the same person.
      Why do you change your name so often?

      As for your answer:
      “I think I will find it difficult to find any examples of convictions on People trafficking in Israel’s Apartheid regime.”

      Do you realise that making up things makes you a liar and a very bad one at that having just admited doing it.

      I hope you are unable to bring children to this world.
      Too many of your kind (liars) as it is.

    • Another try of NSIsmail aka ranimira, John Walsh, jaspers, .. our resident terror praising troll to equate Israel with the Nazis.

  10. Sanity, my question is about disclosure. Can people please declare how much they get paid by the semen to write on this blog?

    And please no semen coverups

    • I already told you to buy a dictionary or google what words mean.
      Semen can fetch you money in certain banks (sperm banks) but I doubt writing in this blog can produce a good result (especially for the ladies).

      You might be an exception as you seem to get a kick of playing childish games.

      It’s good though. It means you are not in school now which hopefully will make your career options limited.
      As a result you may fall into depretion, drug use and hopefully end up in the gutter, where you belong.

      People who spread roumers about others are scum in my view.

    • Unfortunately the good folks on this site choose not disclose their reasons for posting. Right to the very top, I have asked M Levick numerous times, but he chooses not answer. I do often wonder whether Semen has anything to do with it, as regular readers will attest.

      • Sanity, I’ll answer for you. I write on this site in response to sanctimonious bigots like yourself who see conspiracies and foul play in any project or individual related to the Jewish national liberation movement. You dehumanise the citizens of Israel and its supporters with an evangelical blood lust that deserves to be confronted.

        Of course, someone with such impeccable ‘anti-racist’ credentials as yourself will have to return to your medieval chauvinistic default position and draw the conclusion that anyone who disagrees with your hostile position on Israel must either be a powerful puppet master pulling strings for their own diabolical ends, or in the pay of the ‘Jews’ / ‘Zionists’. Either way, your incessant demand to know what lies behind people’s motivation for sticking up for Israel is a reflection of your own visceral hatred, prejudice and obsession.

      • Sanity,
        I write, when I’m available, because some people spread half truths.
        Israel is far from a perfect state.
        Doubt you’d find a perfect state at all.
        But, Israel, as imperfect as it may be, is still far better than many many countries.
        The fact that so much collaboration exist between Jews and Arabs in Israel and the OT tells you that it is going the right way and far from the demonic state some try to portray it as.

      • I answered you many times your question Sanity. We Jews -as you certainly know very well- are very greedy and wouldn’t do anything free of charge. As I told you already Cifwatch is financed by the WWZCO (World Wide Zionist Conspiracy Organisation). some Jewish bankers and media moguls, the Federal Reserve, the US congress., the Freemasons, the illuminati and the Bilderberg Group. We have a huge income from the organ trade (you know the Haitian and Palestinian organs and blood (especially at Passover). And from the article you can learn that Mr. Levick runs a very profitable falafel and hummus outfit stolen from the Arabs.

        • Peter, now that he knows we won’t be able to pay for the research into the development of the new Mossad ants.
          They were going to take down the Saud family.
          Great, now it’s back to plan B. Balistic camels.

  11. Back to NSIsmail
    from Jason Helper
    after John Walsh, from ranamirza to Rafi Mirza, from NSIsmail to Antisemite Rana the antisemitic member of the Diane Shame Group of aliases like Mondoweiss Chris/Isac/ liar/Peter Ounce/Islamabadi/diane/dianeshammes/Angel/Rafi aka Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha/HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton/Jabal/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek

    • Akusia, love your Al Jazeera (crappy) link… :)

      Especially the rewriting of history:

      “…in October 1973, Egypt launched a surprise attack on Israel with the aim of winning Sinai back. With the backing of Arab states, Egypt succeeded in doing so. ”

      A) – The Egyptians got smacked right back to 101 km from Cairo before they begged for a cease fire.
      B) – The Arabs didn’t approve of the peace accord – and still do not.

      Ismail you can be a reporter for Al Jazeera. Telling Ali Baba stories about Mossad Sharks blowing up southern Beirut neighberhoods and Mossad Eagles blowing up weapon caravans in Sudan.

      • I know. Most of it is awful. But it does describe some Bedouin activity of the kind the troll ascribed to “your friends”!

        Just heard a woman on the BBC leaving for a nice holiday in the Sinai. I doubt that she had the slightest awareness that she has Israel to thank it.

        • The British FO still have the warning travel on Israel (last time I checked) while Egypt is still business as usual.

  12. I love this semen he certainly reaps what he sows as he keeps reminding us – I understand, because of his ability to sow and his colorful language, he is now appointed within the Prime Minister’s office to help explaining on the Internet – Does explain the colorful and entertaining comments on this blog – I have not received any money from Semen so far. I am not sure what will he be explaining. Perhaps how deciding to build a further 1000 houses within settlements help the peace process or perhaps how does it help to resolve the existential demographic threat, which perhaps, the failed two state solution could ultimately bring about.

    • Ismael:

      “I have not received any money from Semen so far.”

      I can explain that. no one wants your semen.
      It’s all blanks.

    • Ismael: “I love this semen”

      Please stick to the topic and do not involve your personal life.

    • According to the BBC today there is some kind of travel advisory on Egypt. Probably dictated by its friends in the Muslim Brotherhood – watch out for those anti-Morsi protestors!

    • I have not received any money from Semen so far…
      Always there is a first time Ismael. This is the first time that I believe what you are saying – your attempts with a pimping carrier were a total failure – and maybe in the distant future there will be the first occasion to exploit your potential – when some freakish pseudo geneticist wants to experiment with the genes of moronic psychopaths.

  13. If only squabbles over culinary copyright were the most urgent issue relating to the Israel-Arab conflict …

  14. Perhaps Semen can explain why resources are wasted in trivialities when what we need to know is how is the Peace process enhanced by some of the stupidest of decisions, like building on occupied lands in the Settlements, helps bring about peace and avert the demographic threat. It seems to me, if it was not for the financial inducement to the PA by the US, most of the Palestinians would like to say it is all yours you occupy and now we want equality under the law. End of.

    • Ismael:

      “It seems to me, if it was not for the financial inducement to the PA by the US, most of the Palestinians would like to say it is all yours you occupy and now we want equality under the law.”

      So are you too for the closing down of UNRWA?
      Great, we finaly agree on something!

  15. Back to NSIsmail
    from Jason Helper
    John Walsh/ranamirza/Rafi Mirza, from NSIsmail to Antisemite Rana the antisemitic member of the Diane Shame Group of aliases like Mondoweiss Chris/Isac/ liar/Peter Ounce/Islamabadi/diane/dianeshammes/Angel/Rafi aka Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha/HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton/Jabal/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek

  16. Oh itsik you really have been under a misapprehension. I am all for closing down UNRWA as soon as Palestinians can return. Boy, if you did not realize that you probably did not fully appreciate the significance of the existential demographic threat. Mind you, even without the right of return the problem should be appreciably worrying for racists trying to keep Israel ethnically clean.

    • Return to what? All the Palestinians alive today have been refugees their entire lives. Jewish refugees, on the other hand, made their own state.

      Really, it’s not shocking you’re incapable of a resurrection. You guys live like pathetic assmonkeys.

    • ” I am all for closing down UNRWA as soon as Palestinians can return. ”

      Quite a damning admission from “Ismail” that UNRWA is not really a refugee agency with a humanitarian mission, but a political organization pushing an illegitimate agenda, i.e., the erasure of a UN member state.

    • Ismael:

      ” I am all for closing down UNRWA as soon as Palestinians can return.”

      But they can.
      Remember, you can only come back to where you came from.

      ” Mind you, even without the right of return the problem should be appreciably worrying for racists trying to keep Israel ethnically clean.”

      You are correct! Without the R’n’R Hamas Islamic Jihad and Fatah’ are shitting themselves.
      Why on earth do you think they insist on it?

      • Arab population of “Palestine” in 1947 – 5 million.

        Congratulations to Israel – the least successful ethnic cleansers in history!

        • I have no idea what happened there. What I actually typed was:

          Arab population of “Palestine” in 1947 – less than 1 million.
          Arab population of same area (“from the river to the sea” for want of a better phrase) now – more than 5 million.

          Congratulations to Israel – the least successful ethnic cleansers in history!

  17. I see, not NSIsmail, but NSIsmael
    from Jason Helper
    John Walsh/ranamirza/Rafi Mirza, from NSIsmail to Antisemite Rana the antisemitic member of the Diane Shame Group of aliases like Mondoweiss Chris/Isac/ liar/Peter Ounce/Islamabadi/diane/dianeshammes/Angel/Rafi aka Sharon/Jane/Catherine/Samantha/HarpalSingh/AaronPatel/AnrewBird/Jeremy Bowles/AlanThornton/Jabal/Alan/Deborah/Jim/Jason/Dirk/Nick/Natzie/Rob, amended by Gerald with Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleazy/Tosser/Dorothy/Straw Man/Dick Head/Drek

  18. Kauf you still remember the insults Nazis threw at you when you were in Europe – I am surprised you do not feel using it yourself.

    Just as well your grandfather had a house in Palestine from 2000 years ago that you could return to. .

  19. Pingback: 8/16 Links Part 2: Falafel Furore at CIF, Fatah threatens Hamas,Egypt’s siege of Gaza continues | Bydio

  20. alexa actually the job of ethnic cleansing is very well down – Jews comprised less than 4% of the population in 1860 in Palestine today in Israel they comprise a dominant majority(80%) – I would suggest that suggests a much faster process of ethnic cleansing than most other examples in history – We must not always be critical of ourselves. Acknowledge our successes where justified.

  21. More numbers:

    In 1933, the world’s Jewish population at that time was estimated at 15.3 million.
    Projected number of Jews worldwide for 2020: 13,558,000

    [80 years since world Jewry numbered more than 15 million, the loss of the six million has not been recovered.]
    ______________

    According to this source, the number of Palestinian Arabs in 1946 was: ~ 1, 221,000

    http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Story574.html

    According to this source, the estimated number of Palestinians all over World by the end of 2005 is 10.1 million.

    http://www.abudis.net/Pal_demographics.htm

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