September 25, 2018

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After complaints, some Arab papers remove article on "Jewish foods Arabs eat"

I reported last week on an article that (not very accurately) described 10 “Jewish” foods that Arabs enjoy. Among those foods were some that are generally considered to have had Arab origins before Israeli Jews adopted them as favorites, like falafel and shakshuka.

Predictably, there has been backlash. Some of the sites that published the article have removed it, with this apology:

This article was deleted because it violated the rule of objectivity and failed to put the story in its comprehensive context, which was stated in the editorial policy of the Post politicians. It adopted a single perspective to see the issue at hand, without taking into account another perspective.

The newspapers that removed the article (not all of them did) added an article about how Israelis stole everything from Palestinians, even their Dabke dance.

It quotes Joseph Massad of Columbia University as saying that the “Zionist” claim that these foods came from Jews who were expelled from Arab countries is false, because, Massad says:

This, however, flies in the face of the facts that there are very few Syrian, Palestinian or Lebanese Jews in Israel (the majority of Syrian and Lebanese Jews immigrated to the United States and Latin America, especially Mexico, while there are very few Palestinian Arab Jews left anywhere). The vast majority of Arab Jews in Israel come from Morocco, Iraq and Yemen, countries where hummus and falafel are not eaten.

Massad, another academic fraud, is lying. There are more Syrian Jews (115,000) in Israel than in the US or any other country. And how many 700,000 Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948 moved away? Unless Massad is saying that they don’t count, and the only “Palestinian Jews” are the religious Jews in Jerusalem and Tzfat before 1900.

Furthermore, falafel is part of Iraqi cuisine. 

More importantly, it was brought to Israel by Yemeni Jews in the 1950s, where falafel is also popular, contrary to Massad’s lie that it is simply not eaten in Yemen.

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