- Credit: Avi Deror via Wikimedia Commons
Tel Aviv, January 3 – A survey of foodstuffs available in Israel has determined that dishes adopted or adapted from foods Palestinians claim as theirs, and whose use by Israelis represents an attempt to erase indigenous culture, taste damned good.
The study, which examined the restaurant, cafe, and street food scene in cities around Israel, found that the Israeli versions of dishes that Palestinians and their supporters have weaponized as rhetorical weapons against Jewish sovereignty in the Levant, are by and large a culinary tour de force.
In an article to be published in the February issue of Gourmet magazine, the researchers detail the painstaking legwork and analysis that led to their conclusion. “We’ve spent the last three months eating falafel, kaddeh, knaffeh, baklava, and an endless variety of pickled or seasoned vegetables,” revealed Anin Taam, the lead author of the study. “We specifically focused on foods on which Israeli culture prides itself and that Palestinians claim were ‘appropriated’ by Zionists in an attempt to destroy ‘native’ traditions, and found that boy, are those Israeli dishes good. I have gained so much damn weight during this research.”
Ms. Taam also addressed the specific accusations of what some Palestinian advocates have termed cultural genocide. “Cultural genocide foods are the best foods,” she explained. “Pizza, chocolate, potatoes, and basically anything Chinese, Japanese, or from the Indian subcontinent – man, I’m drooling just thinking about it. Can you imagine how poor the culinary world would be if foods were only allowed to be prepared where they originated?”
“Here’s to cultural genocide,” she toasted, raising a glass of fine Israeli wine from the Judean Hills. “Holy crap, this Psagot Winery makes good Chardonnay. I realize that’s not strictly an appropriation of food, given the restrictions Palestinian Islamic culture places on wine, but you get the idea.”
“You know, it’s a little funny to make those accusations,” contended Sue Fganya, a food consultant who was not involved in the study. “I always thought genocide against the Jews was a European thing, but there went the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseini, spiritual father of Palestinian nationalism, trying to replicate the Nazis’ Final Solution over in Palestine. I guess there are some kinds of cultural appropriation or cultural genocide that are acceptable, and some that are not? I do wish someone would explain it to me, so I can enjoy my pineapple-topped pizza without worrying that I’m committing an atrocity against Italians and Pacific Islanders. I mean, a worse one than pineapple on pizza. If you could imagine.”