Hummus: The only kind of war the Lebanese can excel at?

Hummus: The only kind of war the Lebanese can excel at?

As far as most wars go, this one’s kind of lame. The soldiers wear chef outfits instead of camouflage, the slogans are hollow (“Come and fight for your bite, you know you’re right!”) and the generals are whiny little bitches. At least in Hummus Wars, no one gets killed. Hopefully.

The Associated Press reported that a group of 300 Lebanese chefs recently broke the world record, previously held by Israel, for the largest plate of Hummus ever. Weighing in at over two tons, the accomplishment would have been one that I would have applauded had the organizers not decided to be such little bitches about it by making it a political rather than gastronomical statement.

“Lebanon is trying to win a battle against Israel by registering this new Guinness World Record and telling the whole world that hummus is a Lebanese product, its part of our traditions,” said Fady Jreissati, vice president of operations at International Fairs and Promotions group, the event’s organizer… Hummus — made from mashed chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic — has been eaten in the Middle East for centuries. Its exact origin is unknown, though it’s generally seen as an Arab dish… But it is also immensely popular in Israel — served in everyday meals and at many restaurants — and its popularity is growing around the globe… “If we don’t tell Israel that enough is enough, and we don’t remind the world that it’s not true that hummus is an Israeli traditional dish, they (Israelis) will keep on marketing it as their own,” he said Saturday.

Except see, while hummus may or may not be exclusively Lebanese, it’s probably an Arab dish. Given that nearly half the Jewish population of Israel is of Arab extraction, and given that Israeli Arabs have as valid a claim to hummus, there’s nothing wrong with Israel manufacturing and marketing hummus. It’s not theft or cultural misappropriation – it’s just fucking hummus. Hummus knows no boundaries! I’m tired of all the stupid comments one finds on the Internet, like on Hummus 101, the leading hummus blog, about how Israelis stole this and that food. Get over yourself Lebanon and Israel haters. People in Israel eat Arab food because that’s what we grew up on and where many of us came from. That’s it. Way to mar an otherwise brilliant and undoubtedly yummy accomplishment.

Hat tip: A certain someone in NY who is hopefully too busy getting busy to write a post.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • The article says that the next thing they’re up to is creating a large serving of tabbouleh to mark it as Lebanese’s own.

    Curiously enough, tomatoes were not known to the old world until a few centuries ago and were only introduced to the Middle East by a British diplomat in the 1800s. You know you must be really desperate if you start ripping off on British food. 🙂

  • I had seen this article before, and couldn’t help but think, “come on!” What a useless thing to fight over, what a waste. If all it took to make peace were for Israel to say, “yeah, all our food is really Arab food” then I’m all for it. This is such a silly argument that it’s embarassing.

    On the other hand, I remember, once at McGill University, nearly seeing students come to blows at a cultural day (or something like that) when both the Jewish and Lebanese students were serving hummus. The Lebanese studnts demanded the Jewish ones admit that hummus was an Arabic food and that they’d stolen it. I’m not kidding, they almost came to blows.

  • I can’t seem to find all the postings on Shmuel Boteach’s new book about Michael Jackson, which he only published to teach the American public about the devastating effects child abuse and neglect, and which in no way was motivated by money. Is this still Jewlicious?

  • Point well taken Middle. If you’d post more gratuitous pictures of naked male israeli soldiers I’d have more reason to show up.

    That said, Meredith Viera definitely scooped you on this story. I like Shmuely. He has a very awesome vocabulary and can spit out grammatically correct sentences faster than most rappers can spit cuss words.

    I worked for him for about 3 days in 2003 and had to ask to be taken off the project because his mind operates at such high speeds that it was causing mine to go into overload.

    I like the way he says “He says in The Tapes” with the same authority most Rabbis use to say “It says in The Mishna”

    I like the way he tries to use the media to spread light unto the Nations. At least someone is trying.

    Now back to important stories about Hummus…

  • I find it annoying enough that whatever post I write, the “one stop site to hot Israeli babes” – or whatever that post was called – comes up as a suggestion.

    • As if the suggestion links drew more readers than we’ve already got – they just direct the attention to other posts. And I do wonder why that particular one always seems to be come up as a suggestion for further reading for my posts.

  • I just looked at your last 6 posts and none of them made that suggestion. You should clear your history and your cache and check your posts again. It may be that the program is feeding you those suggestions because of some ranking you gave at some point and it needs to be erased.

  • I certainly didn’t give that post a high ranking, and I clear my cache regularly; yet, that suggestion is always there when I post something. (A target ad? Does Jewlicious want me to change my sexual orientation?) And it’s pretty certainly not related to any other stuff I do online (as ads on certain free mail sites do).