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.

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