Anybody who has ever needed to motivate a group of people and get them to work as a team knows that one of the easiest ways of achieving just that is to make out a common enemy.

AFP reports via Yahoo news:

Residents of the Israeli town of Shfaram were seeking on Friday to make the world’s largest tabbouleh salad, hoping to bring reconciliation after violent Christian-Druze clashes.

“We are trying to get the Guinness record,” said event organiser Ala Khuria as residents were busy chopping 700 kilos (1,540 pounds) of tomatoes as well as other ingredients that should make up a more than four-tonne salad.

But more important than surpassing the 3,557 kilos (7,825 pounds) some 300 Lebanese chefs stirred into a giant bowl in October, is bringing together the town’s Muslims, Christians and Druze, Khuria told AFP.

“We are doing it for the union of the town,” he said.[Full article]

Yeah right. Just for the union. Not for the ego. Not to mock anybody.

I suppose a 5-ton latke just wouldn’t have created the same feeling of unity. Or a 3-metre diametre matzoh ball. Or a pool full of chicken soup.

Folks, grow up.

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    • BMP, they did the same with hummus a couple of weeks ago. They are explicitly and openly claiming that they are trying to reclaim their own heritage stolen by Israel.

      • It’s either silly mockery or adding fuel to the fire in petty, childish competion in a discipline where there’s nothing to be gained. Israelis won’t stop eating / selling hummus and tabbouleh no matter how large a serving Lebanese chefs will prepare just as little as Lebanese people will now stop eating tabbouleh because Israelis have prepared a larger vessel-full.

        If the organisers had only wanted to do something to bring the community together, they could have picked something different. I found the Lebanese organisers behind the hummus event childish and cuturally ignorant. I now find the organisers behind the Israeli event even more childish. Israel has got A LOT of actually unique achievements to show for itself (culinarily, it’s the poultry shnitzel BTW); let the Lebanese ruminate on their hummus and tabbouleh if that makes them happy.

  • For real, Middle. There used to be a shortage of (affordable) veal in Israel, that’s why they came up with the poultry schnitzel to substitute the original veal in Viennese schnitzel. German schnitzels are pork schnitzels.

      • Schnitzel is not a Hungarian dish; the Viennese influence on Hungarian cuisine was due to the widely despised Austrian occupation (creamcakes, for instance, are of Austrian origin). The Japanese dish doesn’t ring me as authentic (just like many “Chinese” dishes, but Ephraim probably knows more about that), particularly since fish seems to be more typical of an island like Japan. The poultry schnitzel of Israel already dates back to early Zionist days.

  • Uhm. You were right about your uh… “condition” affecting the tone of this post. This Tabouleh thing was an exercise in community building. No way Christians and Druze are going to want to make a Latke or a Matza Ball! I mean they are at least familiar with Tabouleh. I didn’t get the sense that these Israeli Arabs were motivated by oneupmanship against the Lebanese!

  • They could have made a giant falafel. 🙂 And latkes are of Rhenian origin; they’re a staple food for many Christians around here. Ask Raphi about Rievkooche.

  • come on, it’s just a part of the age-old human need to compete, nothing more. why are you making a big deal of it? it’s a win-win situation here: the people get their recognition, people get to EAT and the lebanese get a goal for next year.

    • The old-age human need to compete appears to be a primitive instinct that has not done humanity much good over the past few centuries.

  • There’s an aggada about the Great Assembly petitioning God to remove the Evil Urge from the world. God assented, and there was peace. And soon after, they also discovered: people had stopped marrying; had stopped building houses; had stopped starting businesses; had stopped working. And chickens had stopped laying eggs. So the Great Assembly petitioned God again, asking that the Evil Urge be returned to the world. And God assented.

    Then there’s that Nicole Hollander cartoon about how the world would be if there were no men. She concludes — no wars, and lots of fat, happy women.

    Seems no real conflict between the two.