Did you know? Obama eats hummus and other typical “Israeli” foods in the White House

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A Palestinian displays dishes of hummus during Ramadan in Gaza City, on July 23, 2012.

(Majdi Fathi / APA images)

With the US presidential election days away, the re-election campaign of US President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops in its efforts to secure support from Jewish voters, which it believes can be won by pandering to Israel.

There is, for example, a new official campaign ad featuring former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who, as Yousef Munayyer quipped on Twitter, “wants you to vote for Barack Obama for President of Israel.”

And then there’s this shrewedly timed interview in Haaretz with the White House chef:

President Barack Obama - as his critics often like to remind Jewish voters - has not visited Israel since 2008. But, if he misses the region’s flavors, Obama needs to go no farther than the White House kitchen.

We make our own hummus,” said White House executive chef Cristeta (Cris) Comerford, in a special interview with Modern Manna last week. “It’s a very wonderful dish, very nutritious.”

The point of the article seems to be to say how much Obama likes “Jewish” and “Israeli” foods. The article continues:

So, if Obama loves hummus it must mean he loves us Israelis too! Israelis, self-acclaimed hummus connoisseurs, prefer their hummus with fresh pita bread, but even they have learned to accept the American usage of hummus as a dip for veggies.

But hummus, as it turns out, is only one of a medley of Middle Eastern favorites served at the Obama White House. Another dish chef Comerford is fond of is babaganush, the Middle Eastern eggplant spread.

Notice how Israelis are positioned as the “connoisseurs” and arbiters of how hummus should and should not be correctly consumed.

There is absolutely no mention of the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian or other indigenous Arab origins of these foods in the interview, where hummus, its key ingredient tahini, and the flat bread Palestinians typically eat with them are easily subsumed into “Jewish foods” used to celebrate Zionist occasions, such as Obama awarding a medal to Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres:

Part of Chef Comerford’s job was to plan and prepare a reception for Israeli president Shimon Peres when President Obama honored him with the Medal of Freedom last June. “We did a lot of the kosher-style canapes, we had salmon, tahini, hummus, home-made pita and a lot of Middle Eastern dishes,” said Comerford. “It was not strict kosher, it was a kosher-style menu.”

Where Israel cannot get away with claiming these cultural products exclusively, another trick – used also in this article – is to describe them as “Middle Eastern,” a generic term used to obscure their Arab origins.

“Middle Eastern” is an identity which Israel claims – whenever convenient – to appropriate the culture of local people whose land and rights it is busy violently stealing, while simultaneously attempting to erase and even outlaw their identities and history.

Now, it seems, the Obama White House is only too happy to help. Bon Appetit!

Comments

They even call the salad we eat almost daily (cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon, olive oil, and dried mint) Israeli Salad ...and Shakshoukah an "Israeli" dish ... fou2 7a22u lu22u !!!

No, we don't. When we want a good salad, sliced small, we call it "arab salad".
We had done enough (real) damage without the need to add pickles...

Send this to the White House.
In "Cooking in the Danger Zone: Israel and the Palestinian Territories" Stefan Gates met leading culinary journalist Gil Hovav (the great grand-son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, so he must know what he's talking about....):
Gates: but is humous originally Jewish or Arabic ?
Hovav: Of course it's Arabic. Falafel, our national dish, our national israeli dish, is completely Arabic, and the salad that we call Israeli salad, actually it's an Arab salad, Palestinian salad. So we sort of robbed them of everything" (page 6)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared...

The laughable idea of hummus and falafel being Israeli-Jewish dishes rings as true as the invention of a land given by God to the "Jews." As our Western governments continue to bankroll the Paletinian genocide, we citizen-taxpayers are being fed more and more fertilizer. But then, Israel's major export is fertilizer, and they are our friends!

Happy eating, Mr. Obama, the granddady of moral subterfuge. Wonder who ate his conscience. I know it ain't no dingo that ate my bay-bie!

I ate hummus and falafel when I was in Jordan last year, they are not Israeli dishes but Arab and were being eaten in the region long before the European Jewish colonisers invaded and seized Palestinian land. Obama has been a terrible disappointment, I never expected a lot from him but I did think he would put up a semblance of resistance to the zionist lobby in the US. Instead he has caved into them even more so than the ghastly, evil Bush. My heart goes out to the oppressed Palestinian people.

So with all the evil inhumane absurdity that exists in Palestine because of Israel and its puppet master America - you are worried about how hummus is portrayed in the White House? They spend American taxes on killing innocent people in Palestine - i really don't give a f$$$ about Hummus, where it originated or how it is best consumed pretty sure neither do the children of Palestine pretty sure

I'm looking forward to a second term. Obama will no longer be forced to be forced by Bibi et al. Be optimistic and realistic. Obama is probably the only man standing between Palestinians and an Arab Exodus and Iran and a McCain Barbara Ann reprise.
Surely you realize Obama has absolutely no choice but the one he's made. The US major media would crucify him if he didn't bend over. Just laugh it off.

This is a silly article. Of course president obama is going to pander to all sorts of groups to get elected, it's what all politicians do. He needs 4 more years in office to have any chance at all of making changes in the Middle East, those are the 4 years where he has nothing to lose so basically he can do what he wants to do, subject to the limitations of the American political system. Do those who criticise him for eating Hummus, really think they're going to be better off with Mitt Romney in the White House? Please.

Of course no sane, liberally minded person wants bloody Romney as president but I do wonder just how strong a line Obama will take against Israel in his second term. No matter how sympathetic Obama himself may be towards the Palestinian cause there are plenty of senior Democrat politicians who are just as firmly in the zionist camp as any Republicans and they will stifle any moves Obama makes to rein in Israel.