Conan and the Barbarians
The anti-Israel activists who confronted Conan O’Brien as he walked along the West Bank’s security barrier were not pleased. The leader of the group, marching toward Conan and unable to contain herself, lobbed her first challenge while still 20 feet away. “Didn’t you say shakshuka was Israeli a couple of days ago?”
He replied as most of us might: “Shakshuker?”
Now close enough for Conan to hear, she repeated her cross-examination on behalf of the tomato and egg dish. “Didn’t you say it was Israeli?”
CONAN: “Oh, I don’t know what it is. I know that –”
ACTIVIST (shaking her head): “So why would you say that?”
CONAN: “Say what?”
ACTIVIST: “That shakshuka is Israeli.”
CONAN: “Well, they served it to me on El Al, so… I… but…”
The ringleader switched to a gentler tone, that of an elementary school teacher eager to show she was disappointed, not angry. “I mean,” she said softly, “it’s a Palestinian dish.” “Okay, well I apologize. Alright.” What else could he say? He’s a television show host, not a culinary geographer.
But Conan had just been bamboozled on shakshuka.