Who’s Afraid of Israeli Food?

In February, the Washington Post published a broadside attack on Israeli food by the Palestinian food writer Reem Kassis. Kassis did not object to the flavors, textures, or aromas of Israeli food but to the very idea that it exists at all. Her piece might be the most visible example of this bizarre food fight targeting Israel. But it’s hardly the first one.

A few years ago, for example, after television food-show host Rachel Ray wrote about her “Israeli nite” dinner of hummus, eggplant, and other Middle Eastern dips, pollster James Zogby responded on Twitter with hashtags of fury: “Damn it @rachaelray. This is cultural #genocide. It’s not #Israeli food.”

Likewise, in 2017, when Conan O’Brien made the mistake of describing shakshuka as “Israeli,” he was accosted on camera by anti-Israel activists who insisted that the eggs-and-tomato dish is really Palestinian. …

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