Israelis and Palestinians Both Like Food

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Most of whom want outsiders to understand their unique relationship to this land. During my travels, in Jerusalem, Bethlehem , Acre , Caesarea , Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and in between places; in homes and hotels, at restaurants and street stands; whether feast or snack—tahini flows freely. And, undeniably, a scene-stealer when enshrined in halva, or as the silken heart of hummus. By the end of the trip, I have a full-blown dependency. Twice, I happen upon its making. The Lebanese chef grew up in East Jerusalem, and having honed his craft in fine dining kitchens, opened his own restaurant, Turqouise.

His Lebanese and Arabic dishes accrued plaudits; the place was swamped. I have a serious weakness for it, but have never sampled any that melts in the mouth like his. Back in Jerusalem, I enter a haven of a book cafe, Bassam Gallery, to meet up-and-coming chef, Izzeldin Bukhari, whose family originally emigrated from Uzbekistan to teach Sufism.

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Feeding people is part of my heritage. Missing authentic Middle Eastern fare while studying in America, Bukhari taught himself to make beloved foods, beginning with falafel and hummus, and swiftly realised cooking was his calling. He progressed from Palestinian staples such as mujaddara a lentil, rice, and fried onion dish to hosting supper clubs with globe-trotting menus.

Of course, everyone made hummus and falafel. The Israeli kitchen is forged of recipes from everywhere, but that doesn't erase them from elsewhere. We take from each other and add our own touches, which is how tradition and culture come into being.

Meet the chefs reinventing Palestinian cuisine

I cross at Checkpoint She has a disabled son. Not long ago, there were zero provisions for disabled children, and scant means of raising funds, especially for women. In , Islam gathered with fellow mothers of disabled children to offer Palestinian cooking classes to visitors. The empowering effect on the women has also been profound, and trickled out to benefit the wider community. In their teaching kitchen, Islam instructs me in a menu of mutabal aubergine dip , mujaddara, and salads.

I'm happy for them to come, because most people don't think about the refugees—about what that really means, they think that the camp is like a city. He would make that ghastly decision days later. As we begin to eat, silence—the best sign. The spread of hearty, fragrant mujaddara; smoky, light mutabal, and tangy, tahini-dressed salads has us reaching for multiple helpings. Sated, we linger over plump figs and coffee, before Rua gives me a devastating Camp tour.

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In the thriving, modern marvel that is the ancient port of Acre, I learn from Uri Jeremias Buri, fish cook extraordinaire, Byzantine expert, and owner of the Ottoman -era Efendi Hotel, that mujaddara has been enjoyed here since the 13th century. As we stroll the captivating stone warren of homes, cafes, and mosques, delicate floral scents intermingle with heady wafts of dishes being prepared for Eid Al-Adha. Between holiday greetings with vendors, Uri explains how he puts his belief in coexistence - forged upon mutual respect - into practice, by, for example, hosting religious leaders and lecturing school teachers.

Back at Uri Buri Restaurant, an accomplished, original fish lunch follows. Heading up the kitchen is close collaborator, local Arab chef, Ali Marin. As with the conversation, the food is full of surprises: scallops are drizzled with spirulina; the palate cleanser is arak and marzipan ice: the Middle East meets Mittel-Europe. Is this new Israeli cuisine? Uri refutes the categorisation. And so, instead, we clamber onto the pier from where he points out the fishing village, Jisr al-Zarqa, and the shoals of anchovies in the turquoise sea.

On the bus back to Tel Aviv, a tanned girl whose handbag is adorned with a cute raccoon trinket naps next to me—she also has a machine gun. I schlep to Carmel Market. The endless maze of fruit and vegetable sellers, spice stores, street food stands, tat vendors, and small-batch beer bars is heaving.

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Over a tantalising herbaceous salad, Yemenite bread, and yup, tahini; between conversations with beaming diners, she discloses personal tidbits. Having fled Egypt with her family in , she married a fellow Egyptian Jew in Israel; tragically, her husband died. Sometime later, she drew upon her cooking skills to support herself.

Then I overhear dark words about how Arabs should stick to their own nations—and my heart sinks. It was a privilege to meet so many remarkable, regular, generous people. Another infantry brigade was put on standby.


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Israel pushed back aggressively on Sunday against Palestinian accusations that it had killed a pregnant Gaza woman and a young family member the day before. Army spokesmen insisted that the two had been killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket, not by Israeli munitions. Gaza officials continued to accuse Israel of what they called a war crime.

Why Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem

The latest round of violence began much like several others since last summer. Israel and Gaza have been locked in a cycle of clashes quickly followed by de-escalations, with Egyptian-brokered talks repeatedly achieving a temporary cooling off along the border.

In November, there appeared to be a breakthrough. Israel promised to ameliorate conditions in Gaza by allowing in cash supplied by Qatar, as well as fuel and humanitarian aid; expanding the zone in the Mediterranean in which it would allow Gaza fishermen to operate; and easing the movement of people in and out of the impoverished seaside territory.

Hamas agreed in return to restrain protests along its frontier with Israel that have often devolved into violence. But a truce has never taken hold, and indeed the cease-fires have only lasted a number of weeks. Some resumptions of violence have been unforeseeable. In October, a freak of nature — a lightning strike — was said to have caused a rocket to be launched at Israel.

Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian food | | AW

In November, an Israeli undercover team was discovered inside Gaza, setting off a firefight as it made its escape and then two days of rocket attacks and airstrikes. But Israel has also accused Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad of using violence for political advantage. Netanyahu to cut short a trip to Washington. Netanyahu would pay an even higher price for quiet in the short term. Baconi, the analyst. Sunday night, on the eve of Ramadan, the monthlong Muslim holiday of daylong fasting and nighttime feasts, Israel tightened its chokehold on Gaza.

It said it would cut off the supply of all fuel to the territory through Israel. Omar Shaban, an economist who runs Pal-Think for Strategic Studies, a Gaza think tank, said that some of the recriminations between Israel and Gaza officials over easing the deprivations in Gaza had been missing the point. Gaza needs a package of assistance. On the Israeli side, even some critics of Mr. Netanyahu said that the cycle of violence with Gaza was only strengthening his hand politically.

On Sunday, as the family of one of the Israelis killed in the attack, Moshe Agadi, 58, prepared to bury him, it asked the public to avoid his funeral for fear of another strike from Gaza. Hundreds of Israelis came anyway, and home front soldiers wearing orange berets passed out instructions on what to do if the cemetery came under attack.


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  • At the home were Mr. Agadi had been staying, a golden-painted suburban dream house, large shrapnel divots in the exterior wall, a felled tree and grapefruits strewn on the ground all testified to what had killed him. David M. Mediterranean Sea. Or Haner. Gaza City. Al Buraij refugee camp.