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The Boston Globe



Keep food out of the Arab-Israeli dispute

Lunch served in the cafeteria at Harvard Business School usually doesn’t make international news. Except last month, when a Harvard graduate student posted to Facebook a picture of the menu items on the “Israeli Mezze Station” (mezze is a term used in the Mediterranean for a series of small plates) along with a 700-word rant about why she found the menu offensive.

Ingredient by ingredient, she made a case for why the food shouldn’t be considered Israeli, but Arab. For example:
“Hummus is an Arabic word meaning ‘chickpeas,’ ” she pointed out. “The earliest documented recipe for something similar to modern hummus dates to 13th Century (CE) Egypt. --> Since Israel was created in 1948, Israel is NOT 13th CENTURY EGYPT! And Hummus is therefore NOT ISRAELI.” Within days, the post was “liked” almost 5,000 times, received hundreds of comments, and was shared by over 3,000 people. It was picked up in publications across the globe, including the Jerusalem Post and Al Arabiya News.

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