October 8, 2008, - 1:37 pm

Letter to the Editor of the Day: Muslims, Arabs Didn’t Invent Falafel or Hummus

By Debbie Schlussel
One bone of contention I’ve repeatedly noted on this site is the false claim by Arabs that falafel, hummus, and other Middle-Eastern food is “Arabic” food. That’s despite the fact that, for example, hummus–the dip made from chickpeas, sesame butter (tahini or “techina” in Hebrew), olive oil, lemon, garlic, etc.–originated in what is now Israel and was invented by Jews.
In fact, Jews have been eating these dishes for centuries, longer than there has been an Islam or an Arabian empire, as I’ve pointed out. These foods are an intrinsic part of Sephardic [“Spanish”/Orientalist/Asian] Jewish culture and history. But Arabs–particularly Muslims, since Christians tend to disavow any association with being Arabic–need some invention to claim other than innovations in explosive devices and torture methods.
And while they never tire of blowing up falafel joints with Jews inside of them, they occasionally take a break from that and use falafel and other Mid-East cuisine for propaganda.


Not Arabic Food

Yes, now, those who hate Jews and Israel have resorted even to lying about Mid-Eastern food for their attacks and fraudulent public relations. Ignorant authoress Chris Fair does so in her book “Cuisines of the Axis of Evil,” and Abheek Bhattacharya did so in his review of the book in the Wall Street Journal. (With a name like Abheek Bhattacharya, I’m sure he has no agenda whatsoever.)
But Joshua Cappell of New York didn’t let them slip it past his very sharp, observant eyes. From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, his letter to the editor is spot on and deserves further exposure.

Sephardic Jews Brought the Falafel
October 7, 2008; Page A26
In his review of Chris Fair’s “Cuisines of the Axis of Evil,” (Oct. 3), Abheek Bhattacharya says “Ms. Fair does a good job explaining how Israel’s possession of Palestinian land has made falafel, hummus and baba ganouj staples in Tel Aviv.”
Actually, the prevalence of these foods in Israel has a different basis, which tells a quite different story. These were popularized by the Sephardim, the roughly one-half of Israel’s population that was accepted as refugees to the state after they were forcibly evicted, for no reason other than that they were Jews, without compensation, from their homes and communities in the Arab states of the Mideast in which they had lived for hundred of years. Tel Aviv, which is well within Israel’s internationally recognized borders, was built by Jews on land purchased and owned by Jews.
Why is it acceptable to assume that all property in the possession of Jews must necessarily have been stolen rather than purchased? Would journalistic standards allow accepting uncritically a claim regarding any other ethnic group that they may be safely assumed to all be thieves?
Joshua Cappell
New York

Amen. Mazel Tov [Congrats!] on your excellent letter, Joshua.
Why does the Wall Street Journal allow this kind of crap to creep into cookbook reviews?
Might have something to do with one of its new owners. Or the son of another.

17 Responses

Ok; I’m hungry now…

bhparkman on October 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I’m a sephardim, so I am glad we are recognized as having invented it;). I love good falafel

mindy1 on October 9, 2008 at 5:59 am

Muzzies can’t build a bicycle.
Why would anyone think they could “invent” or “build” anything?
You should always presume that they can steal planes and fly them into buildings, they can strap bombs on children and detonate them remotely, and grab rusty steak knives and slowly separate your head from your shoulders.
That’s about it (besides worshipping the “moon” – pagan savages).

GOLDENMIKE4393 on October 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm

You realy prove to me that as much as rednecks try to use “big” words you still sound stupid and don’t know half of what you are talking about. Im realy amazed that rednecks have learned how to use the internet how do you wire it up to your trailers? Anyways back to the topic.
First of all this “originated in what is now Israel and was invented by Jews.” You do know that Israel originated from a muslim country? Named Palestine.
Second of all, you call humus and falafel a cuisine? Humus and falafel is the cheapest food you can buy and sold and shity street stands.
Now lets continue what is your ” American” cuisine? hamburgers?
For the guy posting below me, are you retarted?
Creating or inventing anything? Look up bin sina LMAO MOST OF YOUR MEDICAL BOOKS ARE BASED ON HIS WORKS. MOST AUSTRONAMY BOOKS ARE BASED ON HIS WORKS. HMMM first person to discover india? Was from dubai. I can go on for ages. Now lets continue Barrack is a muslim/black he can’t be president he isn’t AMERICAN let me remind you something rednecks none of you are american to speak of YOU ARE ALL BRITISH orignaly. You know whats fucked up though you think all “muslims” are terrorists, oh btw go check who the major researcher in the US for nuclear power is and what his religion is. GO LOOK AT YOUR UNIVERSITYS LOOK AT YOUR PROFFESSORS 50% OF THEM ARE MUSLIMS OR ARABS or wait rednecks don’t go to university.
Lol and rednecks seem not to understand that “allah” means god in arabic. You probably think that every language in the world says god. Oh and I know my comment won’t be approved to you I was just bored and decided to critize you for being a racist prick. Im not arab lol and im telling you this because I have many muslim and arab friends and they are just like you and me. Oh and let me remind you something jews where the ones that crucified Jesus. Oh and your link to “Bare Naked Islam”. We both know anyone can come up with a site and look for the nastiest shit they can abouta country or religion and post it. Now your gonna tell me America doesn’t have there own fucked up people? You probably don’t think so since your part of them rednecks and think you are good. You guys fuck each other legalize things that are dangerous but make things that are alot less dangerous legal. You HAVE GUN SHOPS AROUND EVERY CORNER. Ive been to arab countrys and I never saw any gunshops I lived in dubai for a couple of years OH AND DUBAI IS A MUSLIM ARAB COUNTRY. Terrorism hmm depends how you define it, woudn’t you consider the war agaisnt a country and slaughter of tens of thousands of its citizens terrorism when the war is started on false claims and arn’t proven till now? Iraq is a example don’t give me that bull shit about Saddam being a tyrant and shit so many other countrys have worse leaders. And Afghanistan Osama is hiding there? How long has it been since the war on Afghanistan 6 years now? Its been proven that bin laden isn’t there I still don’t see the military backing out of Afghanistan. Im sick of people like you fat obese rednecks that view everyone around them as shit. Oh btw im Canadian and thank god we only have a few people like you here.

YouFailBigTime on October 15, 2008 at 3:14 am

    yep America is soooo soooo bad, that’s why we give handouts to the world and send our research and development to other countries for free.. before they steal it first..

    You keep telling yourselves that America is sooo sooo bad.. you are hypocrites, you canadians are embarrassing short fused assholes. And we don’t run from anyone especially canadian jagoffs!!

    greg on September 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

      Go educate yourselves people.

      Falafel is Arabic food on April 28, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    ((God bless you))
    wise talk wise talk 🙂

    falafel on April 20, 2010 at 8:08 am

    ????God bless Canada????
    I’m proud of you for telling them the truth.
    It’s funny how the article said islamic food???? I’m african muslim and Africans they don’t even know what flafel and humus looks like! Not all Muslims have humus and flafel as their traditional dish you have example african Muslims and Asian Muslims. Flafel and humus been arab’s favorite dishes for centuries?NOTE? do you know every arab country they have Christians as well except saudi Arabia!?

    Munita on November 26, 2015 at 7:33 pm


yea right the (((230 MILLION))) Arabian, stole this traditional snack from the 5 freaken million Jewish! lol

falafel on April 20, 2010 at 7:27 am

I’m Jewish and i know for a fact that its Arabic food. There is no way around it!

David on February 17, 2011 at 1:47 am

Is mansaf Jewish too?? Useless topic! It’s nice how you mix food with war! Do you throw falafel with bombs?

Abd on September 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Debbie never fails to hit new lows. You can not change history Debbie! The earliest recordings of hummus go back to 13th century Egypt, not Ancient Israel. Falafel was invented by Coptic Egyptian Arabs as a dish to eat during Lent- when meat is forbidden. Yes, we are all aware that Arab Jews eat Arabic food, such as falafel and hummus, but that doesn’t make it “Israeli” food. Palestinian Arabs were munching away on falafel and hummus way before Israel was created in 1948.

Dave on October 1, 2012 at 1:06 am

Whatever the origin of the food is…doesn’t matter to me. My Muslim friends love it, my Israeli friends love it, it’s something we all enjoy.

Having said that, you have gone far beyond offensive. You are perpetuating the very distaste that spreads hatred.

Your hurtful insults about weapons and torturing do a disservice to any progress in humanity. We’re all here on this planet, let’s work together and eradicate this racist mindset and belittlement of other human beings. We’re all one family.

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home cellulite treatment on May 27, 2013 at 1:39 am

As if stealing Palestine wasn’t enough u want to steal our traditions, culture and cuisine as well?!!!

hannah on October 30, 2013 at 10:53 am

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