Following the row in his coalition around the ‘Jewish State Bill’ that would have placed Israel’s status as a Jewish State ahead of its commitment to democracy, Prime Minister Netanyahu hoped to lessen tensions with a Bill making Israel the Nation State of Falafel. “Falafel is the national food of Israel and of the Jewish people. It is our unifying symbol, and it’s delicious. Let all Israelis stand with me in support of fried balls as the heritage of the Jewish people,” exclaimed Bibi through a mouthful of crumbs.
Response to the proposal was rapid and decidedly mixed. Israel’s allegedly half-crazy Minister Neftali Bennett requested clarification as to whether the Bill would demand that the Palestinians must recognize falafel’s status ahead of any peace agreement. The slightly loud and definitely plump Foreign Minister said he might support the Bill so long as it required every Israeli to eat at least one falafel sandwich a day or be stripped of their citizenship. MKs from one religious political party at first insisted that cholent, not falafel was the true dish of the Jewish people.
Hours later, they declared that they would support the Bill if it included a clause maintaining their constituent’s exclusion from military service, and that men and women were allowed to eat their falafel separately. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who’s maintains that his glass is always half full, condemned Netanyahu for acting unilaterally. “Surely through negotiations we can share falafel with the Palestinians as Yitzhak Rabin dreamed – one dish for two peoples.”
Outside the Government, the proposal received sharp condemnation. Amnesty International declared the Bill “a genocidal effort to seize another people’s cuisine.” Food related issues have been a stumbling block to Arab-Israeli peace ever since former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, as part of the Camp David Accords, ceded tabouli to Egypt to achieve the current cold buffet peace.