Monday 18 January 2010

9 February 2010, Pita

Kathy Kenny and Mars Kaliszewski

Iraqi Jewish/Israeli Eaterie
98 Golders Green Rd
NW11 8HB



We went to Pita today, a falafel shop in Golders Green. Right upon entering we were greeted with loud Israeli music, with jolly military songs repeating the line “Jerusalem is for us” over and over again. It was shocking! This genre of music came from the era of Israeli Military bands, and whilst they might sound 'innocent' to the everyday Israeli listener, they are steeped in military and Zionist overtones, and are part of the brain-washing machine that the Israeli national project is. If we had any doubts earlier as to how politicized the falafel was, this experience put an end to them.

It was uncomfortable sitting there with this loud aggressive music looking at a menu that seems to also proclaim that falafels, kibbeh, tabouleh salad, and so on are also Israeli.

Like the falafel, 'Israeli Salad' has also came to be recognised as something of a national dish, however, both are based on local Palestinian staple diet.

Kibbeh is a Levantine Arab dish made of bulgur and chopped meat. The dish was brought to Israel by Mizrachi Jews from Middle Eastern countries.

1 comment:

  1. what i was shocked at is your completely one sided of view of the pita shop and for that matter the political situation. i have been into pita many times before and most of the time the music they play has nothing to do with military zionism; in fact just the other day Enrique Iglesias was playing. Golders green has a large jewish community, and with Israel being the home of the jews, it is only normal that an israeli-style restaurant would be so popular.
    their aim is not to 'brain-wash'- as you said, the songs they play seem innocent to the every day listener anyway. how effective could their methods be if no one understands the "zionist overtones"?. they are not interested in the politics of israel, they successfully create a fun israeli atmosphere where anyone can come to enjoy a non-english meal.
    furthermore you start by claiming the music is 'jolly' but then, as your tone becomes more aggressive you claim the music is as well. this is more a projection of your negative attitude than the actual music.
    your entire argument is flawed really. the food they sell IS traditionally israeli and is recognized that way by most. there will always be a way to prove that at some point a dish originated elsewhere; i am sure i could some how prove that pizzas were not invented in italy, but that would not take away from the fact that they are considered Italy's national dish. anyway as you pointed out Mizrachi JEWS brought the dishes over and as Israel is the jewish state it is obvious their traditions will come from the jews who settled there from all over the world.
    most people go to restaurants in order to have a good time. when you walk in with a bad attitude as you seem to have done, inevitably you will only have bad things to say.