Sunday, April 23, 2006

تداعيات قضية الزعتر فلسطين 2007

Got this as a forward from a friend here...hehe...since it is very much "local humor" and politics, here's some background: it has to do with the "explosive issue" of Zaatar in Palestine in 2007! It is of course in reference to the speech/sermon of Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya last week in which he said "we will eat Zaatar and Zayt if we have to, they cannot starve us!", zaatar and zayt of course traditionally being a basic Palestinian staple that no house is without, and commonly a staple of the poor. Zaatar consists of crushed thyme leaves rubbed in olive oil, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds, eaten with olive oil and bread, for those non-Arab readers.

Hanya's speech, though well-intentioned and admirable, elicited a slew of comments, most in good humor like that below, others not so well-intentioned by Fateh's kabab-eaters, who mocked Hamas. People were also quick to point out that at 25 shekels a kilo (around $5.5) olive oil is pretty expensive here (because it has become a scarce commodity with so many trees having been razed) and cannot sustain an impoverished people.

Anyhow no matter what, this was just hilarious and had me laughing out loud. Rough translation follows below.

• اسرائيل ترفض ادخال شاحنتين من الزعتر الفارسي الغير مخصب الى مناطق السلطة.
• الملك عبدالله يعرض على الفلسطينين تخصيب الزعتر بالسمسم البلدي في الاراضي الاردنية.
• ديوان رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني: نستخدم الزعتر المخصب لأغراض سلمية محضة.
• الرئيس عباس يعرب عن عدم نية الفلسطينين تزييت قنابل زعترية مسمسمة.

جيش الدفاع يقصف 8 طوابين يقول انها كانت تستخدم لتصنيع المناقيش الخفيفة.
هنية يبدي قلقه من قضية فوضى المناقيش في مدينة رام الله،
!! وعباس يقول: "لا لزعترة المجتمع الفلسطيني.

• لجنة الحوار الوطني الفلسطيني:
§ حماس: لا بديل عن الزعتر الاخضر
§ فتح: تغيير لون الزعتر شرط اساسي لاستئناف الحوار

الشبيبة تطلق مبادرة تدعو فيها لاستخدام الدقة الغزاوية بدلا من الزعتر لرأب
الصدع بين فتح و حماس.

وزير التموين الفلسطيني يمثل اليوم امام النيابة العامة لتورطه
في صفقة السمسم الفاسد

!!!في رسالة بعثها هنية الى الامم المتحدة: "لا تسقطوا عرق الزعتر من يدي".

• Israel blocks the entry of two trucks carrying non-enriched Iranian Zaatar (Thyme) to PA areas.
• Kind Abdullah of Jordan offers Palestinians the option of enriching Zaatar with sumsum baladi (organic/farm grown sesame seeds) on Jordanian soil
• The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office: “We will only use enriched Zaatar for peaceful purposes.”
• President Abbas says Palestinians will not be “oiling” sesame seeded Zaatar bombs.

• The Israeli Army shells 8 clay ovens and says they were being used to produce light/homemade manaqeesh (baked bread pastries with zaatar and oil)

• Haniya expresses his concern about the issue of “manaqeesh chaos” and lawlessness in Ramallah and Abbas says: “No to zaatarit (making it full of zaatar) Palestinian society”

• The National Palestinian Dialogue Committee

-Hamas: “There is no substitute for green Zaatar”
-Fateh: “Changing the colour of Zaatar is an essential condition for continuing dialogue

• Fateh’s Shabeeba starts a new initiative calling for the use of Gazan dagga (a famous Gaza salad of chilis, tomatoes, garlic, dill, and olive oil) instead of Zaatar to bridge the gap between Fateh and Hamas.

Gaza's famous dagga salad

• The Palestinian Minister of Supplies appears today in front of the Attorney General for his involvement in the corrupt sesame seed case.

• In a letter addressed to the United Nations, Haniya says: “Do not remove the Zaatar branch from my hand!”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very funny.. good to see Gazans are keeping their famous sense of humour.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Khaled said...

This one is hilarious :)
I liked the one about bringing Za'tar to Jordan ;)

I've tried Gazan Do22a by a friend of mine from gaza who's studying in my university... Zakyeh!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Khaled said...

One more thing!
I hope this will not turn into a REAL political issue ;)

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a great time reading that and laughed a lot! BTW ... I'll try out the salad - it looks yummy!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This may intrest you:

I had trouble finding anything about it in non-Israeli media.

I don't think it will change anything, but it might give you a feel of what people in Israel, inside the system think.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting article in the JPost.

I'm not saying anything either way... it's just interesting.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

אתה ישראלי???

this was actually funny,
thanks laila,
anyways, if it wasn't for Zaatar and Olvie Oil my Chummus and Pita would be really bland -

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zait & Zaatar is a staple in my home! No matter how americanized this family is, we still cannot due without it or pita (arabic bread) of course and Lebani and hummous & olives......... I guess I can go on & on. They are all important to our

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

לפעמים, בזמן האחרון בדרך כלל
עם מי יש לי את הכבוד?

I suddenly have a craving for Zaatar myself now.

8:08 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Fayrouz has a good post (not humorous) on zaatar here:

8:12 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

I like this post, it reminds me of my childhood in Lebanon where
I used to eat Zaatar and olive oil for my breakfast. Actually my family still produces olive oil there but sometimes I have to buy some because I don't live in lebanon and the supply is intermittent.
I discovered lately Palestinian olive oil distributed by PARC (the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee) and it is the best oil after, of course, my family's. I asked my local grocery store to keep buying it and I hope they will do so.
PARC's website:

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

אני כותב בלוג עם אשתי והפסקנו להגיב כאן בשמנו בגלל נאצות. יש לנו בלוג אבל אני לא יכול לכתוב אותו פה
יש לך בלוג??

mmmm... Zaatar.
What else do you guys grow out there??
I used to but Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but then I tasted the real stuff and now I want more.
As for Zaatar it's really hard to get it here in the U.S. Maybe you should start Exporting it to us, I bet there is a bit market for it.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article had me going into my cupboard and munching. Funny. Glad to see you all can still joke. We all need it.

Good olive oil is hard to find and it is getting expensive. In the Israeli supermarkets it is going right now for 40 Shekels a litre (cold pressed) and more for the real good stuff. I am trying to find a good place to buy it in Jerusalem wholesale I have been wondering around Damascus Gate trying to find a better supplier. I use alot.

Eat Well all.

12:04 AM  
Blogger mohammad alQaq said...

that was really hilarious, LOL :-))))
thnax... really :-)

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

תשלח לי את הכתובת שלכם ל

Jimmy, where in the US are you? I bet it's not too hard to get in the right groceries in the right neighborhoods

1:50 AM  
Blogger Moses said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Moses said...

Second that: "Mmmm. zaatar"

7:33 PM  
Blogger Kevin Beck said...

Great post. We would never get the "flavor" of what you are saying in the US media.

12:37 AM  
Blogger BHCh said...

Great guy is this Ismail Haniya of Hamas. And here is the great news: Bin Laden likes your government too!

3:57 AM  
Blogger sevilay said...

selam aleykum,

you are have a nice blog, i´m sevilay and a´m turkey but i live in Germany.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Khaled said...

shlemazl: 6ayeb gool PEPSI!

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHLEMAZL .. why on earth do you always have to be so cynical?? Does that make you feel better? Lift your self-esteem? Give Ismail Haniyeh a realistic chance to show what he's capable of doing ... and that there are no ties between Al Qaeda and Hamas, was widly published in the papers ... in Canada most likely as well.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the sake of Hamas and the Palestinian people, i hope that there are no ties with Al-Qaeda, or are there? if so, all hell will break loose................

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No there are no ties between al Qaueda and Hamas.
Hamas members are palestinians after all and want the best for their people.


12:37 AM  
Blogger واحد إفتراضي said...

Not a hilarious joke yet: sophisticated irony

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHLEMAZL ... I think you are as well cynical as sarcastic - and to me, both have a bad aftertaste!
I am not arguing - you are right, what you mention is contained in chapter seven of their covenant but did you miss that just recently Hamas agreed for the first time to recognize Israel under the condition, it abides by the 1967-boarders thus lifting the occupation with ALL its "side-effects"? I personally have no problem at all with the Jewish religion - it is a monotheistic religion like Islam and Christianity - but a tremendous problem with what developed out of it and what it was used for - Zionism!

A brief question .. what does "فلسطين : كوكب الأرض" mean?

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karin: What was written is: "Palestine-Earth Planet"

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's in dagga salad?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Moses said...

From the post you just read:

"Fateh’s Shabeeba starts a new initiative calling for the use of Gazan dagga (a famous Gaza salad of chilis, tomatoes, garlic, dill, and olive oil) instead of Zaatar to bridge the gap between Fateh and Hamas"

9:24 PM  
Blogger BHCh said...


Zaionism = support for a Jewish state. Don't you think Jews deserve a state? Why is that so?

I don't give a toss about what Hamas say they may do in certain circumstances. Their actions speak loudly enough. A few days back they appointed a major terrorist to head their interior ministry. Nothing has been done to stop missiles raining on Israel from Gaza. Support for a suicide bombing. What more evidence does one need that it's still good old Hamas?

Incidentally, what is wrong with non-montotheistic religions, or, indeed, atheists?

4:23 AM  
Blogger BHCh said...

Oh, and by the way; zionism has nothing to do with religion.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Isaac Demme said...

lol. Thanks for that post, it is not only hilarious, but captures the situation very well.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHLEMAZL ... I am growing tired of arguing with you as your point of view apparently is lightyears away from mine! All I am willing to say concerning your question is, I do NOT think anyone on this planet has the right to build his own fortune and happiness on the suffering and bones of others! Do with that statement whatever you wish - I really don't care.
Had you payed attention, you'd know that Hamas is keeping quiet since over a year ... and to your remark reagding missiles and suicide-bombers - did the previous government succeed to stop them?
As to non-monotheistic religions or atheists - well, I know you are a convinced atheist so what do you expect me to tell you? I am a religious person, I deeply believe in one God ... I will certainly not make ANY attempt to change your (non)believe - it's alone up to you! One day even YOU will find out ... and concerning Zionism - you don't need to teach me, I know very well what that means! Thanks anyway. What's left for me to mention is that usually what goes around, comes around ... I wouldn't want to be in their shoes!

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody know were to buy the best olive oil in biggish quanties in the Jerusalem area???

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHLEMAZL .... NO, I don't - you know that very well!

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon (4:38) ... contact Rabbi Arik Asherman - he will certainly be able to advise you!!

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Rabbi Arik Asherman?? Never heard of him. Someone in olive business???? Are you trying to be sarcastic at my simple query or does he really sell olive oil? All I need is the address of a good place to buy really good olive oil in "biggish quantities" Thank you

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO - I take your question very serious and would never be sarcastic! Look up his telefon-number or ask the information! He's the head of "Rabbis for Human Rights" and has always been active, among many other things, helping Palestinians who offer excellent olive-oil in large quantities ... to find customers!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I want such large wholesale quantities, just a regular gallon or two. Name a good shop I can go to and I'll go.

Did look him up. Nice work. Have read the stories in the media but did not connect the name.


9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon ... he does sell as well the quantities you want - not problem with that! I told you his name because what he gets is only superb quality - the REAL thing so-to-say! OR .. send me your e-mail and I'll give you another name and tel-# of a friend who can help you as well. It's not so easy to find a regular shop which sells GOOD quality in gallons ...
I still think Arik would be your best bet ...

10:22 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Buy free trade Palestinian olive oil and support Palestinian farmers at:

or here:

10:30 AM  
Blogger Osaid Rasheed said...

Huhuhu !! his was funny ! Y didnt the USA interfer in that too ? Strange, right?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Moses said...

We sell a lot of Palestinian olive oil, from the local ISM support group.
Local Palestinian grocers say it's the best.

If we can get the Israeli occupation bulldozers from plowing under the trees!

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What coincidence! I had just ordered some olive oil from the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund, and it arrived today complete with a bag of zaatar! In solidarity with the people of Gaza, I ate my bread and zaatar tonight.

6:12 AM  

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