Thursday, 30 July 2009

Eating Falafel on Holiday...

In a country where it rains. Incessantly. Mercilessly.

After obscenely high temperatures and 75% humidity, it makes a pleasant change. For the moment. I'll probably be cursing perfidious Albion - or at least the perfidious Albian weather - by this time next week.

After a long, liquid encounter with a friend a couple of days ago, I stopped for a late night bite at Notting Hill's Falafel King (certainly not the best Falafel joint in London - try Maoz for that. But I was desperate...)

There were two smartly dressed men at the counter, conversing in Hebrew. Odd, I thought. Israelis only wear suits if they have to, or they are paid to do so...

I thought nothing more of it until I read this.

Oh dear. Perhaps the poor things were having an official dinner...

(The second half of the article, where the hapless Chef de Protocol of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs first tries to chat up Ms Goldman, then tries to retract the interview in a fit of irrational pique is absolutely priceless. "I am going to file a complaint against you...there will be consequences." Charming!)


6 comments:

Lisa said...

It's such an honour to be featured in a Goy post. Thank you. :)

Goy said...

:-)

Adam E. said...

Interesting stuff! Thanks for the link to the “forward” as well - looks like an interesting site. Someone called “Jewlicious” has raised some interesting points on the article you tagged, including the fact that although most aren’t particularly strict about it, a majority of Israelis do probably eat “kosher” to some extent or another. Lack of citation, I know, but then again, the same could be said about Lisa. I have to say, the whole balagan seems to have stemmed from the fact that she was an unaffiliated journalist taking up the role as specific spokesperson. This doesn’t say anything about the policy itself, of course. But it seems to me that - whatever the logic or otherwise behind it - the policy may be a useful way of avoiding a sort of “prejudice by default” of those who do keep kosher. Think about it. One candidate for minister does not keep kosher, and is therefore able to entertain foreign dignitaries at all the poshest joints. Another does keep kosher, and therefore can’t. Which one is going to be appointed minister?

Goy said...

I don't know a great deal about Israelis keeping Kosher, but I can only think of one person I have met in the two and a half years that I've lived in Israel that objected - and very apologetically, I should say - to eating in a non-kosher 'establishment' (my flat - she'd come to do some work for us). But then, I am surrounded by godless heathens so...

(by the by - there was an interesting story in the press last week of a woman employed, then fired by the guys setting up H & M in Israel. One of the problems she cited was the fact that she was obliged to socialise with the foreign team leading the project...and she didn't feel comfortable going to a non-Kosher restaurant and just drinking water)

I don't think I necessarily agree with your last point though, although I see where you are coming from. If I were the guest of an Israeli diplomat who kept Kosher, I wouldn't have a problem respecting his choice of cuisine. I think of the diktat as more a matter of attempting to re-enforcing the Jewish character of Israel, but without actually talking to the people most likely to be affected by it. Which then feeds into the whole knotty issue of the "status quo", and maintaining (trying to maintain) the distinction between Synagogue and State, an issue fraught with all sorts of complications.

thebookmistress said...

Random wacky rules, randomly enforced. Exactly why I am terrified of living anywhere other than a handful of countries -- I've become soft in the last few decades and I now expect most of my daily life to make some kind of sense.

Unrelatedly, it's always good to know there is something affordable to eat in Soho which is not scary Chinese buffet.

Goy said...

Good affordable food is so underrated...