Ali Abunimah Attacks Rachael Ray For Showcasing Israeli Foods


Celebrity chef Rachael Ray has done what I presume that infamous elk also managed to do – get Ali “Abumination” Abunimah’s panties in a twist – thanks to this tweet showcasing some Israeli food.

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray has sparked an uproar with this tweet showcasing foods from her “Holiday Feast – Israeli nite.”

Except of course all the dishes on her table are actually traditional Palestinian and Levantine foods.

Israel has aggressively used cuisine as one of its marketing and branding tools to try to distract from its violations of the rights of millions of Palestinians.

Ray – who runs a culinary business empire from cook books, to TV shows, to branded products on supermarket shelves – is helping Israel commit one of the perennial forms of settler-colonial fraud: clothing settlers in indigenous culture in order to establish some form of authenticity.

Abunimah is once again being dishonest. There is nothing especially palestinian about these foods, which did originate in the Levant. For instance, the earliest known recipes of Hummus seem to have originated in Egypt, while tabouli is originally from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. So unless he is admitting the palestinian Arabs originally come from those areas…

In any event, Israel has developed variations of the theme. So eat it up.

It is a shame Abunimah did not read on – because Rachael did not stop at the one tweet.


Ironically, Rachael Ray was the subject of a controversy in 2008 when she wore a keffiyeh in a Dunk’n Donuts ad before the ad was pulled.

I assume Ali would have been happy with her back then.

Update: Ali’s fellow hater James Zogby gets in on the act.


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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, David Lange is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.