Israeli Couscous And the Cuckoos of West Marin

coucousThe Family Yenta had a lovely time kicking up dirt in our former California stomping grounds, where we reveled in things that aren’t available here in Savannah, like redwood trees, hippie drum circles and our very favorite grocery store chain, Trader Joe’s.

(For the underprivileged of ye, Trader’s Joe’s has exotic foodstuffs at ungourmet prices – lime wasabi cashews whaaat? – imported from all over our grand planet, including Middle Eastern goodies like falafel, couscous and hummus.)

Of course, there are plenty of things about living in California that we never enjoyed, like searingly painful real estate prices, cold cold summers and anti-Semitic assh*les masquerading as humanitarian activists. Really, there’s nothing like drinking your morning coffee next to some douche who never finished high school wearing a kaffiyeh and ranting about the “Israel genocide” – let’s just say I ruined more than a few children’s birthday parties wasting my breath trying to convince people otherwise via facts and logic.

Driving around San Geronimo Valley on Sunday we saw a bunch of these types waving signage – I wasn’t interested in yet another fruitless debate, but El Yenta Man rolled up slowly to this group of three, gave a big smile and said “Hi! See us, this family?” He waved his hand over the children’s heads. “PRO-ISRAEL. Always. Forever.” Then he waved. “Have a nice day!” So diplomatic, my man.

Anyway, even though this little gang has been standing out on Sir Francis Drake with the same signs for 15 years, apparently this day’s demonstration was coordinated to be part of a larger boycott of Israeli products, of which the sole action was planning to have people run into – you guessed it – Trader Joe’s stores and tear Israeli products off the shelves. Unforch for the organizers of “Don’t Buy Into Apartheid Day,” their plan had the opposite effect: The Jewish Journal reports that most of the demonstrations failed to take place and that sales and requests of Israeli couscous have increased.

Look, before you go all extremist on my tush, I have no problem criticizing Israel and want the Palestinian people to live dignified, peaceful lives. But sorry, comparing this situation with South Africa, or OMG GERMANY and the Nazis (as some of these self-righteous schmuckos are wont to do, yes, TO YOUR JEWISH FACE) is just ignorant. And as StandWithUs.com says, all you have to do is listen to glean who is rational and who is simply batsh*t meshuggah.

While Israel certainly is not perfect, no amount of propaganda can convince well-informed people that Israel is arbitrarily attacking its neighbors for sport.

So those of you blessed enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your town: Go there. Buy Israeli couscous and hummus and halvah (which is totally gross but buy it anyway.) And here’s a recipe tip from The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg: “I hear the Israeli couscous goes well with grilled scapegoat, by the way.”

8 thoughts on “Israeli Couscous And the Cuckoos of West Marin

  1. Perhaps they should try to mobilize a “don’t make Israeli salad day” event next. Or a “don’t say ‘is really’ day” That would be about as meaningful and productive for effecting real change.

  2. Trader Joe’s is all over the east coast – I don’t know why you are so unlucky as to not have them – maybe they’ll get there soon. In any case, they carry LOTS of kosher and Israeli products, which is nice (and are very helpful about letting you know what’s kosher, too!)
    OTOH, don’t tar CA with the “anti-Semitic” brush. Aside from the occasional out of bounds loon (and IMO a case can be made for apartheid, although not nazis, which is insane) CA is a haven for Jews – especially SoCal, where there are not only tons of Jews, including lots and lots of Sephardim and Mizrachim, but some of teh most active Jews in the country – Jewish organizations are popping up all over. Maybe it’s just NoCal (which I love too, so it’s unfortunate) that has the problem….

  3. As a constant TJ’s shopper I read the news about this with concern. What if…we ciouldn’t get in there to buy the Marcona almonds with rosemary or the endamame humus?! The Scottsdale update: lots of Jewish people in every aisle buying all kinds of food. Just let anyone try to interfere with their eating habits! We’re ready for them! I casn slap anyone with a piece of pita bread.

  4. The cuckoos had a flag, but I took it. There be Jews out here in this valley. You have no idea how infuriating it is to pass through your own town and see a bunch of fucking idiots “protesting” something they really don’t know a thing about.

  5. Our rabbi notified us of this situation, and we all went out to the closest TJ’s and spent hundreds of dollars on Israeli foods. Don’t ever be surprised at the ignorance of people regarding Israel. Israel forever!!!

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