Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ammon News of Jordan tells a legend of the origin of mansaf, regarded as the Jordanian national dish.

According to the article, some historians say that the name of the dish comes from the root NSF which means "blowing up", "blasting", "destroying." A legend is told of an ancient "Arab" Moabite king from 885 BCE, Mesha, who asked that this dish be created as a way of expressing his animosity towards the Jews, whom he knew were planning to betray him.

Mansaf is made of lamb cooked in a yogurt-based sauce and is not kosher because of the Jewish prohibition of eating meat cooked in milk. Therefore, the article claims, the dish was originally created to insult Jews.

The article then says that Jordanians still eat this dish, and through this act they express their animosity towards the Jews until the Day of Judgment.

The origin story is nonsense, of course. Wikipedia says that according to some the current version of mansaf was only created in the 20th century, but variants have been eaten by Bedouin for centuries.

Yet by creating this myth of the origins of mansaf, Jordanians are showing that antisemitism is ingrained in their culture.

One commenter said, "If this is true, then eating mansaf is a sort of jihad against the Jews."

There is no discomfort at an origin story for a food that entrenches Jew-hatred into Jordanian culture. No one is calling for a symbolic boycott of mansaf in order to show that Arabs love Jews but are only against Zionists.  And no one will.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)




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