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You might as well try to copyright bread....

This week's most foolish lawsuit comes from Lebanon:

"The president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association Fadi Abboud, said he is preparing to file an international lawsuit against Israel for allegedly "taking the identity of some Lebanese foods" and thus violating a food copyright".

And what are these foods that are so unmistakeably Lebanese, given that Lebanon is a construct that has existed for all of sixty five years?

"Falafel, tabouleh and hummus".

OK, point by point:

Falafel - "The actual origins of falafel are not certain, however, all common theories acknowledge that the falafel was invented several centuries ago, perhaps by Egyptian Copts, or even by the Ancient Egyptians".

Tabouleh - The Lebanese are on slightly less shaky ground here: "a Levantine Arab dish". Note that this page is locked as an editing war is in progress....

Hummus - "One of the earliest verifiable descriptions of hummus comes from 18th-century Damascus and the same source claims it was unknown elsewhere".

Anyway, "According to Abboud, the Lebanese are losing "tens of millions of dollars annually" because Israel is selling and marketing traditional Lebanese dishes. "The Israelis are marketing our main food dishes as if they were Israeli dishes," he charged. "We are working on registering all the foods and ingredients which will be submitted to the Lebanese government so it can appeal to the international courts against Israel," Abboud said".

Now I consider myself an 'ethical consumer' in that I go out of my way to buy Israeli food products where appropriate, and I do not doubt that there are plenty of other folk who buy Carmel, Jaffa etc etc precisely because they are Israeli, thus rather negating Abboud's rather silly contention that sales of hummus and the like are a zero sum game.

Meanwhile, a popular retort on the Haaretz's site is that Jewish Penicillin (chicken soup) ought to be copywritten too. And as the old, old joke goes, 'I had some Middle Eastern food an hour ago and now I falafel....'

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Blogger Nick Drew said... 8:26 am

(A pedant rights ...)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:30 am

Gah. Fixed.  

Blogger Philipa said... 9:13 am

The english invented curry, can we sue India and Pakistan?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:57 am


Blogger Susie said... 10:24 am

What about chopped liver and gefilte fish?. Israel should take out a patent with the EPO in Munich to stop these delicious foods from being hijacked by other counties for using them for medicinal purposes.  

Blogger Susie said... 10:26 am

what about gefilte fish and chopped liver-maybe Israel should take out a patent at the EPO in Munich to stop this delicious food being hijacked for medicinal purposes!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:53 am

I do have a weakness for gefilte fish...  

Anonymous Mr R said... 10:14 pm

You have not yet mentioned your penchant for bagels yet. And do not get me started on the bastardisation of that wonderful foodstuff that is sold in supermarkets not far from Crydonian Towers.....  

Blogger Meir said... 6:41 am

I feel so GUILTY....
Yes, its me. I took the recipe....and I won't give it back :-) :-)
Hey Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah (who have the copyright on the TERROR) stole your whole country!

Try to stop us if you've got the (felafel) balls

Visit me: www.MeirCookBook.net

Have a nice FALAFEL

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