NY Times on The Kef

The NY Times wrote about our latest project and possibly the most interesting part are the comments. We won’t include the article here, you could read it HERE, but we thought we should include some of the comments that we found interesting.

6 .
David Chack
February 8th, 2010
9:26 am
We must learn to live together and one way is to share customs and culture. Diwon’s family has the history and the cred. It is different than misappropriation for instigation and violence. If it creates dialogue and real communication then it is organic and it does what culture is meant to do – create bridges for understanding and creativity.

9 .
February 8th, 2010
9:33 am
Mr. Safer’s statement evinces maturity and a thoughtful eloquence. As an Arab-American, I support his desire to take a uniquely Middle Eastern symbol and cast it in a new, more inclusive light by bringing more Jews into the mix.

Arabs and Jews should both be proud of their long and inspired history within the Middle East region and beyond. May there be peace upon Israel and the Arab world.

16 .
Alan Schleider
Neve Daniel, Israel
February 8th, 2010
10:00 am
To Hala (1 above): One cannot steal one’s own property. Israel’s title to the Land of Israel (not the Land of Ishmael) goes back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Recall, if you will, that Abraham cut Ishmael out of his will.) Expulsion by Babylonia, then Rome, did not ever abrogate the people of Israel’s legal right to the land that those extinct nations robbed from them. And, anyone who in turn overtook the Land had no more right to title than the Babylonians and the Romans. The only people who have a legal title to the Land of Israel is the People of Israel. (Parenthetically, the only ones who have the legal right to decide to be stupid enough to give away and/or parts of the Land would be the same People of Israel.)

To both Hala (1) and Marc (2) above: By your very illogical method of thinking, Marco Polo should not have brought pasta from China to Italy and the Italians should never have introduced in in turn to the rest of the western world. Let us also forget about having Hamburgers outside of Hamburg and Frankfurters outside of Frankfurt. No pizza outside of Italy, no sushi outside of Japan, (…must I continue or may I presume my point is clear by now)?

I am very sorry to inform both of you that no one has a title deed on cuisine or style.

Note very well that the very Jews who you unjustly accuse looting your cultures were themselves expelled from those same countries; why would you expect them to eat or wear other things?

PS. Am Yisrael Chai!

18 .
Carl Ian Schwartz
Paterson, New Jersey, USA
February 8th, 2010
10:00 am
Actually, observant Muslims DO wear a knit skullcap something like a kipah.

Poster No. 9 has the right attitude–Arabs and Jews have so MUCH in common, and have had for millenia.

20 .
February 8th, 2010
10:01 am
Arabs in the Middle East face far greater oppression at the hands of theocratic Arab nations than what they experience in Israel and the occupied territories. Jews have thousands of years of history in that land. Palestinians have existed as a separate identity for perhaps hundreds, although whether they considered themselves to be “Palestinians” rather than Jordanians, Egyptians or simply Arabs for much of that time is debatable. The term “re-mix” is misleading… he’s talking about re-claiming culture rather than appropriation. As he said, “Jews indigenous to the Middle East, such as my family is, have worn some variation of the kefyah (cap/kippah) and keffiyeh (head/neck scarves) for thousands of years.” It’s trendy among college activists to see Israel as a powerful oppressor imposing an apartheid system… it’s shortsighted and shows a lack of understanding of history, and of the politics of the Middle East. The Palestinian propaganda has been very effective among some on the far left, and by far left I don’t mean liberals (of which I am one) but the truly far left, which goes so far left as to meet the far right on the other side of the circle. Use your brain to think, and your heart to feel… substituting one for the other is dangerous and foolish.

New York
February 8th, 2010
10:27 am
Wow! When Arab countries adopt Israeli attributes like making positive contributions to mankind through medical innovations, technological innovations, innovations in irrigation and solar power, education and intellectual development, humanitarian missions around the world to places all over Africa and most recently Haiti, should the Israelis complain that the Arabs are copying them? What if Arabs and Moslems instead of blowing up civilians all over the place (Sunnis killing Shiites and vice versa and both killing Kurds and Christians), worshipers at Mosques, Islamic pilgrims, people shopping or eating at cafes or pizza stands, people waiting in line to apply for jobs at police stations, as well as their wives and daughters, and show respect for human life, including making every effort to avoid collateral damage to civilians even when those trying to kill your civilians hide and shoot from among civilians, should the Israelis complain that that is unfair copying by the Arabs and Moslems?

Finally, the Hebrews were in the middle east and Israel thousands of years before Muhammad was even born. Most of everything in Islam and Arab culture was built on the civilizations and monotheistic religions and traditions that came before it, particularly Judaism and Christianity (which Muhammad acknowledges but which the people who took control of most of the region by force seem to have conveniently forgotten).

Washington, DC
February 8th, 2010
11:09 am
In “recent decades,” the keffiyah “has come to symbolise the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.” (See “Made In Palestine” athttp://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/witness/2009/07/200972711343457982.html)But as the accompanying video explains, the headcovering is “ancient” and every corner of the region has its own pattern or variation, including the Druze (who serve in the Israel Defense Forces).

If I really wanted to start another hummus-type war I might suggest that the keffiyeh resembles a derivative of the Jewish tallit.


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