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Tomatoes: The favorite food of occupiers

By Sharif N Mafi
January 18, 2003
The Iranian

Greek feta ....... $2.25
Ronzoni Spaghetti ....... $0.99
Marinated Olives ....... $2.50
Israeli Tomatoes ...... priceless

So here you have it Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give a loud applause to my local grocery store which sells Israeli tomatoes. Most likely grown on some confiscated land in Palestine supported by my 35-40% Federal, State, and City taxes I pay each and every year.

It is rather fitting to this story that the history of tomatoes mirrors the events today. Tomato after all was initially cultivated by Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 A.D. Europeans first saw the tomato when the Conquistadors reached Mexico and Central America in the 16th century, got rid of the natives, occupied their land, and sent the tomato seeds back to Europe and voila we have Bloody Mary without which this self-effacing writer would have had many tedious Sundays.

Bang, push forward a few hundred years and we now have Israeli Tomatoes for $2.49 per Ib. Indeed this must be the favorite fruit of occupiers, let's not ever question that. Botanically speaking, tomato is a fruit. This is because, generally, a fruit is the edible part of the plant that contains the seeds, while a vegetable is the edible stems, leaves, and roots of the plant.

Rest assured, I did call Fairway Market at 212-595-1888 and inquire about the geographic origins of the tomatoes in question and expressed my reservation about these tomatoes being from Occupied Palestinian land.

Additionally, I insisted that in case they decide to continue selling the tomatoes in question, perhaps they should consider marketing it as Israeli Nightshades. Tomatoes belong to the same family as nightshades, the tomatoes deadly cousin.

The operator passed me over to the shift manager who in turn conferenced in the local Upper West Side chapter representative of Anti-Defamation League, which in turn accused me of being un-American and an anti-Semite.

Rubbish I replied. I have many Arab friends.


Public figures and/or entities used in this essay are portrayed for satirical purposes only. The tomatoes in question and the occupation nevertheless are very real.

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