A fine dining Palestinian meal to celebrate Talib Kweli calling out “Free Palestine” during his Ithaca show

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My son and I made this find dining Palestine Solidarity meal in celebration of renowned hip hop artist, Talib Kweli calling out “Free Palestine” during his Ithaca concert (see pictures, video, and more below)

 

Sheikh el Mahshi (Stuffed Eggplants)

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Recipe adapted from the Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

Eggplant is eaten in so many different dishes and preparations throughout Palestine and the rest of the Middle East. The Gaza Kitchen cookbook describes a properly prepared eggplant as the “queen of vegetables”.

8-10 baby eggplants

1 lb. Beyond Meat “beef” or other vegan ground “meat”

1 large onion

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. coriander

5 ripe tomatoes

Olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the eggplants in alternating strips and soak them in a bath of salty water for 20 minutes. Sauté the onion, “meat”, salt cumin and coriander.

Liquefy the tomatoes in a blender with ½ tsp. salt.

Dry the eggplants and fry them on high heat until they are browned on all sider. Once they are cool enough to handle, make a slit in them and stuff them with 1/2 -1 tsp. of the “meat”

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Arrange the stuffed eggplant in a baking tray and cover them with the liquefied tomatoes.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the eggplants are soft throughout. If they appear to be drying out, add water and /or cover them with foil.

 

Zahra Bi Tahineh (Cauliflower with Tahini)

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recipe adapted from the Kitchen of Palestine website www.kitchenofpalestine.com

“Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce is popular particularly in Palestine, and generally in Levant”

1 cauliflower head

olive oil

2 cloves cloves garlic, largely chopped

2 teaspoon salt

½ cup tablespoon tahini paste

juice of two lemons

6 Tbs. water

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the core and leaves off of the cauliflower head, then cut it into bite-size florets. Remove black spots that are located on the surface of florets using a small knife. Wash cauliflower florets thoroughly and dry them completely.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the cauliflower florets and cover the pan. Leave the florets to cook over low heat for about 15 minutes or until they become golden. Turn them to cook on the other side for another 15 minutes or until florets are cooked and golden from both sides.

Blend the tahini lemon jounce, salt garlic, and water until smooth.

Place the cauliflower in a medium size ovenproof dish. Cover it with the tahini sauce and bake 40 minutes minutes or until sauce is mostly absorbed.

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Lemon, herb salad dressing with Canaan Fair Trade Palestinian olive oil,

 

Palestinian farmers in the West Bank face many obstacles: Inequitable and distribution of water, illegal confiscation of farm land, restriction on freedom of movement, uprooting the uprooting and burning of ancient olive trees, and violent attacks by settlers and the Israeli military. One way to support Palestinian farmers is by purchasing Canaan Fair Trade olive oil. Buying your olive oil through Canaan Fair Trade not only supports Palestinian farmers, but is among the highest qualities of olive oil sin the world. You can buy Canaan Fair Trade olive oil and other Palestinian products through http://www.canaanfirtrade.com It is also available through Amazon.com

Canaan olive ooil

6 Tbs Canaan Fair Trade, or other Palestinian, olive oil,

6 Tbs. Lemon juice

½ tsp. white miso

½ tsp salt

Chopped thyme, chives, and basil

Blend and pour over local greens

 

Tomato rice

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We had extra tomato puree from our stuffed eggplants and so decided to cook our rice in it. The result was delicious.

 

2 cups jasmine rice

1 ½ cups tomatoes puree, blended with 2 cloves garlic

½ cups water

1 Tbs. salt

1 Tbs olive oil

 

Heat the oil, Add the rice and stir until hot. Add the tomato puree water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.

By Ariel Gold

 

Talib Kweli concert, September 3, 2015

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2015 Palestinian Solidarity, signed by Talib Kweli

2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine

http://www.blackforpalestine.com/read-the-statement.html

The past year has been one of high-profile growth for Black-Palestinian solidarity. Out of the terror directed against us—from numerous attacks on Black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank—strengthened resilience and joint-struggle have emerged between our movements. Palestinians on Twitter were among the first to provide international support for protesters in Ferguson, where St. Louis-based Palestinians gave support on the ground. Last November, a delegation of Palestinian students visited Black organizers in St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit and more, just months before the Dream Defenders took representatives of Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, and other racial justice groups to Palestine. Throughout the year, Palestinians sent multiple letters of solidarity to us throughout protests in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore. We offer this statement to continue the conversation between our movements:

On the anniversary of last summer’s Gaza massacre, in the 48th year of Israeli occupation, the 67th year of Palestinians’ ongoing Nakba (the Arabic word for Israel’s ethnic cleansing)–and in the fourth century of Black oppression in the present-day United States–we, the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers, and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.

We can neither forgive nor forget last summer’s violence. We remain outraged at the brutality Israel unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea and air, and three military offensives in six years. We remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals. We remain heartbroken and repulsed by the number of children Israel killed in an operation it called “defensive.” We reject Israel’s framing of itself as a victim. Anyone who takes an honest look at the destruction to life and property in Gaza can see Israel committed a one-sided slaughter. With100,000 people still homeless in Gaza, the massacre’s effects continue to devastate Gaza today and will for years to come.

Israel’s injustice and cruelty toward Palestinians is not limited to Gaza and its problem is not with any particular Palestinian party. The oppression of Palestinians extends throughout the occupied territories, within Israel’s 1948 borders, and into neighboring countries. The Israeli Occupation Forcescontinue to kill protesters—including children—conduct night raids on civilians, hold hundreds of people under indefinite detention, and demolish homeswhile expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements. Israeli politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu, incite against Palestinian citizens within Israel’s recognized borders, where over 50 laws discriminate against non-Jewish people.

Our support extends to those living under occupation and siege, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the 7 million Palestinian refugees exiled in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. The refugees’ right to return to their homeland in present-day Israel is the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.

Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity and sovereignty. While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people.

Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the US, including thepolitical imprisonment of our own revolutionaries. Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us and our children who pose no imminent threat. And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.

US and Israeli officials and media criminalize our existence, portray violence against us as “isolated incidents,” and call our resistance “illegitimate” or “terrorism.” These narratives ignore decades and centuries of anti-Palestinian and anti-Black violence that have always been at the core of Israel and the US. We recognize the racism that characterizes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is also directed against others in the region, including intolerance, police brutality, and violence against Israel’s African population. Israeli officials call asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea “infiltrators” and detain them in the desert, while the state has sterilized Ethiopian Israelis without their knowledge or consent. These issues call for unified action against anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and Zionism.

We know Israel’s violence toward Palestinians would be impossible without the US defending Israel on the world stage and funding its violence with over $3 billion annually. We call on the US government to end economic and diplomatic aid to Israel. We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on Black and US institutions and organizations to do the same. We urge people of conscience to recognize the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time.

As the BDS movement grows, we offer G4S, the world’s largest private security company, as a target for further joint struggle. G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the US. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia. We reject notions of “security” that make any of our groups unsafe and insist no one is free until all of us are.

We offer this statement first and foremost to Palestinians, whose suffering does not go unnoticed and whose resistance and resilience under racism and colonialism inspires us. It is to Palestinians, as well as the Israeli and US governments, that we declare our commitment to working through cultural, economic, and political means to ensure Palestinian liberation at the same time as we work towards our own. We encourage activists to use this statement to advance solidarity with Palestine and we also pressure our own Black political figures to finally take action on this issue. As we continue these transnational conversations and interactions, we aim to sharpen our practice of joint struggle against capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and the various racisms embedded in and around our societies.

Towards liberation,

#veanmofo

#vegnmf15

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The murder of Ali Dawabshe & his parents

While we toured Israel/Palestine with Interfaith Peace-Builders, we woke up to the news on the morning of July 31, 2015 that settlers committed an arson attack on two houses in the village of Duma in the West Bank, burning 18 month old Ali Dawabshe alive. His parents Riham and Sa’ad suffered burns over 80% of their body and his 4 year old brother Ahmed was also hospitalized in serious condition.
AlipicPhoto by Oren Siv

Things were tense on the ground that day. We witnessed Israeli border police tear gassing children who were throwing rocks over a wall in protest as well as amplified military and police security all around Old City in Jerusalem in preparation for demonstrations set to happen after the mosques let out. On the news, a small picture of Ali’s face stayed in the corner of the screen as a reminder of the shock and sadness over the loss of an innocent child. The death of Ali Dawabshe launched the hashtag #Hewasburnedalive. When I asked a Palestinian family I was staying with at the time if showing martyrs’ faces continuously during broadcasts was normal, they said no, this was just because it was a baby and everyone was upset by this. *Note, Palestinians use the term “martyr” to denote anyone killed by the state, military, or settlers, not necessarily as the West portrays it as “suicide bombers.”

When the delegation ended, we spent a few days in Bil’in and Aqqaba with some Palestinian friends. When our friends from Aqqaba picked us up from Bil’in on August 9th, they offered to take us to the Dawabshe family’s burned house in Duma. We thought we were just driving by but when we got to the village, there was a memorial service going on as Sa’ad Dawabshe, Ali’s father had just died from his injuries the day before.
Duma - 1
Duma - 2Our friend Samer offered to translate if we wanted to speak with anyone at the service regarding what had happened. He found Nasser Dawabshe, Ali’s uncle, who agreed to be interviewed, describing what happened on the terrible evening of the attack. He also told us that this was not the first time settlers had harassed the people of Duma. Previously they have burned their olive trees and cars, but this was the first time they attacked homes. Sadly, he also described the horror when Riham, Ali’s mother, brought something out of the burning home thinking it was her young son, but once she looked down and saw it wasn’t Ali, she knew he had died in the house.

After we spoke with Nasser Dawabshe, we were offered a tour of the burned home. We saw the bedroom where the Ali, his parents, and his brother slept when they were attacked.
Duma - 15A Quran that was burned intentionally, was pointed out to us.
Duma - 9 (1)Inside the kitchen, a stroller sat with a baby doll wrapped up in a kuffiyeh and Palestinian flag with a white ribbon wrapped around it with the words in Arabic, “He was burned alive” written on it.
Duma - 4 (1)
Duma - 1 (1)The family wants to keep the house as it is so people can see what happened here. When we walked outside of the house, we saw “Revenge” spray painted in Hebrew with the Star of David on the side of the home.
Duma - 20The house right next to the Dawabshes was also burned. We met with the owner who reported that luckily he and his 6 other family members were out of town that night and decided not to come home for some reason. This act potentially saved their lives.
Duma - 15 (1)At the time of this writing on September 5, 2015, I learned from my friends in the West Bank that Ali’s mother Riham just died from her terrible injuries. I cannot imagine the pain the Dawabshe family must be feeling right now or how 4 year old Ahmed lost his parents and baby brother all at once. It’s simply unfathomable.
Duma - 7It was heartbreaking to see where a family was murdered, a village in mourning, and a first hand account from a relative. As of now, while some extremists believed to be responsible for the attack were detained, some were released, and to my knowledge, no charges have been filed.

-Amber

Vegan Shawarma (Vegan MOFO)

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It is day five of vegan MOFO, and the prompt is best sandwich ever!  Of course I stuck with the Palestinian theme and decided to create a vegan version Shawarma. If you don’t already know, Shawarma is a meat based sandwich, with vegetables, pickles and yogurt sauce all stuffed into a pita.  It is a very filling sandwich all on its own.  You easily find many different vegan versions when searching on the internet.  I found recipes using soy curls, tofu, tvp, and seitan.  For my creation I used the ingredients I already had in my kitchen.  I also used locally made Susie’s Seitan, Lemon Teriyaki flavor.

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Before I started putting my sandwich together I made the Persian 7-Spice Blend (Baharat) on page 43 of Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero. If you don’t have this book, and love international foods like me, you need to run out and buy it today!

In the meantime try this spice blend, which is actually very similar to the one I used. – Arabic seven spice blend

    What you will need:
  • Seitansandwichstuff
  • spice blend
  • vegan yogurt (I used the Tempt plain yogurt.  The consistency wasn’t very good, but it made a nice sauce.)
  • lemon
  • tahini
  • Pita Bread
  • lettuce
  • tomato slices
  • cucumber slices
  • pickles/or sweet relish
  • hummus (I used my leftover Foul, because why not?)
  • French fries (If you have some)

First I cut the seitan log in half and thinly sliced it longways.  I greased a casserole dish, and laid in the seitan.  Next I sprinkled some of the spice blend on each slice, and broiled them for 4 minutes.  I flipped them over added more spice blend, and broiled them again for 4 minutes.  Meanwhile I prepared all the other fillings.  I sauteed the chopped onions, because I don’t care for raw onions.  For the yogurt sauce I just mixed in the juice from one lemon and a tablespoon of tahini.  I also toasted the pita bread a little just to warm it up.

Once all my sandwich fillings where ready, I spread some foul medames inside the pita, and layered all the ingredients in.

sandwichBest sandwich ever?  Quite possibly!

-Stephanie

Hummus pizza (VeganMofo 2015)

Vegan mofo tomatoToday’s theme was about a “weird food combo that you love.” I’m not sure if it’s weird, but it may be unexpected. I like hummus on pizza. I’ve had it before at restaurants and have even had them substitute it for cheese at a local pizza joint. It’s pretty amazing and combines my love of pizza and Palestinian food.
Pizza-1024x678Hummus, tomato, basil pizza on a cornmeal crust was born!

-Amber

Foul Medames (VeganMofo 2015)

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DSC_0640The prompt for September 3rd is, quick, easy and delicious.  I’m not sure it gets any easier then with mashed beans!  Foul Medames is a popular Middle Eastern staple, made with fava beans.  We ate a lot of this wonderfully delicious dish during our trip.  It frequently came along with hummus, falafel, pickles and olives.  I used canned beans to make this dish, but if you have the time I highly recommend cooking them ahead from dried beans.

Ingredients

  • canned fava beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt

Mince the onion and garlic, brown in 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Drain the beans and add to the onions, add a little water if necessary. Once the beans have warmed remove pan from heat. Using a mortar or fork mash the beans with the onions and garlic. I found that a mortar worked very well to puree’ the beans, especially any that where not very soft.
Next add the diced tomato. Pour lemon juice over the mixture and season with salt and red pepper flakes.
Arrange on a plate, and drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.

Serve with bread and maybe a nice Chianti.

-Stephanie

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A culinary tour (VeganMofo 2015)

Vegan mofo tomatoDuring our recent trip to Israel/Palestine we experienced many delicious, and new vegan foods.  We also walked through markets where we saw pickles, olives, spices, and large varieties of fruits and vegetables.

In the old city of Jerusalem there where many street vendors selling freshly squeezed juice, and warm bread.  The food at our hotel had yummy potato stuffed pockets, and plenty of olives.  We stopped at a restaurant where we had falafel, hummus, bread, and pickles.

jerusalemWe shared an amazing meal while visiting the beautiful city of Jaffa, where we could see the Mediterranean, and Tel Aviv in the distance.

JaffaIn many places we saw fruit trees growing pomegranates, lemons, and oranges.  We also had the chance to visit a farm and pick grapes.  Of course olive trees are growing absolutely everywhere.

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-Stephanie

Vegan Shakshuka recipe

Originally from North Africa, shakshuka is a common Palestinian breakfast. In this veganized version, the “eggs” are made of an extra-firm tofu “yolk”, and silken tofu “white. It is best eaten with the fresh baked pita bread that in Palestine can be found on every corner, and in the U.S. can be easily baked at home. #VGNMF15 #VEGANMOFO

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Stewed tomatoes, peppers, and onions:

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. harissa sauce

2 tsp. tomato paste

2 large red peppers, diced

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped or chopped fire roasted canned tomatoes

salt

1 tsp. cumin

“Egg yolk”

1 block extra firm tofu,

1/2 tsp. kala namak (Indian black) salt,

1 tsp. nutritional yeast,

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Process in a food processor and form into circular disks (you can freeze the extras to use later.

“Egg white”

1 package Silken tofu

1 tsp. arrowroot

1 tsp. tahini

1/4 tsp. salt

blend until smooth

Caramelize the onions in the olive oil. Add the garlic and harissa sauce and cook two minutes. Add the peppers and cook about 10 minutes until the peppers soften. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and salt cook another 10 minutes until you have a thick sauce. Make little dips in the sauce and add the “eggs”. Cover and simmer another 8-10 minutes.

  • Ariel Gold, Ithaca NY

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