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They call it “The Hummus Wars.” Lebanon accused the Israeli people of trying to steal hummus and make it their national dish, explains Ronit Vered, a food journalist with the newspaper Haaretz in Tel Aviv. And so hummus became a symbol, she tells us, “a symbol of all the tension in the Middle East.” The war began over a 4,532-pound plate of hummus. In 2009, Fadi Abboud — the minister of tourism ­­— led Lebanon to break the world record for making the largest tub of hummus in the world. At the time, Abboud was also chairman of the Lebanese Industrialists Association. “A group of us just came from a food exhibition in France. There they were telling us that hummus is an Israeli traditional dish,” he says. “I mean, the world now thinks that Israel invented hummus.” Abboud could not let that stand. “I thought the best way to tell the world that the hummus is Lebanese is to break the Guinness Book of Records.” Give Chickpeas A Chance: Why Hummus Unites, And Divides, The Mideast Photo: Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty ImagesCaption: Lebanese chefs celebrate in Beirut after setting a new Guinness record for what was then the biggest tub of hummus in the world — weighing over 2 tons — in October 2009. 

Mideast Conflict

January 1, 1970

Mideast Conflict