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Hummus Wars Heat Up
by Walt Giersbach

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has taken the upper hand in the newest Mideast conflict, one in which bullets are replaced by chickpeas. Using a satellite dish on loan from a nearby broadcast station, cooks in a town near Jerusalem whipped up more than four metric tons of hummus, the chickpea paste that is a staple – and an almost religious mania – for many in the Middle East.

Israeli cooks, dancing the hora past the Wailing Wall, have doubled the previous record for the world's biggest serving of hummus, set in October by cooks in Lebanon. That record broke an earlier Israeli record and briefly put Lebanon ahead.

An unnamed spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said, “We’re concerned now that the Iranians are plotting to fill a football field with hummus.” “Football” is what other nationalities call soccer. In an unguarded moment of government wit, he concluded, “We don’t know what song they’re singing, but they might hummus a few bars.”

Mahmoud Admadinejad, the embattled president of Iran, challenged by political opposition as much as by his height, called the Israeli cook-off a “hallucination” and a “myth.” “There is no such thing as hummus, but if there were then the Revolutionary Republic of Iran would pitch our entire economy into making enough hummus to cover Teheran to the depth of one meter.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked “What is hummus? Mashed up chickpeas. These nations are like little children. Next thing, they’ll ask us to send more peas-keepers to the Middle East.”

Hummus is a concoction made with uncooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic and cumin. It is blended and then eaten. Raw. On a pita, if any are lying around, or on tortilla chips.

The Israeli satellite dish is still filled with hummus and residents are complaining about missing “American Idol.”

World’s largest hummus or abject foolishness?