I swear to you I couldn’t make up this s(*t if I tried. And if you think this story is “nutty,” you’d be right.
Apparently, the new U.S. ambassador to Israel has gotten into a lather over the fact that Israel is violating its own laws against trading with the Iranian enemy by eating Iranian pistachios. I kid you not:
Ten days ago, US Ambassador to Israel Richard H. Jones wrote a severe letter to Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On…accus[ing] Israel of secretly trading with Iran and transferring foreign currency to the country, in direct violation of an Israeli law prohibiting trade with enemy states.
The fuss is over something Iran is famous for, though perhaps less than its nuclear ambitions; namely pistachio nuts. The American government accused Israel of buying Iranian pistachios under the guise of trade with Turkey…
What’s more–according to Israel’s leading columnist, Nahum Barnea, every nut his fellow countrymen eat brings Iran that much close to the A-bomb. I can’t tell whether the following statement is meant ironically or seriously though I sure as hell hope the former:
Every pistachio nut brings Iran another step closer to achieving nuclear capability…
It turns out Jones is exploiting the current Iranian nuclear crisis on behalf of U.S. pistachio growers who want a bigger piece of Israel’s $20-million trade in pistachios (the largest per capita consumption level in the world no less!).
What I find especially interesting about this is that Israel doesn’t let its taste buds interfere with its ideological aversion to Iran. If the imprecations of Olmert, Netanyahu and Mofaz about the Iranian menace are to be believed, you’d think Israel would patriotically give up its taste for Iranian nuts. Thankfully, commerce wins out over ideology. If only Israeli and U.S. policy toward Iran were as pragmatic. A confession: I love pistachios and side completely with Israeli nut-eaters on this one.
Thanks to Sol Salbe for his usual eagle eye in ferreting out these wild, wacky stories. By the way, Sol thinks the U.S. ambassador is sincere in invoking the Iranian nuclear threat regarding this issue. If so, he (Jones, not Salbe) is nuts. Sorry for the puns. I couldn’t help myself.
Sol Salbe says
Sorry, but I missed my own hat tip to Shraga Elam of Switzerland. Got to put the record straight.
Nutty or not, I side with our ambassador on this.
zhu bajie says
California is also a major pistachio producer, so maybe he’s smearing Iran in the interest of US business. Nothing new there.
zhu bajie says
Is there some reason Israel can’t raise it’s own pistachios? Or are the trees already planted, and waiting a couple decades to mature?
Richard Silverstein says
@zhu bajie: Good question. Maybe one of my Israeli readers will comment.
Probably settlers are torching or digging up the trees as I write!