Not even couscous is safe from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For decades, Israelis and Palestinians have fought over land. They’ve fought over history. They’ve fought over holy sites and religious doctrine and water sources. Now, apparently, they’re fighting over the delicious grain dish that I always buy when I go to the supermarket, because it costs three bucks and takes five minutes to cook.

(Full disclosure: When I report on Israelis and Palestinians, I do my best to stay objective. But in this particular story, my sympathies are with the couscous.)

Virgin Atlantic, the international airline, made the fateful mistake of putting Palestinian-style couscous salad on their in-flight menu and calling it … “Palestinian couscous salad.”

Big mistake, Virgin Atlantic. Huge.

The airline has clearly not learned the cardinal rule about calling food “Israeli” or “Palestinian” — which is never to do either of those things. Because if you do, people will come after you on Twitter and invoke millennia of history and use words like “terrorism” and “occupation” and “boycott.”

In this case, a guy with — I kid you not — two Twitter followers threatened to boycott Virgin and called them #TerroristSympathizers for calling the dish Palestinian. A few other people also tweeted about it. Another guy posted a comment about it in a private Facebook group.

And so, an international crisis was born. Virgin put out a statement that is absurd in its sincerity about a ridiculous controversy. Here it is, in full:

“Our customers’ experience on board is a key focus and we are constantly refreshing our food offerings on our flights. We recently introduced a Maftoul salad on board our flights. It includes a mix of Maftoul and other couscous, complemented by tomatoes and cucumber and seasoned with parsley, mint and lemon vinaigrette.

“We were aware that Maftoul is not a widely known ingredient – so the dish was listed as a ‘Palestinian couscous salad’, and later as a ‘Couscous salad’. We’d like to reassure all customers that our sole intention was to bring new flavours on board, and never to cause offense through the naming or renaming of the dish.”

This isn’t the first time a social media feud has erupted about Israeli and Palestinian food. It won’t be the last. But in the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill toward people, please read this closely:

Food can be both Israeli and Palestinian. It’s shocking, I know, but it turns out that when two peoples live on the same narrow strip of land for a long time, they end up eating similar things. Israelis have their own kind of couscous, which they call “ptitim.” Palestinians have their own kind of couscous, which they call “maftoul.” And — wait for it — there are other kinds of couscous!

In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was never really about the couscous. Palestinians fear cultural erasure. Israelis fear delegitimization of their national identity. So they take those very real concerns and project them onto airline food. Or a Rachael Ray cooking show. Or an independent bookstore on the Upper West Side.

The menu after “Palestinian” was removed.

In the usual version of this story, pro-Palestinian activists accuse Israel of “co-opting” and “appropriating” indigenous Palestinian food. In this case, it was presumably Zionists accusing Virgin Atlantic of — what? Acknowledging that there is such a thing as a Palestinian? As a pro-Palestinian web site wrote reasonably in its report on the controversy: “The company’s spokesperson was not able to explain why it was offensive to describe as Palestinian a dish that it had itself explicitly affirmed was Palestinian cuisine.”

Virgin Atlantic seemed to learn that when it comes to the Middle East, it’s better to say nothing at all than to seem to be picking sides — or side dishes. As the Arab Israeli chef Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, a winner of the Israeli cooking show “MasterChef,” told an interviewer in 2016, “You can’t escape politics when talking about Arabic food. If you say ‘Israel’ or ‘Palestine,’ it’s immediately political. We’re not Switzerland.”

    Veebml February 15, 2022 7:00 pm

    cialis 40mg canada – order cialis 10mg buy cialis 10mg online cheap

    Hqrxcu February 17, 2022 3:31 am

    hydroxychloroquine ca – plaquenil uk plaquenil price

    Ktupov February 18, 2022 6:13 am

    cost of stromectol medication – ivermectin 6mg otc ivermectin 6 mg stromectol

    Gbwvpq February 19, 2022 8:25 am

    cephalexin 500mg usa – cephalexin 500mg sale buy erythromycin generic

    Roulpq February 20, 2022 1:07 pm

    buy fildena generic – antabuse order online buy disulfiram online cheap

    Njxpvr February 21, 2022 4:34 pm

    buy budesonide online – buy cefuroxime 500mg online buy cefuroxime 250mg generic

    Dfcwfh February 22, 2022 4:19 pm

    buy bimatoprost online cheap – buy trazodone order desyrel 100mg generic

    Cyclif February 24, 2022 5:42 am

    viagra sale – brand sildenafil 50mg ranitidine sale

    Brzidv February 25, 2022 8:22 am

    cialis without prescription – purchase cialis ivermectin 3mg tablets

    Jasongetry February 25, 2022 11:22 am
    Judygetry February 25, 2022 1:01 pm
    Kzlomx February 26, 2022 6:55 am

    cheap cialis 40mg – stromectol oral generic ed drugs

    Hwoxcn February 27, 2022 5:26 am

    online casino real money – prednisone price prednisone 20mg for sale

    Dengetry February 27, 2022 1:23 pm
    Pfniqr February 28, 2022 3:47 am

    prednisone 5mg generic – buy prednisone 40mg generic accutane 40mg brand

    Markgetry February 28, 2022 11:32 am
    Jasongetry February 28, 2022 8:45 pm
    Teogetry March 1, 2022 5:03 am
    Gaetuc March 1, 2022 5:36 am

    buy amoxicillin 250mg pills – female viagra pill sildenafil 50mg brand

    Ljmpmz March 2, 2022 9:32 am

    overnight delivery cialis – cialis 10mg tablet cialis prices

    Teogetry March 3, 2022 7:57 am
    Xskola March 3, 2022 3:42 pm

    where to buy ivermectin pills – ivermectin humans buy azithromycin 500mg without prescription

    Dengetry March 3, 2022 9:07 pm
    Marygetry March 4, 2022 10:39 am
    Dengetry March 4, 2022 2:36 pm