Sometimes Date Bread


Sometimes Date Bread Sally Campbell

Sometimes it’s just too discouraging to write about the failures of the West in actively supporting what we claim to oppose – from the clearly documented Apartheid in the State of Israel to the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Gaza. That we continue to provide cover for a State under investigation for genocide by the International Court of Justice, that we withdraw funding to UNRWA, the only agency in a position to provide humanitarian assistance to the suffering in Gaza. That we withdraw funding on the basis of yet another unsubstantiated claim by the Israeli propaganda machine. That we look the other way when according to the UN, 80% of the world’s hungry are huddled and terrified in a place the size of Texada Island.

How have we become so disconnected? Why are we so worried that a student at Harvard may feel “unsafe” hearing a pro-Palestinian speaker when Israel is well into the 4th month of an utterly mad and murderous rampage, incited by its elected leaders, supposedly in the name of Jewish “security”?

Why do we continue to hear news stories (vetted by the Israeli military) about October 7th , citing “atrocities” by Hamas (beheadings, burnings, babies in ovens, rapes) that have been exposed as outright lies or left completely unsubstantiated? Why would we believe fake videos of finding tunnels under a Gazan child’s desk leading to some unseen weapons cache? Or the recording by Israelis of “Hamas” (ooops, wrong accent) planning to destroy one of Gaza’s beleagured hospitals? Why would we believe anything uttered by the Israeli government or its soul-destroyed military?

We know they have been lying since Zionists said they’d accept the 1948 Partition Plan. David ben Gurion privately made clear to his own people that the Plan, (allocating 55% of historic Palestine for a Jewish state despite their owning only 5.8% of the land at the time), was just a start. (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006)

Why indeed. Each of us could ask ourselves these questions and ask: why do we in the West look away? The current trajectory is extremely disheartening, and one that Dr. Gabor Mate recently indicated may go down as the biggest mistake ever made in Jewish history. (YouTube talk among Gabor, Daniel & Aaron Mate, Feb.7th, 2024.)

Holding these thoughts and hard realities is weighty; we can’t remain steadfast and engaged, working for a world of freedom, justice & dignity for all, without doing the self-care necessary for well-being. To me that means gratitude for our abundance, noticing and savouring the small joys of life.

In that vein, I’ll offer a simple recipe for comfort food made with delectable Palestinian dates from the Jordan Valley, the 2023 crop miraculously having arrived in Canada the other day, soon to be arriving on Denman & Hornby when you place your orders!

Banana-Date-Coconut Bread

(I use organic ingredients as much as possible)

1 C (8) Palestinian dates, chopped

1 C coconut flakes

2 C whole wheat flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt

2 large ripe bananas, chopped 1/3 C butter

1/4 C brown sugar 1 C buttermilk

1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar, add rest of wet ingredients and mix. Mix together dry ingredients. Add and mix bananas.

Combine all and bake @ 350 in an oiled loaf pan for 30-40 minutes. Delicious warm or cold for breakfast, coffee/tea time or dessert.

May you savour it.

Author: TIG