Aladdin star under fire for 'reinforcing' Israeli claims over Middle Eastern foods

Aladdin star under fire for 'reinforcing' Israeli claims over Middle Eastern foods
Twitter users have 'cancelled' Aladdin actor Mena Massoud after a video surfaced of him seeming to accept Israeli claims over Middle Eastern dishes.
2 min read
27 May, 2019
Mena Massoud recently starred in DIsney's remake of Aladdin [Getty]
The star of Disney's latest rendition of Aladdin has come under fire on social media for a video showing him visiting an Israeli restaurant to try Middle Eastern food .

Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud had made the video in December 2018 for his Instagram page "Evolving Vegan", in which he visits an "Israeli-inspired plant-based restaurant serving up all the Mediterranean classics".

The video resurfaced recently, causing many on Twitter to criticise the 27-year-old for feeding into a narrative which claims Middle Eastern foods as Israeli.

"EVERYONE. @MENAMASSOUD IS CANCELLED," wrote on Twitter user who re-shared the video.

"This snake decides to reinforce the idea that Israeli food consists of Hummus, Shawarma, and Tabboli when in reality, the food is Palestinian/Levantian," he added.

Massoud responded to the tweet:

"Hey dude. Grew up in Toronto going to Isreali [sic] restaurants that served Middle Eastern food. Don’t really understand the politics of it, I was honestly shocked to see the response. Not getting paid for EV. Actually pouring my own money into it. All love man".

Palestinians have long accused Israelis of "cultural appropriation" - most famously over claims that hummus, the popular chickpea spread consumed throughout the Middle East, is an indigenous Israeli dish.

Many Palestinian activists and groups have used culture, including food and popular music, as a form of resistance against Israel's occupation.