Finally, a US secretary of state with diplomatic skills so subtle they go almost unnoticed?
Without the Israelis realizing it, John Kerry may have picked sides (along with his turkey shwarma) when he visited Ramallah on Thursday.
The excellent – and rather well-judged Foreign Policy says it’s cleared up the mystery about what kind of shwarma Mr Kerry consumed. Was it really, everyone seemed to be wondering, a turkey shwarma, as reported by The Guardian, New York Times and LA Times?
Many Arabs (and others) reports Foreign Policy got upset at the notion of a turkey shwarma, suggesting that it was a travesty and not a truly Levantine sandwich because a shwarma had to be beef, chicken or lamb.
To many, this might have seemed the sort of irrelevant issue that can be expected to get media attention – especially on a slow news day.
But it’s really important.
Especially because Foreign Policy rang the Samer restaurant, where Mr Kerry bought the shwarma, and learnt that it had, in fact, been turkey (which is fairly common in the West Bank) though Palestinians routinely refer to this bird as chicken.
The eponymous proprietor of Samer said, “There are people who use chicken and people who use turkey, but people like turkey more.”
Clearly, it was a subtly significant gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Perhaps Mr Kerry’s diplomatic skills are more dulcet than previously thought?
(Here’s a rather good recipe for the solidarity sandwich for those who take a position on the Palestinian issue.)