Bibi and Barack Agree 100% — on Bagels!

Jerusalem — Scoff if you like, but this is something I do. I’m a Jewish journalist. We care about our food.

At the end of my White House interview last year with President Obama, I asked him for his favorite flavor of bagel.

How could I not ask the same thing of the prime minister of Israel? I’d be called an anti-Semite.

So at the end of a rather contentious session with Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday — more on that here — I had to ask him the same question.

He interrupted me before I even finished — not for the first time that evening — and said “sesame.” Then he quickly took it back. Motioning to his staff in the front row of an auditorium at the Israeli Foreign Ministry (Netanyahu is foreign minister, also), he asked for help in Hebrew to find the right word.

“Poppy seed!”

Bingo.

Despite their public differences, Netanyahu and Obama share an affinity for the round doughy staple covered with little hard black seeds.

You do agree on something, I pointed out.

“We signed a memo of understanding,” Netanyahu quipped, citing the unprecedented military aid agreement recently concluded by him and Obama. “You know, that’s a $38 billion bagel.”

I wasn’t allowed a follow-up question, so I wonder: Will the cost of that bagel change when Donald Trump is in the White House?

Contact Jane Eisner at Eisner@forward.com or on Twitter, @Jane_Eisner

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Author

Jane Eisner

Jane Eisner

Jane Eisner, a pioneer in journalism, became editor-in-chief of the Forward in 2008, the first woman to hold the position at the influential Jewish national news organization. Under her leadership, the Forward readership has grown significantly and has won numerous regional and national awards for its original journalism, in print and online.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Bibi and Barack Agree 100% — on Bagels!

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close