I am a proud Zionist, and there are many things that make me proud of my home nation – so when I hear people on campus discussing Israel, I am quick to respond with the many ways that Israel has actually made the world a better place: Waze, USB drives, drip irrigation, and so much more.
But there’s one thing that I can’t quite get past; I don’t think that inventing the cherry tomato excuses all of Israel’s actions.
Not only is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict an incredibly complex and provacative situation with unlimited sides and opinions involved, but cherry tomatoes just aren’t that good. Think about it. Whenever you eat one, it’s either too soggy, or it’s so ripe that it bursts and gets juice all over your shirt. And sometimes you pick one up and it’s all wrinkly. It’s just nasty.
I get that it’s nice to have tomatoes that are small enough to throw on a salad without being cut, but in the scheme of things, how much time does it really save? Especially when you consider how hard it is to get one on your fork. You can’t scoop it up because it’ll roll right off, but if you try to stab it, you run the risk of it erupting juice everywhere.
I’m sorry to undermine the accomplishments of the 12 year breeding program of Doctors Kedar and Rabinovitch at the Rehovot campus of the Hebrew University, but the “improved ripening time and shelf life” they brag about isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, let’s be real; it’s neat, but playing a game of “mushy or explosive” roulette every time you take a bite simply isn’t what I want from my tomato experience.
So next time I see an educational infographic or go to an Israeli culture night at Hillel, and someone mentions the cherry tomato, I just don’t think I will be convinced that this justifies the political reality of the situation in the West Bank. Because a cherry tomato is nothing more than a less-sweet grape, and that is something that I honestly don’t think anyone needs. Gross.