Stop eating chocolate! Makes you soft on terrorists! At least that’s what Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Yisrael Katz, told Israeli radio reports the Washington Post. And here’s the quote:
“’If in Belgium, they continue to eat chocolate and enjoy the good life with their liberalism and democracy, and do not understand that some of the Muslims there are planning terror, they will never be able to fight against them,’ Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Yisrael Katz, told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning.”
I thought I had seen everything in my day, especially with the recent presidential campaign going on here, but this really goes over the top. Katz, you’re joking, right?
Naturally, I can see equating chocolate with the good life — perfectly acceptable.
As for lumping liberalism and democracy together, I think that’s a bit selective. I mean conservatism also plays a role in a functioning democracy, as do plenty of other –isms.
But let’s get our facts straight first. According to a Euromonitor International graphic, Belgium ranks 13th as a nation regarding per capita chocolate consumption, 5.2 kilos. Switzerland leads the group with 9.0 kilos, followed by Germany, 7.9; then Austria, 7.8 and so on. As it so happens, Israelis consume about 3 kilos of chocolate per person.
Moreover, if you read Rick Noacks and Ruth Eglash’s article in its entirety, there’s actually an informed discussion about security differences in Israel and Europe. One of the key elements gleaned from the piece is the lack of cooperation between national security forces in Europe, a clink in the armor that — if corrected — certainly could help prevent future acts of terrorism.
But attributing chocolate consumption to a soft and decadent lifestyle, one that allows lax security? Puh-lease! I’m sure Katz is a very intelligent man, but he obviously didn’t have a piece of chocolate before he spoke with Israeli Radio.
If so, he would have been more cognitive and would not have misspoke. You see, where I come from, recent medical research suggests that chocolate is good for the heart and the head. And wasn’t there a report trying to link chocolate consumption with the amount of Nobel Prize winners in a country?
OK, so that was a stretch. Hey, I’m sure Katz can provide examples of how Israeli security has minimized acts of terrorism in the country. But then chocolate consumption has also increased in Israel. Is there a correlation?
If you’ve been monitoring the recent Belgian disaster, I’m sure you’ve heard various opinions about what could have and should have been done to prevent it. But saying chocolate was somehow responsible is really ridiculous.
I do think chocolate, however, can play a role here; it can provide comfort.
And one last point to everyone in a position of power: Please think twice before you make pronouncements. We all could use some wisdom and sanity these days, not to mention good chocolate.