Israel ambassador talks Hamas and hummus

Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, Ambassador of Embassy of Israel, testing out the hummus flavoured icecream. Photo: Jamila ToderasIsraeli ambassador Shmuel Ben-Shmuel says countries such as Australia should re-group into a coalition against dangerous extremists.

At an ice-cream taste-testing in Canberra on Wednesday morning, Mr Ben-Shmuel said like-minded countries in the world should be in a coalition to deter terrorists.

He said Sydneysiders going to fight alongside extremist terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East showed “the entire civil world is under an onslaught”.

Palestinian militants have fired 150-plus rockets towards major Israeli cities in the past week and Israel has launched a major air assault on Gaza.

The escalation in fighting was sparked by the killing of three Israeli teenagers which Israel has blamed on Hamas and the alleged revenge murder of a Palestinian boy. 

Mr Ben-Shmuel said Hamas’ killing of women and children was driven by an ideology calling for the complete destruction of Israel.

When he made the comments the ambassador was taking part in an emerging tradition for Israeli envoys in Canberra: visiting 55-year-old father of one and ice-cream maker John Marshall.

Former ambassador Yuval Rotem visited often before he finished his posting last year. Mr Ben-Shmuel was invited to try the new hummus-flavoured ice-cream after interest was sparked on Twitter last month following news of the unique flavour coming out of Israel.

Making strange flavours was not new for Mr Marshall, who also has produced other off-the-wall concoctions such as pistachio and vodka and – reminiscent of a sketch by The Two Ronnies – smoky bacon.

He had not seen the sketch before but said he had also been thinking about making a potato chip and brown vinegar ice-cream blend.

Mr Marshall, who before the Israeli ice-cream rendezvous had no connections to the Middle East, said it took him about 30 minutes to come up with the right balance for the hummus ice cream, which was enjoyed by Mr Ben-Shmuel.

“It all started 15 years ago when I bought a two-litre ice-cream machine,” said Mr Marshall, whose home was “cleared” by security before the ambassador arrived.

In the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, Senator Cory Bernardi said the killing of teenagers had been treated differently by Israel and Hamas supporters. He said the former had pledged to charge with the full force of the law those who killed the Arab teenager, while Israel’s enemy had not condemned the murder of the Israeli boys.

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