Israel’s national dog is the Canaan Dog, a really sleek pariah dog that’s a good herd dog. Luckily for them, these awesome dogs just happened to be hanging around in the completely uninhabited area that Jews moved into in the thirties and forties.
In a mean, ironic twist, pre-Israelis used the dogs to attack Palestinians. So I can see why Palestinians don’t particularly want to reclaim their rightful herd dog. But if you’re going to get bent out of shape about Israelis laying claim to hummus, which after all is just chickpea and sesame goo, it seems like you also ought to fight for your dog’s honor.
What a beauty, right? I want one.
And a black-and-white version.
Here’s a few blurbs from Wikipedia:
In Ashkelon, a graveyard was discovered, believed to be Phoenician from the middle of the fifth century BC. It contained 700 dogs, all carefully buried in the same position, on their sides with legs flexed and tail tucked in around the hind legs. According to the archaeologists, there was a strong similarity between these dogs and the “Bedouin pariah dogs,” or the Canaan dog. A sarcophagus dated from the end of the fourth century BC, was found in Sidon, on which Alexander the Great and the King of Sidon are painted hunting a lion with a hunting dog similar in build to the dogs of Ashkelon, and similar in appearance to the Canaan dog.
Collection of wild Canaan dogs has all but ceased. The last two dogs that were collected in the Negev in the mid-1990s, and most of the Canaan dogs living in the open were destroyed by the Israeli government in the fight against rabies. Even the majority of Bedouin dogs today are mixed with other breeds, although Myrna Shiboleth visits the Negev annually, looking for good specimens living by the Bedouin camps, that she can breed with her dogs and strengthen the gene pool.
And purely for fun, here are some results I got from Google translate while researching the history of these dogs:
It is noted that they did not know the guard dog of sheep, so it was easy for a small number that Isoqgua herd of cows and calves but one man not be able to market non-animal, a male and one or two at most, whether it be deer horns or pointy Tessa spasmodic, or an ox, a depositary fat.
and a somewhat related post on American Bedu blog on dog ownership, Saudi Arabia, and Islam.