Discussing the absurdity of the prohibitions of goods imports into Gaza, there was some debate on whether it was parsley or cilantro that was permitted to be imported. “What,” says Khaled, a professor at an Israeli university, “we are going to build rockets out of parsley? Oof.” Cilantro would be far more effective, considering some people hate it so much. I was wondering what was and was not allowed – general “knowledge” says materials that would be used to build weapons are not permitted. While in practice this is atrocious, it is at least understandable. Less sensical is the prohibition on building materials, but I can see how when the goal is embarrassment and demoralization it makes complete sense to deprive the victims of any semblance of self-respect and normalcy in their lives.
From gisha.org, here is a(n annotated) more complete list, though not comprehensive.
Sage, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ginger, nutmeg: I often worry my enemies are going to attack me with seed pods and fragrant rice.
Jam, halva, vinegar, chocolate, fruit preserves, dried fruit: Forcing blandness on people always gets them to behave.
Seeds and nuts: The birds have to starve, too. Are you worried they might start throwing walnuts at you? Rocks are found on the ground.
Potato chips: American food…the gateway drug.
Biscuits and sweets: Deprive them of all pleasure. All of it. Even dry stale biscuits. Wouldn’t it be more effective if you were only allowed to eat biscuits? Miserable, miserable life.
Gas for soft drinks: Ahhh! I’m being carbon dioxide-ed! Ooh, fizzy bubbles.
Fresh meat: This makes a ton of sense, I wouldn’t want to have fresh meat used against me as a weapon. Blech. Imagine being beaten over the head with a steak: fwap, fwap, fwap. Also, making your enemy anemic is always a good way to beat them into submission.
Industrial margarine: Is this different than household margarine? Maybe it can be used to grease screws and take down the occupation piece by piece.
Fabric (for clothing): Ah, nudity. The great equalizer.
Fishing rods: Don’t worry, we can’t make these out of sticks and plants anyway.
Buoys: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Musical instruments: We’ve all the seen The Lady Vanishes – music is always a secret anti-fascist code that can be used to disseminate important information, like where the old lady from your train compartment is hiding.
Size A4 paper: You could not possibly print radical political publications on anything BUT A4.
Writing implements: The blood from my fingers…
Notebooks: FYI they made papyrus in Egypt. They might be able to figure out how to do it in Gaza, too.
Newspapers: Because no one has cell phones and computers.
Horses: I can’t sleep at night in fear of the day that Gazans establish a cavalry and ride against the occupiers. Oh wait. They have guns.
Donkeys, goats, cattle, chicks: To be honest, I would be a little bit frightened if a goat fell on me from the sky. Talk about deadly weapons – he’d nibble me to death.