Pasta of Mass destruction

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Pasta of Mass destruction

Postby devoted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:52 am

apparently, the US state department has a problem with sending pasta into Gaza.
they believe pasta is a "dual use item"? ...whatever that means...

please contact Hillary Clinton and reassure her that pasta is a food/humanitarian item and will not be used as a weapon.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520


READ THE FOLLOWING PRESS BRIEFING:

From State Department Daily Press Briefing

February 25, 2009


QUESTION: But can you imagine any circumstance under which pasta could be considered a dual-use item? Or is there some -- you know, is rigatoni somehow going to be used as a weapon? (Laughter.)



MR. WOOD: I'm not involved in those discussions, so I -


QUESTION: Well, I mean -- I mean, it just seems to be absurd on the face of it, if that's what happening.


MR. WOOD: Well, there are people on the ground who are dealing with these issues. And I think we should leave it --


QUESTION: Dealing with the pasta dual-use issue?


QUESTION: Yeah, can you take a question on the pasta, please?


MR. WOOD: I'm not going to take the question on the pasta --


QUESTION: Why?


MR. WOOD: -- because it's -


QUESTION: Well, the United States is obviously pushing it, so obviously it's something --


MR. WOOD: We're trying to get humanitarian supplies in - on the ground to the people in Gaza.


QUESTION: Do you think food is a humanitarian supply?


MR. WOOD: Food certainly is.


QUESTION: All kinds of food?


MR. WOOD: I - I'm not able to tell you from here whether it -


QUESTION: Can you get a - can you take the question of what kind of food that the U.S. thinks is a humanitarian supply?


MR. WOOD: I'm not going to take that question, because I don't think it's a legitimate question.


QUESTION: You don't think it's legitimate that the Palestinians need certain foods and is - should Israel decide what food the Palestinians need?


MR. WOOD: I'm sorry, Elise, I'm not going to - I've spoken on it.




believe it or not, there ARE people like that out there
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Re: Pasta of Mass destruction

Postby Cardinal Fang on Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:03 pm

The problem is according to the UN agency UNRWA, the "banned" list is so arbirtrary and changes day to day.

It wasn't only macaroni that the US delegation was found to have been banned but also such food staples as lentils and tomato paste. Oxfam also report problems with bringing in pasta, as well as fruit juice.

According to leading non-government organisations, five truckloads of school notebooks were turned back at the crossing at Kerem Shalom where goods are subject to a $1,000 (£700) per truck "handling fee". Hearing aids have been banned in case the mercury in their batteries could be used to produce chemical weapons.

Since the end of the war in January, paper to print new textbooks for Palestinian schools was stopped, as were freezer appliances, generators and water pumps, cooking gas and chickpeas. The French government got quite pissed off when an entire water purification system was denied entry. Things other NGOs report as being blocked are such "luxuries" as clothing, school textbooks, agricultural products including seedlings, fertilizer and piping and essential building materials such as glass and breeze blocks to repair the damage from the recent military action.

Meanwhile the UN reports that 22% of Palestinian children under five are suffering from malnutrition (up 3-fold since 2000), the British Medical Journal likewise reports a quarter (25%) of Palestinian infants under the age of five are acutely or chronically malnourished. The response of the Israeli Government was "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet" (Dov Weisglass, advisor to Prime Minister Olmert).

History has shown time and again that this sort of food restriction and collective punishment will not turn people against Hamas, but rather against the people actually witholding the food - i.e. Israel. It's making any form of peace process 100 times harder. Moderate states all over the world but especially in the Middle East is being forced to condemn the Israeli actions.
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