shopping in la

my time in la has been taken up by running far too many errands. i’ve been both picking up stuff i haven’t been able to buy in palestine because i couldn’t find any local versions of products, like underwear, and also grocery shopping. but everywhere i go i am confronted by products from the zionist entity such as this underwear pictured below:

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driving down the street one is confronted by things like the zionist entity’s bank leumi on ventura boulevard:

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i went with my friend lisa to a liquor store in burbank, owned by an armenian man, who sold only one brand of arak–from the zionist entity. he made a point to tell me that he won’t sell any turkish products, but he didn’t seem to see the parallels with respect to the one brand of arak he sold:

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at amir’s felafel shop, the closest such restaurant to my grandma’s house, they sell a few products from the zionist entity. if memory serves me correctly, the owner is from yemen. they have snacks and 2 kinds of juice from the zionist entity:

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and whole foods, like trader joe’s, sells something called “israeli couscous” (what on earth is that? when did couscous get coopted by the zionist entity? and for the record the boise co-op sells something under the same name):

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whole foods can be redeemed a tad bit, however, because they are carrying palestinian olive oil (check out palestine video’s blog this week for some cnn footage on the palestinian olive harvest):

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and jon’s supermarket in van nuys has not one but 2 kinds of palestinian cheese! one from nablus and one from akka (they also sell labneh and lebanese beer):

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on another note in little tehran the i-love-the-shah iranian shops all have the “where’s my vote” green bracelets prominently displayed at checkout counters and in shop windows:

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of course the solution to the problem of zionist products infiltrating the market place is to buy local. and the best place to do that is the hollywood farmer’s market. i went with my friend ian today and here are some of the beautiful fruits and vegetables available from family farmers in california:

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one of the stands at the farmer’s market sold dates from a california town i’d never heard of before: mecca, california. apparently, this town is named mecca because they imported date palm trees from mecca, saudi arabia. since then they have varieties from iraq and iran in mecca, california, too. they sell all sorts of date varieties there–including fresh dates, which are amazingly good. not as good as jericho dates, but pretty good:

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one last food item. i was teaching someone to make za’atar this past week. he wanted to see where it came from and he happened to look at the wikipedia page for za’atar. apparently, the zionist colonist terrorist entity also has stolen za’atar. here is what they say (check out the photograph of “israeli za’atar” too by clicking on the link below):

Za’atar has been used along with other spiced salts as a staple in Arab cuisine from medieval times to the present.

Za’atar has historical significance for Palestinians. For instance, in Politics of Food (2004), Lien and Nerlich explain how “Tastes, smells, plants and food are the anchors of memory, invoking a much wider context,” noting that for Palestinian refugees, plants serve as signifiers of the house, village, and region from which they hailed.

For Israeli Jews, za’atar used to be an exotic treat associated with visits to Arab bakeries. Today, commercial production of the plant in Israel has made it “an integral element in Israeli cuisine.” Some Israeli companies market it commercially as “hyssop” or “holy hyssop”; however, Hyssopus officinalis is never found in the wild in Israel, whereas Origanum vulgare is extremely common. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “wild hyssop” was on the verge of extinction due to over-harvesting and it was declared a protected species in 1977. The law “is considered almost anti-Arab” by Arab citizens of Israel who have picked wild herbs like za’atar for hundreds of years, learning from their ancestors how to preserve the yield of future years. A 2006 Israeli military order led to the confiscation of some za’atar from West Bank Palestinians at checkpoints.

for a reminder of why the boycott is necessary, here is omar barghouti and sid shnaid in electronic intifada last week:

There is a growing understanding of the fundamental issues that drive the crisis: the occupation of Palestinian land by Zionist Jews claiming a right to do so by virtue of an alleged historical-Biblical entitlement; the expulsion of masses of Palestinians from their homeland — first by Zionist militias and, later, the state of Israel — at the time of Israel’s establishment; the legalized and institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the ongoing military occupation and colonization of Palestinian and other Arab lands conquered in 1967.

As a result, a long-overdue determination has arisen in the ranks of civil society around the world, a determination to take concrete steps to generate tactics and strategies to bring a satisfactory resolution to this ongoing crisis by addressing its root causes. One of the most important manifestations of this new determination is the rise of an international movement endorsing the nonviolent, morally-consistent, universalist strategy of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel to compel it to comply with international law and human rights principles. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was one of the key inspirations behind this fast spreading movement.

As expected, the prevailing Zionist response to this development has been a vitriolic denunciation of the individuals and organizations involved and a sustained attempt to bully them into silence. This usually involves an ascription of anti-Semitism as the motive for such action. In April of this year, however, when Independent Jewish Voices Canada joined the growing number of organizations endorsing BDS to promote a just peace based on international law, the Zionist establishment chose to ignore the development — presumably because the fact that it was Jews endorsing the strategy strongly challenged the false notion of a monolithic Jewish voice in support of Zionism and Israel. From the Zionists’ perspective, engaging IJV on the subject would focus increased attention on the underlying substantive issues and neutralize their most powerful tools: brow beating and intimidation.

Unfortunately for Israel’s unquestioning supporters, however, the support for BDS continues to grow. It has recently surfaced that, consistent with its long tradition of engaging on matters of social justice, the United Church of Canada (UCC) plans to debate its own version of a BDS resolution at its national conference, set for Kelowna, British Columbia in August. As expected, Zionist organizations have aimed their big guns at the UCC, attributing all sorts of vile motives to it for even considering such a resolution. We appeal to the UCC to ignore the thinly-veiled smear campaign and to join this global movement in the pursuit of sustainable peace based on freedom, equality and universal justice.

One thought on “shopping in la

  1. I loved this! My local Whole Foods in Brookline, MA, which sells lots of Israeli products, also carries Palestinian olive oil. Wish I could find non-zionist labneh here.

    And ugh, “Israeli couscous” – couscous has been, is, and forever will be Moroccan. Ugh.

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