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17 Jul, 2009 07:30

Palestinians acсuse Israel of selling gum with aphrodisiac

Hamas is accusing Israel of “corrupting” young Palestinians with what's claimed to be a powerful aphrodisiac chewing gum. Israel calls the allegations 'absurd'.

The Islamist organization says the product is being smuggled into Gaza by gangs linked to Israeli intelligence services.

Israeli soldiers are known to be tough. They stand guard 24 hours a day at border crossings between Israel and Gaza. Beefed up by world-class weapons, state-of-the-art security cameras and powerful metal detectors, there is nothing that could leave Gaza without their knowledge.

But for all their bravado, it seems there is one thing that’s missed their beady eyes: small squares of multi-colored chewing gum. And rumor has it they’re coming into the Strip by the truckload. But don’t be fooled: the innocent-enough-looking specimens are as powerful as Viagra or at least that’s what some Hamas leaders are saying.

“Here, we see a special kind of chewing gum, "sex chewing gum", that's what we call it here in Palestine. There's a seductive picture on the cover. The gum itself is white. It was made abroad, but it's impossible to tell where exactly. It may be home made. I'm 90% sure this is a subversive product sent by our Israeli enemies,” insists the director of Gaza drug control Abu Elwaleed El Dahshan.

This kind of gum has allegedly given people a lot to chew over: the thought that a stick of gum can bring you as much joy as expensive aphrodisiacs in others parts of the world.

“This ‘sex chewing gum’ is a product containing aphrodisiacs. It boosts sex drive. One of the ingredients is 'royal jelly', or honey bee milk. It stimulates the central nervous system and acts as an aphrodisiac. This type of product is banned by international law,” states the director of Gaza medical services Mutaz El Khaldy.

Hamas leaders are convinced Israeli intelligence agents are behind the scheme, all in an effort to corrupt their youngsters.

But Israeli writer and founder of the Israeli Peace Movement, Uri Avneri, says the Palestinians give Israelis too much credit, as the last thing Israelis want is a bigger Palestinian population.

He says that “Every day, Israelis count how many Jews and how many Arabs live between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. In just six years, Arabs will be a majority in this country [Israel]. For Israelis, this is not just a disaster or catastrophe, it is a negation of everything they have done in this country for the last 120 years.”

Hamas is convinced the gum gets into Gaza through border crossings with Israel and underground tunnels with Egypt. Which is quite a feat, considering the amount of effort, time and expertise that goes into making sure these pathways are shut tight.

Israeli officials have laughed the whole thing off. They say it’s nothing more than Hamas propaganda. But it does touch on a more serious concern that Israelis are not finding so funny – the question of what exactly is making its way through the Egyptian-Israeli-Gaza borders.