fish qanoon, fi oud

I’m sitting talking with a Palestinian friend about Israeli violations of international law, international human rights law, norms and standards… and he sums it up: “fish qanoon… fi oud“,  “there’s no (respect for) law… there’s oud.”

qanoon has two meanings: law… and a classical stringed instument played table-top.

so he jokes: there’s no law, just oud (the lute-like instrument).

a typical a tongue in cheek sample of Palestinian humour, and of dealing with the brutal reality.

earlier, i’m sitting with an ngo-worker and he is victorious on their find: paper, standard blank office paper.

sure, there’s paper from the tunnels, but a siege-abiding ngoer, as much as he/she doesn’t want to, must play by the zionist rules: no using tunnel products.  he’s spent half a day just trying to find ‘legal’ paper.

but the story gets more ridiculous.  i learn of the process of reciving ‘legal’ goods via Israeli crossings.  They are, as Amira Hass reported, less than 40 items.   but the absurdity of aquiring them goes like this:

fill out a form for each item.  describe it: what is a pencil.  provide a company name and an internet link to a photo of the item (photo of a pencil).  describe its useage and what you plan to do with it.

the colossal waste of time just trying to aquire basic supplies

absurdity.  fish qanoon.


  1. Regarding the requirements for ordering pencils and paper, it is not only absurd but humiliating too. I suspect that is the primary goal of such nonsense.

    Thanks for telling us about these daily hardships.

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