/ 4 November 2009

Gaza gift shop markets ‘Goldstone’ headscarves

South African Judge Richard Goldstone’s name may be infamous in Israel, but in the Gaza Strip it is sewn on to souvenir Palestinian headscarves in honour of his controversial war inquiry.

Tariq Abu Dia, owner of the President Arafat souvenir shop in Gaza City, says Goldstone, who is Jewish, deserves the honour of appearing on the iconic Palestinian keffiyeh made famous by Yasser Arafat, for whom the shop is named.

”Today we put out 50 keffiyehs made of white fabric with the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the name ‘Goldstone’ embroidered on them, to honour his work,” Abu Dia says, as he shows off one of the scarves.

The shop, which mostly caters to foreign aid workers and activists working in the besieged and impoverished territory, will be selling the scarves, which Abu Dia insists are handmade, for about $20.

Goldstone, a former international war crimes prosecutor, has become a celebrity of sorts for Palestinians since he authored a United Nations Human Rights Council report on the Gaza war in which he accused Israel of war crimes.

The report also accused Palestinian militants of war crimes for launching rockets on Israel before and during the three week conflict that erupted on December 27 and killed about 1 400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

The UN General Assembly was expected on Wednesday to approve a non-binding resolution urging both sides to investigate Goldstone’s findings despite Israel’s fierce opposition to the report.

Earlier this year Abu Dia’s shop sold coffee mugs in honour of United States President Barack Obama’s election victory and last year another mug showed a picture of Obama meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. — AFP