Putting the Destruction Back in "Creative Destruction"


Reader Paul Wilbert finds one man who knows how to work the angles in the intoonfadah. Gaza store owner Ahmed Abu Dayya is out to corner the market on highly flammable Danish flags:

Abu Dayya ordered 100 hard-to-find Danish and Norwegian flags for his Gaza City shop and has been doing a swift trade.

"I do not take political stands. It is all business," he said in an interview. "But this time I was offended by the assault on the Prophet Mohammad…

"I knew there would be a demand for the flags because of the angry reaction of people over the offence to Prophet Mohammad," said Abu Dayya, whose PLO Flag Shop also sells souvenirs and presents.

He sells his Danish and Norwegian flags for $11 a piece—a price he acknowledged might be dampening sales. Many protesters prefer to save money and make the flags themselves from scraps of fabric, he said.

The Prophet, for whom business always came first, would certainly approve. The most intriguing detail concerns Abu Dayya's source for Israeli flags:

Abu Dayya sources some of his flags from suppliers in Taiwan, but he buys Israeli flags from a merchant in Israel, even though he sells them to be burnt at anti-Israeli rallies.

That may raise ominous memories of Lenin's quote about the capitalists selling the rope with which to hang themselves. Or maybe Lenin didn't really say that. Or maybe he said something similar. Or maybe he said they'd sell the lash to go with the rum and the sodomy. In any event, it's clear who turned out to be the chump in that business deal.