by BBC World News –
Israeli customs have confiscated a cargo of 450 singing, dancing Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein dolls. The battery-powered figures were seized by customs officials, who said they had the potential to incite. The 400 Osama Bin Laden dolls and 50 Saddam Hussein dolls were discovered during a routine search at the port in Haifa, northern Israel.
An Arab-Israeli businessman said he ordered the figures as a “gimmick” to sell to Arabs and Jews.The dolls had been on a ship carrying toys from China. The cargo also included 450 Teletubby dolls.
Customs agents had been examining the shipment to see if any of the goods were counterfeit.
The Customs Authority said the dolls were confiscated under a law banning incitement. “The law doesn’t exactly say that you cannot own a Bin Laden doll, but neither he nor Saddam Hussein are exactly good educational role models,” said spokeswoman Idit Lev-Zerahiya.
An Arab-Israeli from the northern village of Qafr Qara admitted to importing doll versions of the al-Qaeda leader and the deposed Iraqi ruler.