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Facebook fuels Israeli cottage cheese insurgency

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Facebook has once again been deployed in support of a Middle-Eastern insurgency, this time aimed at bringing down the tyrannical pricing of Israeli cottage cheese.

Israelis are none too impressed that the cost of their favourite curd product has rocketed since the government loosened price controls last year. For example, the three main dairies churning out cottage cheese have hiked the price of a 250 gram tub to around 8 shekels (a tad under £1.50) - a 75 per cent increase.

Cue online action by 25-year-old Itzik Alrov, whose Facebook campaign is calling for a month-long boycott of the product with the declaration: "Let it stay in the stores and spoil until the price comes down."

According to Reuters, 60,000 Israelis have rallied to the Facebook cause, as the price of cottage cheese threatens to bring down the government.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday looked "bemused" when an opposition politician interrupted a debate on the lesser matter of "frozen peace talks with the Palestinians", and plonked a container of the stuff on his desk in parliament with the observation that she was gifting him a "luxury item".

Finance minister Yuval Steinitz sought to calm nerves by suggesting a possible solution. He told the press: "We are thinking of allowing parallel imports of dairy products and cheeses. That's the surest way to create competition and lower the prices of milk and cottage cheese in Israel."

This may not be sufficient to prevent serious civil unrest. Israelis apparently consider their cottage cheese superior to "chunky" foreign rivals, so it's unlikely flooding the market with cheap imported pap will do the trick. ®

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