We bought a basket of cherries at the greengrocer's, and on our return home we noticed the label: "Yattir Forest Cherries." No name of the grower, no phone number, no post office box, nothing. Is someone out there in the South Hebron Hills, beyond the Green Line, trying to hide? Do they intend to deceive us?

And what will we do with the suspicious cherries - eat them or throw them into the garbage can? Even if they're sweet, a bitter taste will remain in our mouths. For a moment I thought of consulting with Ovadia & Sons, with the w"Beit Yosef" kashrut supervisors, but they specialize in a different kind of swinishness, and give a seal of approval to different abominations. Oh, holy impurity: It's all in the family, Kosher Nostra.

And then I thought of contacting the South African ambassador, maybe he knows: What do Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu do in such cases? What do they do when they don't want to eat pickles, to drink stolen water, or wine from the vineyard of Naboth?

But over the radio I heard that the ambassador had disappeared. After he found out about the meeting in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem where he would be reprimanded, he went underground; where is he? The Danish ambassador is also thinking of changing his address and cutting off contact. The low-chair method is proving itself - they're afraid.

Because what will they have to say in their defense? They have no chance of leaving this inquiry safely. "This is singling out Israel unfavorably on a clearly political basis," said the spokesman when the scandal was revealed: They are plotting to force us to engage in truth in advertising, to distinguish between products of the settlements and Made In Israel. And who has ever heard of a government that decides "on a political basis," and of another country that offers the fruits of stolen land.

And here is a reminder: The Israeli government promised 10 years ago to mark the difference clearly - Yesha (Judea and Samaria ) is not here. Since then the government has been using our money to compensate factories in the settlements for their losses. But the Ahabs who are being robbed insist on both benefiting and deceiving. Israel did not keep its promise, blurred the borders and mixed up the products. And they still come with complaints to those who have been deceived, who wanted to buy grapes and cherries and were sold rotten fruit.

And perhaps the ambassador is hiding out somewhere and refusing to go up to Jerusalem because he fears for his safety. He is liable to look like a foreign worker, a cancer or a microbe, and Miri Regev is liable to stone his car on the way and shatter the windshield. Never mind that she is now a Knesset member, but only yesterday this cow was a brigadier general in the Israel Defense Forces, and we can wonder why she wasn't appointed a major general on the basis of her profile. I won't forgive her and her girlfriends, MKs Ronit, Tzipi H., Anastasia, Yulia and Limor for undermining my hope for a better world under female leadership.

The South African government, with all due respect, is also not exempt from suspicion of ulterior motives - is it possible that they remember there what Israel did to them? Do they still bear a grudge against us for remaining among the last of the collaborators with the racist regime? Do they know in South Africa how to smell apartheid-like regimes from afar?

The moon of Alabama is shining on Tel Aviv and Eilat. How fortunate that its light did not reveal crystal dishes, mahogany furniture and pianos. After all, what are we talking about here: about human beings who are in any case broken and battered, whose bodies are one big black star.

And another good thing: For a brief period another "other" has been found to whom we can condescend and whom we can blame for everything, and a million "non-Jews" who live among us will enjoy a temporary respite. Xenophobia is a permanent variable, only its victim changes from time to time, and he doesn't have to be an Arab, who is harder to identify in the street, whereas all the blacks have the same face, especially at night.