From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/19/weekinreview/20basics.600.gif

By NOAM COHEN /  August 20, 2006

It is said that tragedy plus time equals comedy. Well today, tragedy
plus about five seconds equals eBay.

Even before there was quiet along the Israeli-Lebanon border, shrapnel
from Katyusha rockets that fell in Israel was for sale, as was a
leaflet dropped over Lebanon encouraging the populace to turn on the
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as a snake in their midst.

The shrapnel, seven balls from a Katyusha that the seller said “fell
in the middle of my street and no people or buildings were damaged”
fetched $51.51 on British eBay on Aug. 6. The leaflet sold on Friday
for $73.

EBay said any shrapnel or weaponry from the Israel-Hezbollah conflict
for sale on its site would be systematically removed. Catherine
England, an eBay spokeswoman, said the auction site was performing a
“balancing act” – since it wanted “to protect someone’s right
to sell,” while recognizing that in the case of shrapnel, “it is
highly probable it was related to the harm or even death of an
individual.”

She conceded that “at some point we could allow listings like that
– it could be in five years,” adding that “the world moves in
Internet time, but we still need to keep it human in our
interactions.”

Indeed a “Katyusha Rocket – Used,” posted by galileeglobetrotter
with a starting price of $2,800, is now a dead link.