Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reuters watches Kareem the bird, changes the channel on Farfur the mouse

Reuters' Joseph Nasr reports on the Palestinian version of Sesame Street airing in the West Bank:

The Shara'a Simsim version of the popular television programme teaches Palestinian children they can achieve their dream of an independent Palestinian state through tolerance, education and national pride -- and not anti-Israeli violence.

Although the television show ostensibly carries a message of personal responsibility for the Palestinians, Nasr can't resist taking a dig at Israel:

The show's Palestinian producers chose to make no reference to symbols of the Israeli occupation such as the West Bank barrier and the network of Israeli army checkpoints, which Palestinians say are sources of hardship.

And despite the message of "tolerance", no Israelis appear in the show. One would think that inclusion of characters who are Jewish and sympathetic would encourage Palestinian children to reconcile to the idea of peaceful coexistence with Israel but the Palestinian producers apparently feel otherwise.

Only in passing does Nasr mention children's television produced by Hamas:

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas has its own children's programme which has been criticized for urging kids to fight Israel.

Anyone who has watched the vile antisemitism and incitement to commit suicide and murder which is an integral part of Hamas programming for children in the Gaza strip will find Nasr's characterization a bit of an understatement.

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