Heartless! Palestinian Sesame Street Falls Victim to US Congress

Posted by on Jan 07, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Every election cycle we see stories about how those heartless Republicans want to kill Big Bird by privatizing PBS. But did you know we’re also picking up the tab for the Palestinian version of Sesame Street?

With its colourful band of Muppets preaching tolerance and neighbourly love, the Palestinian version of the children’s television programme Sesame Street had become a beacon of hope for children in a region ravaged by decades of unrest.

But the cast of peace-loving characters have now found themselves in the crossfire of a political dispute between Palestinian leaders and the US Congress, and episodes have been axed for 2012.

Sesame Street – known as Shara’a Simsim in Arabic – is one of many US-funded Palestinian shows suffering after Congress froze the transfer of nearly £130m to the US Agency for International Development in October. The suspension aimed to punish the Palestinians for appealing to the United Nations for membership.

The funding suspension has affected a broad range of services in Palestine relying on American aid, including hospitals, education, government ministries and communications.

This week, the Ramallah offices of Shara’a Simsim, the writing workshop room was empty and the set was closed.

“If we had funding, we would be writing scripts, we would be reviewing scripts, we would be hiring film-makers to produce the videos,” said executive producer Daoud Kuttab.

Probably just a  Jewish plot.

10 Responses to “Heartless! Palestinian Sesame Street Falls Victim to US Congress”

  1. Grey Fox on 7/07/12 at 5:36 pm

    “Tolerance and neighborly love?” “Peace-loving?” Isn’t this the same program that had its main characters routinely declaring the need to eliminate Israel and in consequence being martyred by the evil Israelis?

  2. Frank G on 7/07/12 at 6:20 pm

    these the same hate-filled asshats that put out Farfour the Mouse and Nahoul the Bee and any other number of martyrdom-inspiring brainwashing? F*ck em – produce your own propaganda on your own dime. Not a cent for these rabid animals

  3. Don on 7/07/12 at 7:02 pm

    We shouldn’t give the Palestinians a plug nickel. They have proven that they don’t deserve it. And we should place sanctions on anyone who does give them funding. Let them choke on their own hatred.

  4. Beau Jest on 7/07/12 at 10:50 pm

    Don’t the kids get confused when the muppets that blow themselves up appear again in the next episode? I mean, how many times has Big Bird detonated his explosive belt in front of Mr. Hooper’s store, anyway?

  5. Acksiom on 7/07/12 at 10:50 pm

    Why are we sending almost five times as much of our money to Palestine as we spend on suicide research and prevention?

    Why exactly do the over 36,000 men and women and children who die by suicide in the usa every year deserve only a fifth as much of our money as the palestinians get?

  6. Joshua on 8/08/12 at 3:32 am

    #1 Grey: Actually, no. The really terrible Palestinian children’s show is “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” which I believe is on a different network.

  7. Joshua on 8/08/12 at 3:33 am

    Also, the dates on these comments are messed up. I am writing this on January 8, 2012, yet my previous comment is shown as posted on 8/08/12.

  8. the permanent newbie on 8/08/12 at 6:54 am

    Hell, I’ve had enough of taxpayer funding for the AMERICAN version of Sesame Street! Like the sales of Elmo merchandise alone aren’t enough to pay for a few writers, some puppets, a handful of actors, one street-scene set, and a load of some really cheap-looking, frequently recycled animation? The only lasting value to come out of Sesame Street, IMO, was Avenue Q!

  9. Jaybird on 8/08/12 at 9:27 am

    Isn’t Sesame Street (and otherwise Americanized culture) the most subversive thing we could possibly be sending to the Middle East?