Daily Israel Report

US Explains Why It Cut Funds for PA's Sesame Street

The US explained in a briefing Tuesday why funding for the Palestinian Authority version of Sesame Street is being cut.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/11/2012, 9:58 AM

The US explained in a briefing Tuesday why funding for the Palestinian Authority version of Sesame Street is being cut.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was peppered with questions by reporters who also wanted to know why Israel's version of the program is still going to receive support.

The PA version of the children's program, called "Shara'a Shimsim," featured a video in 2010 called "A Gift from Grandmother" in which a little girl excitedly exclaimed, "We're off to Palestine!" The PA program reinforces the idea of a Judenrein state called "Palestine" -- the historic name for the Land of Israel used during the British Mandate -- one solely Arab in nature, and intended for Arabs only.

"Unfortunately, with the cut in Economic Support Funds, we had to make some hard tradeoffs," said Nuland. The U.S. has always supported children's television programming "broadcast by Israeli TV to kids in both Israel and in the Palestinian territories, which supports the goal of kids understanding that they share citizenship, that Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews need to live together, that they are neighbors with the Palestinians," she pointed out.

"This is programming in Israel designed to promote common sense of citizenship between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Palestinians, but also between all Israelis and folks in the Palestinian territories," Nuland added.

"We think it's an important program for kids. And the science indicates that if you get to children at the young level, before they're even in school, that's the best way to influence them. So yes, that does continue, and it comes out of a different pot of money."

The Palestinian Authority has invested much of its effort and millions of dollars of its donated funds in creating children's television programming that conditions its youth to hate Jews and Israel, and to believe that bloodthirsty murderous terrorists are heroes to be admired.

Nuland added that U.S. support to the PA has not been cut entirely, but is instead presently focused on funding programs that "provide basic services to their people. And unfortunately, Kermit is not able to be supported at the moment," she added.