An Egyptian television channel recently claimed that it found proof that the United States had conspired to cause the so-called Arab Spring revolutions.
The proof it claimed to find was in none other than an episode of “The Simpsons”.
Showing footage from an episode of the 2001 season of the American animated sitcom, the TV anchor pointed to a picture of a flag painted on the side of a jeep. Claiming that this was the Syrian opposition flag, she said that its depiction in a 2001 episode of the American series was proof that the war in Syria is part of a global American conspiracy.
The report aired on Al-Tahrir TV on May 4 and was posted to the internet by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“The video you are about to see shows animated figures dancing, flying airplanes, and dropping bombs on what must be Syria, because there are other animated figures below in Arab garb, and the Syrian [opposition] flag appears on one of the vehicles. Let’s take a look at the video, which suggests that what is happening in Syria today was premeditated,” claimed the anchor.
“How it reached this animated video nobody knows, and this has aroused a debate on the social networks. Let’s watch it together,” she said, before the footage from the episode is shown.
“The flag that appeared on the vehicle on which the bombs were dropped is the flag of the Syrian opposition. This is from 2001 – before there was such a thing called the ‘Syrian opposition,’” the anchor said adding, “The flag was created before the events took place. That’s why people are saying on Facebook that this is a conspiracy. In 2001, there was no such thing as the flag of the Syrian opposition.”
The appearance of the flag, she claimed, “raises many question marks about what happened in the Arab Spring revolutions and about when this global conspiracy began.”
MEMRI has posted many videos in which Arab television network are shown to make outrageous claims.
A recently released video showed a play which aired on Egyptian television and in which the Israeli Mossad was blamed for the Arab Spring. Another video featured a journalist who claimed that Egypt’s leading presidential candidate, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is Jewish and grew up next to Israel’s former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan.
In another case, a lawyer who spoke on Egyptian television claimed that Zionists and racists use the world media, including cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, to perpetuate anti-Islamic notions.
In 2012, a segment which aired on Egyptian television featured a Sinai Bedouin accusing Israel of producing jeans, which were then sold to Arabs, containing magnets that cause infertility in Arab women.
“The Simpsons”, for its part, has been targeted in the past by Turkey, where the Supreme Board of Radio and Television fined a local private broadcaster for airing an episode of the show which was deemed to be “making fun of G-d.”