Palestinian Children’s Program ‘Glorifies Terror’
“To Win With Shahad,” a children’s quiz program, is broadcast daily in the afternoons by the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.
Hosted by a girl named Shahad who looks to be a young teenager, the program debuted last week at the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Viewers are encouraged to call in answers to riddles or questions, and they are rewarded with money and prizes, including a $200 prize for a difficult question of the day, said Itamar Marcus, head of Palestinian Media Watch, an independent Israeli research institute that provided the translation of the program.
Many of the questions are “neutral” and related to Ramadan, Marcus told CNSNews.com. But last week a $200 dollar grand prize question exalted a female terrorist, he said.
Shahad, who hosts the show from a colorful studio with plaques of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh and Piglet adorning the walls, gave the following clue to the riddle.
“[You were] a beloved bride, a daughter of Jaffa,” she said. “Jasmine flower, you have lived 30 years since your death.” The answer to the riddle was Dalal Mughrabi.
Mughrabi took part in a 1978 terrorist attack in which 37 people were killed, including at least one American and 10 children. She also was killed during the attack. Her body was recently exhumed and sent to Lebanon as part of the Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap in July. A Palestinian school and summer camps have been named after her.
Marcus noted that the program uses the Disney characters as a backdrop while teaching children to exalt a mass murderer.
“They have no hesitation to continue glorifying terror,” Marcus said.
In an earlier program last week, Shahad asked viewers a series of questions about the geography of “Palestine.” The questions and their answers clearly included the land of Israel, without mentioning the Jewish state.
“What is the size of Palestine?” she asked. The answer: 27,000 square kilometers. But the size of the West Bank and Gaza Strip combined, where the P.A. says they are willing to establish their state, is only 6,220 square kilometers, PMW said.
Shahad asked for three countries bordering Palestine. The caller named Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. But only Israel borders Lebanon. She asked for two important seas, which the Palestinian borders overlook. The answer was The Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In fact, the Red Sea borders Israel’s southern tip. She also asked for the name of the “only sweet-water lake in Palestine” to which the reply was the Tiberias Sea. That is the Sea of Galilee, which is inside Israel.
In Marcus’ view, ignoring Israel’s existence is the worst kind of “hate incitement” because the child feels that he is obligated to destroy Israel.
In the 1990s, the PBC featured a Mickey Mouse character, together with disturbing images of small children glorifying violence, suicide bombing and Islamic holy war.
They stopped for a few years but now they’re coming back to it, Marcus said.
Last year, Hamas television created an international uproar when it used a human-sized costumed mouse that resembled Mickey Mouse to preach Islamic supremacy.
Although the Walt Disney Company never formally commented on the use of a Mickey Mouse look-alike to spread Hamas propaganda, Walt Disney’s daughter called Hamas “pure evil” for “indoctrinating children like this.”
P.A. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are currently negotiating a U.S.-backed peace agreement that President Bush wants to be completed by the end of the year. Although both sides have committed themselves to that goal, they have expressed serious doubts about meeting the deadline.
Incitement against Israel in the Palestinian media is a troubling issue to many Israelis.
David Baker, a senior official in Olmert’s office, said that Israel is monitoring the P.A. media.
“We are cognizant and continuously following the Palestinian media, including incidents of incitement, which the P.A. has committed itself to abolishing,” Baker told CNSNews.com. “This matter is raised by Israel on a continuous basis.”
A PBC official could not be reached immediately for comment.