Talking animal promotes massacre with AK-47 on PA TV program for Palestinian children

Posted in Israel / Palestine | 26-Oct-04 | Author: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Croo| Source: Palestinian Media Watch

Talking animals are commonplace on broadcasting for young children around the world. They are used to entertain and educate in a way that makes it easy for children to internalize educational messages.

A children's program this week on official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV was dedicated to the importance of trees. "Tarabisho" - the Talking Chick -- was, as usual, at the center of the discussion. The child moderator asked the talking chick what he would do if someone, specifically a 'little boy,' were to chop down his tree. In his squeaky little voice, Tarabisho answered that he would shoot the little boy with an AK-47 automatic rifle, create a massacre, make a riot, etc.

It should be noted that the child moderator twice checks her notes while asking the questions, indicating that this was not a spontaneous discussion but was a deliberate educational message, planned by the writers and producers.

Click here to see the footage from PA TV.

PMW has reported in the past on the use of popular culture, including music videos, to teach young children to see themselves as active combatants in their leaders' terror war. This is the first time a talking animal on a program targeting preschoolers has been used to promote killing.

The program's political context should also be understood. After four Israelis, including two preschoolers, were killed by terrorist rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army entered the wooded launching areas and leveled many of the trees used by terrorists to hide their rocket launchers. This program comes on the heels of this military activity.

Although the enemy in the discussion is called a 'little boy,' the Palestinian media and even PA schoolbooks repeatedly single out Israel as the destroyer of trees. It would be clear to Palestinian viewers, therefore, that Israel would be the target of the massacre promoted by the TV character.

This picture, from a PA schoolbook for Grade Two, shows Israeli soldiers destroying trees:
The following is the full text of the dialogue between the child moderator and Tarabisho, the Talking Chick:

Girl: 'If a boy comes in front of your house where a tree is planted, and cuts it down, what would you do?'

Talking Chick: 'I have two trees in front of my house.'

Girl: 'If a little boy cuts them down, what will you do to him?'

Talking Chick: 'What I'll do to him?
I'll fight him and make a big riot,
I'll call the whole world and make a riot.
I'll bring AK-47s [assault rifles] and the whole world,
I'll commit a massacre in front of the house".


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