Puppetry of the Predictable
Aug 17, 2011 | Allon Lee
An Egyptian religious TV channel has broadcast a mock trial of former leader Hosni Mubarak, who appears as a puppet, and is accused by child prosecutors, of being, essentially, a puppet of Israel.
The clip on al Hekma TV, includes a number of anti-Israel slurs that feed into the recurring motif of Israel and Jews as spoilers and poisoners of Egyptian society:
Child prosecutor: You are Israel’s best friend. Israel was the country most saddened by your fall and your trial, because you were helping them to kill the Palestinians and to occupy their lands.
Mubarak puppet: As long as the Israelis occupy Palestine, we must treat them well. These Jews have always been good people. In the Jewish quarter here, we have always known that they keep their word.
2nd Child prosecutor: You brought cancer upon the Egyptian people.
Mubarak puppet: Brothers and sisters, I have spent my life serving this country. My fellow citizens, the population is huge, and I didn’t know how to feed them, so I brought cancerous pesticides from Israel for them. You’ve seen grapes the size of watermelons, watermelons the size of buffaloes, and buffaloes the size of chicks. There are 80 million people, praise the Lord. How is one to feed them?
Child prosecutor: You treated the vegetables and fruits with all kinds of hormones coming from Israel, in order to inflict the Egyptians with cancer, but God was lying in wait for you, and He gave you a taste of your own medicine, inflicting you with cancer.
Children in unison: Hosni Mubarak, you devil, you inflicted cancer upon your people. Hosni Mubarak, you devil, you inflicted cancer upon your people. Hosni Mubarak, you devil, you inflicted cancer upon your people.
But this disturbing attempt to indoctrinate children to hate Israel as the source of all the evil in Egypt, did elicit a potentially hopeful sign after viewers were invited to phone the show. One caller praised the children but wanted to complain to the producer about the hate-filled messages the children were learning and spreading.
Voice of caller: Hello. I would like to talk to the producer of this show. First of all, I am very impressed with these talented children, but we should be bringing them up to respect others, and not to curse them. In accordance with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the teachings of our religion and our God, we are not allowed to mock anyone before the viewers. We must not raise the new generation in such a way.
Memri, the Israeli organisation that monitors Middle Eastern media, discovered the clip broadcast on August 14, 2011. Click on the clip to view it.
Meanwhile, during the holy month of Ramadan, when many Muslims break the daily fast in front of the TV, it is a tradition for new programs to make their debut. And, as this Ynetnews story shows, it is also a tradition for new shows to feature Israel and Jews as the villains of choice:
This year, [Hezbollah] the Shiite organization’s official network al-Manar offers viewers the opportunity to relish the heroics of “The Victors,” which depicts the “heroism of the people of South Lebanon in the days of Israeli occupation.”
Saudi Arabia’s MBC Network is another network using Israel to tantalize viewers: This Ramadan, MBC introduced its viewers to the adventures of Abid Karman – a young man with a mission.
MBC describes the show as “A political drama taking place after the war of 1967 and revolves around a young Palestinian man holding Israeli nationality. It tells the story of his recruitment by the Egyptian intelligence to work against the Israelis.