Congress zeroes funding for Palestinian Sesame Street in retaliation for UN bid.

Posted: 12 Jan 2012   Print   Send a link
The Guardian, 7 Jan 2012, Damien Pearse: "With its colourful band of Muppets preaching tolerance and neighbourly love, the Palestinian version of the children's television programme Sesame Street had become a beacon of hope for children in a region ravaged by decades of unrest. But the cast of peace-loving characters have now found themselves in the crossfire of a political dispute between Palestinian leaders and the US Congress, and episodes have been axed for 2012. Sesame Street – known as Shara'a Simsim in Arabic – is one of many US-funded Palestinian shows suffering after Congress froze the transfer of nearly £130m to the US Agency for International Development in October. The suspension aimed to punish the Palestinians for appealing to the United Nations for membership." First reported by AP, 8 Jan 2012, Daniella Cheslow.

CNN, 11 Jan 2012, Jill Dougherty: "State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the cut-off Tuesday. 'Unfortunately, Kermit is not able to be supported at this moment,' she said. 'Unfortunately, with the cut in economic support funds we had to make some hard tradeoffs and that was one of the things that we’ve not been able to do.' ... Funding for Israeli television broadcasts to Arab and Jewish children will continue, Nuland said. That programming comes from a different U.S. government funding stream, the State Department spokeswoman said." See also State Department briefing, 10 Jan 2012.