Vindictive States of America: After cutting funds to Palestinian Sesame Street, US officials make public visit to Israeli version

It seems the Obama administration will pass up no opportunity to demonstrate its favoritism for Israel and its petty vindictiveness and hostility towards Palestinians.

Today, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv tweeted, “PD [Public Diplomacy] staff met with Israel’s Sesame St. Muppet characters during a behind-the-scenes visit at the Sesame Workshop and Hop TV recording studios.”

That might seem innocent enough under normal circumstances, but the visit came just days after it was widely reported that the US government had cut off funding to the Palestinian edition of the popular children’s program Sesame Street as part of its retribution against the Palestinian Authority for being insufficiently subservient to Israel and American diktats.

The PA’s crime, of course, was proceeding with its symbolic and shambolic bid for UN statehood late last year. As The Guardian reported:

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.

The embassy’s move can be seen as a further message that not only does the United States supply the weaponry with which Israel has killed and maimed thousands of Palestinian children, but now it vindictively seeks to retard their educational opportunities while giving ever more advantages to Israeli children.

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Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.