Posts tagged Sesame St.

sorting out Israel issues on a blog

I feel like (as a friend pointed out) I am too harsh on Israel. I am. I am not completely sure why. There is something irrational about the passions I feel when I learn about corrupt and hawklike actions that Israel takes. America makes similar policy acts and I don’t feel the same sense of rage. There is something very deeply rooted that makes me react differently to Israeli history. I think it is important to explore our own prejudices. If racism and prejudice are social diseases, I think that a remedy is talking honestly and openly about them. I do not want to hate on Israel. I do not want to think that all Israeli’s are spoiled and entitled from the group of them I met in Guatemala, or racist and nationalistic like the ones I met in Panama. I also do not want to think that all Arab men are sexist….the list could go on. I do not want to be ignorant. If anything, this is what I dislike the most about myself. My quickness to judge people. I feel like I need to re-learn some lessons from Sesame St. 

People are different, but we are all people. Pre-judging and grouping people into categories is often unfair and dehumanizing. I want to be more open to Israel. In fact I really desire to go there. Being of Jewish ethnicity makes this complicated for me. Do I want to go as a birthright? Because I am Jewish, I have a place in a country far away…a place where there are walls built to keep Palestinians out? I guess I feel a version of white man’s guilt. But I also am mildly obsessed with Israel and its divisions. I recently watched a video on crazy Israeli settlers that want to wage war on Palestinians to get them off their God given land. It was extremely disturbing, but then I read an article about Israeli settlers of the West Bank who want to leave, and want peace desperately. I need to realize that for every crazy racist zionist, there is an Israeli who yearns for Peace. 

I am guilty of letting my passions get to me, and I think that perhaps most of the literature I have read on Israel has been very critical. I am open to reading suggestions…

Anyway, I really want to explore why Israeli history strikes such an emotional cord within me, some of the reasons I know are too personal to put here, but I do know that there is Israeli and Palestinian versions of Sesame St.  

 

The Grouch character is named Moshe!

 

 

Unfortunately they have separate versions, because the project to have a joint version Sesame Stories had problems. Its sad, but they could not even get along to produce the show successfully. The details seem murky to me, but I am interested enough to dig a little deeper. More to come on the Israeli and Palestinian Sesame projects.

 

The brown grouch character is named Moshe!

The brown grouch character is named Moshe!

 

An article on the Palestinian version is here.

Palestinian Muppets

Palestinian Muppets

 

An article on the Middle East Sesame projects!

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The world according to Sesame St

please watch!

 

 

isn’t this fantastic?

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Kami, the HIV positive muppet

Sesame Street is really all over the world. Part of the reason I love them so much is their positively ambitious quest to give children all over the world positive role models and educational programming that might level the playing fields. In their quest to provide programming that is positive and relatable to children all over the world, each different show has made up new muppets to serve their viewers. In South Africa, many children are born HIV positive, and having a muppet that experienced the same would provide those children with a role model that they could love and empathize with. Introducing Kami!

Of course American media got hold of this and said sesame st was trying to normalize HIV and homosexual behavior. Really!

But I think it is truly great. Sesame St has always pushed boundaries. In 1969 it was the first kids show to feature a multi-racial cast and have an urban setting. Now, in places like South Africa, there are characters that have to deal with real life problems that affect children and deal with it in an age appropriate way.

 

Here is Bill Clinton having a sit -down with Kami, 

 

and here is a snipet of Kami in action. She is so great!

And then stoopy pundit talking ignorant crap…

 

here is an article if you are interested by time magazine…

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