I read the linked article, by Daniel Estrin, for AP, “‘Sesame” Actors Protest Theater Closing”, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/israeli-actors-protest-closing-palestinian-theater-0, and found it quite unbelievable.  Consider the fact that the Leaders of Israel and Palestine have been “talking” about some sort of permanent solution, regarding their two countries; however, unfortunately, they are not speaking to each other.

This situation has been going on for a decade, or more.  Both sides have both strong points and weak points, I’m sure; but, until they actually speak to each other, nothing will be accomplished.  All the while, the Children are the pawns in this Game.

In late June, the Hakawati Theater, the Palestinian National Theater in East Jerusalem, was scheduled to hold a Children’s Festival, with Puppet Shows and Plays. This would have been the 18th year for the Festival.  Unfortunately, the Israeli Ministry of Public Security temporarily cancelled the Festival.  The apparent political aspects of this action are described, in the linked article from The Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=317710.

Now, before we head-off to Sesame Street, consider this: Nixon sent our Ping-Pong Team to China; the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan sat together to watch a cricket match between their two National Teams; and the new York Philharmonic performed in Pyongyang, North Korea.  So, why can’t Big Bird, Elmo and the rest of their Sesame Street Friends perform for the Children of Palestine?

The Israeli version of Sesame Street includes some of the usual characters, plus ones reflecting every immigrant group in Israel, and some Arabs.  Also, I find it hard to imagine that, with the age group that would be attracted to puppet shows and Children’s plays, any political value whatsoever being gained.  So what if it was partially funded by the Palestinian Authority: isn’t that the legal government of the Palestinians?

The Israelis seem to be as befuddled as I am about the cancellation. Keep in mind that their Government is controlled by the “Right”, and their Conservatives seem to like retaining the status quo.   Average Israeli poll as believing in a Two-State Solution; but this should not come down to Puppets and Plays.  If only Ms. Piggy were there?


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