Kermit the frog has left the building. USAID, the State Department funded organization which fosters democracy around the world has announced that they will be cutting the funding for Palestinian Sesame Street.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland answered questions from reporters about why the funding had been cut from the Palestinians and not from Israel.
Nuland basically said that there have been budget cuts and at the same time, the Israeli version is available to both Israelis and Palestinians.
“Unfortunately, with the cut in Economic Support Funds, we had to make some hard tradeoffs. The U.S. has always supported children’s television programming broadcast by Israeli TV to kids in both Israel and in the Palestinian territories, which supports the goal of kids understanding that they share citizenship, that Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews need to live together, that they are neighbors with the Palestinians. This is programming in Israel designed to promote common sense of citizenship between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Palestinians, but also between all Israelis and folks in the Palestinian territories.
Palestinian TV has had a rough ride since the signing of the Oslo accords between the Palestinians and Israel. Israel has repeatedly referred to multiple shows on the Palestinian television which demonize Jews and Israel and promotes suicide bombing. The Palestinians have mostly denied this.
USAID is a State Department initiative that does so much for children worldwide. From bringing them television programming, to promoting anti hunger initiatives.
Do you think USAID should restore the funding for Palestinian Sesame Street?
Click here to see State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland explain the decision.