6 August 2002

A Sesame Street between Israel and the Palestinian Authority

From the New York Times:

“Four years ago that children’s television show began broadcasting an Israeli-Palestinian co-production, conceived in the afterglow of the 1993 Oslo accords. The collaboration produced 70 half-hour shows, each one containing Hebrew and Arabic segments.... Under a new co-production agreement, which now includes Jordanians, the project has run into difficulty. The name ‘Sesame Street’ has been changed to ‘Sesame Stories’ because the concept of a place where people and puppets from those three groups can mingle freely has become untenable. The original shows were built around the notion that Israeli and Palestinian children (as well as puppets) might become friends. Now, reflecting the somber mood in the Middle East, producers see their best hope as helping children to humanize their historic enemies through separate but parallel stories.”

The segreation strikes me as a failure. The article also mentions various travel restrictions that are hampering production.