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April 30, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8728

Al-Jazeera Network: MBC TV's Ramadan Programming Promotes Normalization Of Relations With Israel, 'Demonizes The Palestinians And Turn The Jews Into Angels'

April 30, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8728

On April 28, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) aired a report by one of its journalists, Lebanese national Fatima Triki, criticizing MBC TV, a Saudi channel that broadcasts from the UAE. The report was posted on YouTube under the title "After Its Desecration of the Values... MBC Demonizes the Palestinians and Turns the Jews into Angels." It claimed that recent Ramadan MBC series "Makhraj 7" and "Umm Haroun" promote normalization of Arab relations with Israel. Triki's report focuses on a segment in "Makhraj 7", in which characters are shown describing the Palestinians as shameless and ungrateful for the support they receive from other countries. The report also criticized another show, "Umm Haroun", which describes the Jews who lived in the Arab world favorably. Triki then compared these shows to "Dirilis: Ertugrul," a Turkish series about the father of the founder of the Ottoman state. She elaborated that "Dirilis: Ertugrul" was dubbed into Urdu and that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan instructed Pakistani state TV to broadcast the show during Ramadan in order to teach about Islamic history and identity and in order to espouse the values he said are being destroyed by Hollywood and Bollywood. The report was posted on YouTube accompanied by the following text: "After MBC TV has made it its practice to desecrate the Arab and Islamic ethics and values, it has chosen for this year's month of Ramadan to malign the history and memory of the Arabs by turning the Palestinian Cause into an ominous catastrophe and presenting the Palestinians as ungrateful, while the Jews are presented as angels."

To view the clip of the Al-Jazeera Network report on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"A Lively Banquet Of Normalization... In Order To Lure The Arabs... Away From Their Core Values And Their History"

Presenter 1: "And now, unfortunately, for drama with a flavor of normalization. This is what followers of TV series from the Gulf have called them. These series enjoy wide publicity and are aired during the month of Ramadan, focusing on accepting the Israelis as fait accompli and polishing the image of the Jews, while distorting the image of the Palestinians."

Presenter 2: "According to the followers, this continues the campaign against the Palestinian people and against the just nature of their cause. This raises questions. Who is pushing the Gulf dramas in that direction?"

Narrator: "Ramadan brings us together."

Fatima Triki: "These are things that are bought and sold in a lively banquet of normalization under the pretext of Ramadan, in order to lure the Arabs - who are quarantined in their homes - away from their core values and their history. This could have passed as a normal thing, if that Gulf-funded TV channel [MCB TV] would have stuck to what it does best. But it has chosen to plunge into thorny religious and political matters, in the form of a drama series of disputed quality, which served as an 'exit' for defeated minds. [MBC TV] has produced something that is called 'Makhraj 7.'"

"This Is How The Campaign To Demonize The Palestinians Was Born"

Man 1: "An enemy is someone who does not value your support of him and who curses you day and night - more than the Israelis."

Man 2: "What do you mean?"

Man 1: " I am referring to the lack of shame among the Palestinians. We entered wars for the sake of the Palestinian people. We declared an oil boycott for the sake of Palestine. Ever since they had their [Palestinian] Authority, we have been paying for its expenses and its salaries."

[...]

Man 2: "There are Palestinians who sold their lands to the Jews, and there are Palestinians who faces the Israeli tanks with their bare chests during the Intifada."

[...]

Triki: "The show coincided with a lively debate, and it is aimed at Saudi public opinion, after the libel accusing the Palestinians of selling their lands has grown weak in the face of facts about the first Zionist massacres and in face of the suffering of the diaspora that followed. This is how the campaign to demonize the Palestinians was born."

"According To These Campaigns, The Palestinians Are Neglectful And Ungrateful For All The Aid, The Food Supply, And The Prayers. For Their Sake, The Good Israelis Were Taken As Rivals"

Triki: "According to these campaigns, the Palestinians are neglectful and ungrateful for all the aid, the food supply, and the prayers. For their sake, the good Israelis were taken as rivals. According to the show, [the Israelis] are 'similar to us.' Therefore, the Palestinians' cause will not be the cause [of the Saudis], in keeping with the favorite slogan of the electronic armies.

"The demonized Palestinians - whether Muslims or Christians - require the presence of good and beautiful Jews and for this purpose [the series] 'Umm Haroun' was created."

Woman: "You see this beautiful nation? We care for each other, and we share the same dreams."

Triki: "In this show, you will hear how the State of Israel was established on the Land of Israel."

Man On Radio: "It was declared that the State of Israel will be established in the city of Tel Aviv, when the British Mandate for the Land of Israel is over."

Triki: Exhuming the history of the Arab Jews is understandable, so long as it sticks to presenting the facts."

Woman: "I am certain that even children will follow this show."

"[Pakistan PM] Khan Instructed To Show [The Turkish Series] Daily On The government TV Channel... Because, In His Words, 'It Reflects Our Religious Identity And Teaches Our Youth Their Islamic History..."

Triki: "The series, which was filmed in the United Arab Emirates, focuses on tolerance among the three [monotheistic] religions. If only the producers had immortalized to the same extent the achievements of every Muslim who has left his land and highlighted their sciences, achievements, and heroism. But there is none of that. Rather, there is a fierce attack on their actions.

"This famous Turkish series about the life of the father of the founder of the Ottoman state has been watched by tens of millions, and it is being watched today by millions more, after Pakistani PM Imran Khan gave the order to dub it into the Urdu language, which is spoken by 100 million people.

"Khan instructed to show it daily on the government TV channel during Ramadan because, in his words, 'it reflects our religious identity and teaches our youth their Islamic history, and the values that are being destroyed by Hollywood and Bollywood.' This is being said by [Pakistani PM Imran Khan] who is a former international athlete, who lived in the West for a long time, and who was a star there. Some people remember and have lines there are unwilling to cross, and they adhere to their identity, their moral values, and their courage. There are things that cannot be bought."

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