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'Arab Idol' viewers demand removal of Israel

Bob Unruh/WND

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Oct. 9, 2014

Israel’s Manal Moussa, on “Arab Idol,” now identified as resident of “Palestine” (Gatestone image)

The most popular show in the Arab world ignited an uproar throughout the region when it displayed a map depicting the home country of two of its contestants as Israel.

The singers on the “Arab Idol” show were Arab citizens of Israel who live in Galilee, but the Saudi MBC-TV network was forced to apologize to hundreds millions of viewers for acknowledging the existence of the Jewish state and not identifying the contestants’ homeland as “Palestine.”

MBC had been threatened with boycotts and Internet campaigns, including”Shut Down Arab Idol,” “Palestine is Arab, not Hebrew” and “Together Against Arab Idol.”

The protesters, commented the international public policy group Gatestone Institute, “were not demanding a two-state solution and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

“They were protesting against Israel’s existence; that is what really bothers them.”

“Their success in forcing MBC to remove Israel from the map is a symbolic victory for those who seek Israel’s destruction. But it is also a reminder that this conflict is not about a settlement or a checkpoint or a fence — but about Israel’s very existence,” said the organization, which seeks to educate the public about issues the “mainstream media” fails to report accurately.

The Arab Israelis, Manal Moussa, 25, and Haitham Khalailah, 24, were among contestants from all over the Arab world when the show launched its new season in mid-September.

Within minutes of displaying a map identifying the contestants’ home countries, the network was flooded with demands to remove Israel and apologize to all Arabs for the “serious offense.”

The institute said there were “extreme activists” who immediately threatened the station and its owners.

MBC claimed Israel appeared on the map as a result of a “technical error” and replaced it with one that identifies the area as Palestine.

The singers are now are described on the show as Palestinians, and there is no mention they are citizens of Israel.

“The uproar that erupted throughout the Arab world over the use of a map with Israel’s name on it is yet another reminder that many Arabs still have not come to terms with Israel’s existence – and apparently are not interested in coming to terms with it,” the institute commented.

WND columnist Pamela Geller recently noted when Arab textbooks were being joined by Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, in eliminating Israel from a book.

The company later retreated.

The book, ‘Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt,’ was part of a children’s series Scholastic publishes about the adventures of a group of reporters in Egypt.

A map of the Middle East in the book “completely obliterates Israel,” Geller said, making it entirely part of the territory of Jordan.

“This is a different form of annihilation. It’s unconscionable,” she wrote. “Our children are being indoctrinated with this genocidal poison. Scholastic was joining in with and validating the genocidal jihadist dreams of the ‘Palestinians.’ But even more destructively, they’re poisoning young minds with Islamic rhetoric and Jew hatred.”

At San Diego State University, a map distributed in a language class labeled Israel as Palestine.

WND reported one year ago, the White House released what it said was a map of Israel, but Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights were missing.

An Obama administration video highlighting the president’s plans for a Mideast trip depicted Jerusalem, the Golan and the West Bank – also known as Judea and Samaria – as non-Israeli territory.

The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the omissions, noted the video shows the Golan Heights as part of Syria, Jerusalem as part of the West Bank and northern Israel as part of Lebanon.

WND also reported in August 2012 when the White House twice refused to name the capital of Israel.


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