'Don’t smoke, shoot!’: UN-funded Palestinian NGO puppet show

A boy holds an assault rifle in Jerusalem (Reuters/Baz Ratner)
A UN-funded Palestinian NGO has performed a puppet show for children in East Jerusalem. The message: put down the cigarette and pick up a machine gun to fight the Jewish enemy.

­The children who gathered to watch the puppet show at the Burj Luq Luq community center in Jerusalem’s old city quickly learned that while smoking cigarettes was bad, the smoking barrel of a gun is good.

One puppet related that many young people believe cigarettes will help them grow and become men.

“Jerusalem doesn’t need men who hold cigarettes. It needs men who hold machine guns,” the puppet told the audience of school-aged children behind a white backdrop which, among other things, ironically depicted a white dove flying in the sky.

The puppet then broke into song, glorifying martyrdom after telling the children that Jerusalem was being kept from them and the Jews were killing the children of Palestine.

“Jerusalem, we are coming, Jerusalem, the time of death has arrived. Jerusalem, we will not surrender to the enemies or be humiliated," the puppet sang.

The Burj Luq-Luq Community Center and Society has been supported by various branches of the United Nations, including UNICEF and UNESCO. It has also been financed by international donors, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) – translators of the video – reports.

This is not the first time that UN funds and international donor money have been used for anti-Jewish propaganda targeting children.

In February 2011, the Palestinian children’s magazine Zayzafouna published an article written by a teenage girl who recounts a dream about Adolf Hitler. The writer said Hitler had told her he killed Jews “so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.”

In the ensuing media firestorm that followed PMW’s translation of the article, The UN’s cultural agency cut funding to the magazine last December, saying it strongly condemned the publication of such “inflammatory statements.”

No UN body or international donor has responded to the latest funding controversy regarding the propaganda puppetry and its violent message to children.