Leaving Islam




Abbas: Cut Out Bloddy TV
By J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Feb 9, 2005

Bloody TV has been daily fare for many Palestinian households. Gore and violence have been the schedule for the day and night. Some say it’s even become so prevalent that it’s become boring.

Therefore, President Mahmoud Abbas has informed TV personnel to tone down the murder and mayhem. Enough praise to martyrs. Enough singing of blood songs. Enough minute-by-minute coverage of Abbas’ political moves.

In the days of Yasser Arafat it was common for Palestinian TV to cover practically his every move — all day long. It created an Arafat cult, especially given to praising Arafat as the ultimate political leader. Now Abbas tells TV to give coverage only when there is a significant happening taking place involving himself.

So it goes in Abbas’ attempts to come into the sane center. May his approaches have success. God knows that the Palestinians, particularly the youth, have been indoctrinated in "Kill a Jew — Go to Heaven" so that to blow one’s self up — along with as many Jewish bodies as possible — has become the warped religious craze of too many fanatic Muslims.

Therefore, for Abbas now to take this chance for TV viewing reform is not just a passing fancy. It is a major turn in the peace road regarding the use of TV for political purposes.

According to London Sunday Telegraph Inigo Gilmore, "Newly elected President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered Palestinian television to cleanse its screens of bloody imagery to conform with a new mood of conciliation in the region.

"Eulogies to suicide bombers, or ‘martyrs’ as they were known, have given way to ‘feel-good’ nature programs and romantic films. Instead of referring to ‘martyr operations,’ suicide bombings are described more neutrally as ‘explosions.’"

With political leadership of Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan meeting shortly, Abbas wants to put the peace face on the gathering, at least as far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned. Therefore, reversing the blood flow on PA TV will be a pleasant start.

Instead of the blood pictures punctuating endlessly PA TV, there are now kiddy videos showing animals scampering through the woods. There are romantic films instead of war and shoot-em-up flicks. That in itself should bring some mental health changes to Palestinian viewers and hopefully a real-life change in the youth’s attitude regarding life in general.

"’He (Abbas) said that he does not want a screen full of blood,’ said Radwan Abu Ayash, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. ‘We must avoid bloody things, which are not a good image for our people.

"’He also said that he does not want songs praising him or for us to report on all his activities -- only if there is some news value. He wanted a 'free screen' and said that all sides should have the right to talk. These are big changes. We are broadcasting more traditional music, rather than martial music. Even our words are less provocative. We are trying to be as peaceful as possible.’

"’People salute Abu Mazen's understanding of the need to make the broadcasting moderate, because the old style under Arafat was not only dull, but it brought incitement and hatred,’ said Ibrahim Wahbeh, a Bethlehem resident."

Let’s hope for the best. Surely revamping PA TV for civil viewing is a healthy start.







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