Saudi MBC TV has apologized hundreds of millions of viewers of its popular Arab Idol show that displayed the word ”Israel” on the map showing the native country of two Israeli Arab singers who performed on stage, according to Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, writing for the Gatestone Report.
Arab Idol is the most widely watched television show in the Arab world, and viewers were so incensed over the appearance of the map of the contestants’ country with the name “Israel” that they went online to stage a boycott campaign of MBC.
It was the first time that the show hosted Arab citizens of Israel, who were identified as Manal Moussa, 25 and Haitham Khalailah, 24, residents of the Galilee.
Last month, the station began showing maps of contestant’s home countries. After it displayed “Israel,” viewers fumed.
“The Saudi station and directors of the Arab Idol show quickly learned…that they had committed a big and unforgivable crime,” Abu Toameh wrote. ”Within minutes, they were flooded with requests to remove Israel from the map and apologize to all Arabs for this ‘serious offense.’”
One of the boycott campaigns on Twitter was named “Shut Down Arab Idol,” and another campaign was entitled “Palestine is Arab, not Hebrew,” an apparent ruse to avoid using the curse word “Israel.”
Some complaints labeled the station as “Zionist Arabs.”
MBC explained to its viewers that a “technical error: was the reason for the crime, and it quickly renamed the country as “Palestine” and the two singers, who hold Israeli passports, now are called “Palestinians.”
Let’s just assume that the Saudi Initiative of 2002, which calls for “normalization” of relations between the Arab League nations and Israel if the country simply would return to the Temporary Armistice Lines – the “Auschwitz” borders as Abba Eban called them.
What happens to the two “Palestinian” singers from Israel? Do they automatically become Israelis?
Or does Saudi Arabia want to transfer the entire “Palestinian” population in Israel to the would-be Palestinian state?
Or maybe, just maybe, Saudi Arabia wants all Israeli Jews to become “Palestinians?”
Just maybe.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu