Monday, March 22, 2010

Israelis want MBC shut down over Turkish series


DUBAI (Al Arabiya)

Israelis demanded on Sunday through comments posted on Israeli newspaper websites that MBC1 channel programming be shut down in their country, following the television's announcement that it would air a Turkish TV series that caused a diplomatic spat between Israel and Turkey.

Relationships between Turkey and Israel fell to a serious diplomatic crisis in October 2009 after Turkey's TRT1 state-sponsored channel aired the prime-time TV series Ayrilik (Farewell). The series depicts fictional Israeli characters killing Palestinian children and abusing elderly Arabs.

Several scenes in the series depict the IDF using firearms against unarmed Palestinians whose only weapon is rocks. A soldier is seen kicking the body of a dead Palestinian boy while his mother runs towards him in tears. Another soldier shoots a Palestinian girl who is seen smiling right before she receives a bullet in her.

Israeli Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador and deliberately humiliated by making him sit on a lower chair, an incident which led Turkey to demand and receive an official apology from Israel.

Yediot Aharonot newspaper published Saturday an article reporting that MBC would soon begin broadcasting the controversial TV show, prompting many of its readers to call for the Arab channel to be shut down in Israel.

The paper reported that Israel had condemned the broadcasting of the series in Turkey and said it incited "hatred against Israel" and was "not worthy of being broadcast even in an enemy state."

Director of Marketing in MBC Group Mazen Hayek said that the Arab TV network would not give in to any pressure and cancel or stop broadcasting the series. He said MBC group was committed to its programming coverage, important to the general public in the region and around the world, reported Palestinian MAAN news agency.

Ayrilik (Farewell) Series is broadcast daily on MBC1 from Saturday to Wednesday at 1 p.m. GMT

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