PA Police 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestine TV’s controversial satire show, Watan ala Watar (Homeland on a
String), has angered the Palestinian Authority police force in the West Bank,
whose commanders have decided to sue the station for libel.
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are furious with the satire – especially because of a scene where two traffic
policemen stop a drunk driver for inspection. The policemen are portrayed in an
obnoxious manner that suggests that they too are under the influence of
Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, complained
that the episode, which is being aired during the holy month of Ramadan,
depicted the policemen as “vulgar and common.”
He said that viewers were
left with the impression that the police officers had gotten intoxicated from
the smell of alcohol that came out of the mouth of the driver.
degrading for the policemen,” Damiri said. “This is a clear humiliation and we
have the right not to remain silent.”
He charged that Watan ala Watar
being broadcast to cause harm to some Palestinians, not as a means of
“We support criticism and freedom of expression, but only
in a positive way,” Damiri was quoted by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as
“The program that dealt with the police did not offer objective
criticism based on a clear idea. It was merely intended to degrade, and this is
something we can’t accept.”
The police spokesman said that the force was
now contemplating legal measures against Palestine TV.
deputy head of the Physicians Union, Shawki Sabha, said that his union has also
filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general against Palestine TV for airing
Sabha said that the union has determined that one of the
recent satire shows had humiliated Palestinian physicians working in hospitals.
He said that the union was also suing the station for libel.
to the police and physicians, the PA government’s Bureau of Civil Servants has
also threatened to take legal action against Palestine TV for making fun out of
the failure of the government to pay full salaries to its employees.
Farrajeen, one of the producers of the satire, said that Palestine TV was now
waiting for Abbas to make a decision about the complaints.
warned that he and several lawyers would go to court if Abbas decided to take
the show off the air.
He said that he was particularly surprised to hear
about the physicians’ complaint.
“I was expecting the doctors and their
union to be more open-minded and tolerant toward criticism,” he said. “I was
surprised because the complaint came from a group of educated people. Are there
no medical mistakes in our hospitals? Are there no complaints to the courts
against some doctors? Haven’t doctors and hospitals in the past paid
compensation to families of people who died as a result of mistakes?”