Instead of simply exploiting Arab sentiments for the Palestinians and against the Israelis, this series actually has one scene implying that there is a bit of corruption in the PLO. “Real-life drama puts satellite screening of Palestinian soap up in air,” by Ben Lynfield for News.Scotsman, September 8:
A DARING television soap opera depicting life in the West Bank that touches on the sensitive issue of corruption among Palestinian officials has been shelved.
The cancellation, or at least postponement, of the European Union-funded Matabb show came after officials of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), run by the office of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, tried to censor a perceived reference to corruption in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
George Khleifeh, director of Matabb, said: “They think that one scene insinuates corruption in the PLO. But this is not right. It is showing one person and that the PLO is investigating him. They asked that we change this scene.”[…]
Mohammed Dahoudi, director of television for the PBC, denied the show had been cancelled. He said: “We have delayed it until the last ten days of Ramadan. We decided to put comedy on the air for the first ten days of Ramadan.”
Matabb was filmed on location in and around Ramallah. It cost about 150,000, jointly funded by the European Union and the German development agency GTZ.
Despite the authenticity of scenes set at Israeli army checkpoints, issues surrounding family honour killings, work tensions and marital conflict are at the heart of the series.
Mr Khleifeh said: “We wanted not to talk only about the occupation. We wanted to touch on male domination in the family and society, corruption and Palestinians not confronting corruption and other problems.”
Seems this series may have been shelved for more reasons than insinuating PLO corruption…
Some of the episodes also touch on Islamic fundamentalism, he says, showing “how the situation under occupation influences the new generation, which doesn’t find work and begins to look for a substitute ideology to find self respect”.