(JTA) — A public broadcaster in the Netherlands aired and then took offline an animation series featuring jokes about the Holocaust and suggestions that Jews persecute Palestinians.
The jokes appeared in a 10-minute animation clip parodying “South Park,” the popular American series. “Mocro Park” was created for a publicly funded broadcaster popular with Dutch Arabs, and was meant to celebrate and satirize the country’s Arab youth culture.
In the joke about the Holocaust, a Jewish character named Levy suggests to his friends, including a Moroccan character and a Turkish one, that smoking tobacco from a hookah may be unhealthy. The Moroccan character then has flatulence. “Sorry, Levy, did I just gas you?” the Moroccan character asks.
In the joke about Israel, Levy says he was busy. The Moroccan character then asks him: “Busy? Busy doing what? Persecuting Palestinians? Stealing land?”
FunX, the creator, removed the video from its website Thursday amid an outcry over how it “uses taxpayers’ money to produce anti-Semitic ‘jokes’,” as Martijn van der Kooij, a Dutch writer and journalist who has written about the Middle East, wrote on Twitter. The film is still available on YouTube.
The FunX radio station specializes in rap music. Sharid Uppelschoten, a program host at FunX, said in an interview last year that the station appeals to “people of diverse background.” She also said that its employees are more ethnically diverse than those of mainstream media. The makers of “Mocro Park” are a blogger known as Youssef or Youstub and comedian Yahia Yousfi, who works for FunX, according to the website Jonet.nl. “Mocro” is Dutch slang for Moroccan.
In 2017, the radio station was criticized for using the hashtag #noHomo to promote its content on social media.
The film also features a sequence in which the Muslim characters throw stones at teachers, prompting one of them to say: “Wilders was right.” Geert Wilders is an anti-Islam populist Dutch politician.
In an interview on FunX radio, the makers of “Mocro Park” said: “You have to understand the humor. Everyone gets spoofed. We don’t want to discriminate.”
FunX did not immediately respond to JTA’s request for comment.
Ernst Lissauer, a well-known journalist in the Netherlands who specializes in parliamentary affairs, wrote on Twitter Thursday that Arie Slob, a cabinet minister who is responsible for media, finds the film “disgusting.”
Van der Kooij, the writer, called for removing the video “because it is poison, precisely because its target audience is young people.”