Dutch state-funded broadcaster airs, pulls offline South Park spoof with Holocaust jokes

JTA

(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 titled “Mocro Park” that the FunX broadcaster published online Sunday. Mocro in Dutch slang means Moroccan. Set in Holland, the FunX film is a parody of the American animation series “South Park.”

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 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?”

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FunX 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.

FunX is a radio station that specializes in rap music. It is popular among Dutch Arabs. Sharid Uppelschoten, a program host at FunX, said the station appeals to “people of diverse background” in an interview last year. 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.

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 with 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 question over criticism that the jokes are anti-Semitic content disseminated and produced with taxpayers’ money.

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.”

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