The show’s producers have issued a sort-of apology over the Palestine/Israel flap that erupted following last Friday’s Jeopardy! broadcast, 09 JAN 2020. If you somehow managed to miss the whole thing, SEE HERE…
The explanation offered Monday on the show’s web-site — that it was a flawed clue to begin with and never intended to be aired after its initial taping — side-stepped the real point, of course: that Bethlehem is not and never has been (and hopefully never will be) within the sovereign borders of the State of Israel. Bethlehem, for the record, is located in the West Bank, or, in the official parlance of the U.N., the “occupied Palestinian territories” (oPt).
Israel, indeed, has no true, permanent border with its Palestinian neighbors — which is how the Israelis like it, as it allows for maximum obfuscation and land-grab chicanery. The closest thing to a legal border is the 1949 armistice “Green” line, which Israel has assiduously tried to erase beginning in 1967, first with a military occupation and then the planting of its civilian population in Palestinian areas, both of which persist, thoroughly entrenched, to the present day.
Well, on balance, the Jeopardy! fuss does not reach the threshold required to alter my viewing habits. After all, the show’s VIPs apparently realized immediately they had stumbled into a minefield and then deftly tried to tiptoe out. And, hopefully both the clue writer and the hapless videotape manager will soon find other jobs.
The Washington Post had some of the best coverage of the incident. Among other things, they noted about the contestant, Katie Needle from New York:
Last year, she visited a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem, and later shared a petition in support of Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities. On Friday, she wrote on Twitter: “Palestine should be free.”
For me, I can go on boycotting the State of Israel as usual, my small response to their gross war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law — just as people did to help topple the Apartheid regime in South Africa not so many years ago. Under that oppressive system, black South Africans, though denied basic rights, were at least legal citizens of their own country, whereas the Palestinians have languished in limbo for 52 years as a stateless people. Yes, Katie — “Palestine should be free!”