SANTA CLAUS JOINS THE INTIFADA Image

From Syrian TV comes this weird and tasteless short film which finds Santa Claus arriving in Jerusalem with a bag of toys. Alas, the Israeli Defense Forces block his progress and knock him to the ground. It seems that Santa Claus can conquer the Martians, but not the Israelis! Almost immediately after being abused, Santa gets help: a group of Palestinian protestors show up and Santa Claus joins the rock-throwing Palestinians in a clash with armed Israeli soldiers.

Huh? Is this supposed to be a joke, or has the Syrian government seriously hijacked Santa Claus in their propaganda war against Israel? The purpose is never clear, but the film deftly integrates Santa into news coverage of the intifada in order to make it seem like a documentary. This inane effort is fascinating in a sick way, but nonetheless its motives are utterly incomprehensible.

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