WASHINGTON (WCCO/AP) — Rep. Keith Ellison brought a special guest with him down to the U.S. House of Representatives floor on Tuesday. And his guest was brought to you by the letter “E.”

That’s “E” for Elmo.

Ellison (D-MN) spoke out against a plan that would bring to an end the Palestinian version of the popular children’s television show “Sesame Street.”

The show “Sharaa Simsim” is funded in part due to the assistance of U.S. government funds. However, the Associated Press reports Congress froze the transfer of nearly $200 million to the U.S. Agency for International Development in October. The suspension aimed to punish the Palestinians for appealing to the United Nations for statehood.

That decision has put production of “Sharaa Simsim” on hold, according to reports. The show debuted in 1996 and has produced five seasons since, with long intermissions for fundraising.

From the House floor on Tuesday, Ellison said Elmo is widely known for his work teaching “tolerance and understanding.”

Ellison argued that taking Elmo off the air for Palestinian children leaves them to learn their lessons from “Farfour,” a Hamas TV character resembling a mouse.

“Instead of tolerance and understanding, Farfour promotes violence and anti-Semitism,” said Ellison. “I’m not the only one who wants Congress to release the funding. The Israeli government also wants us to release it.”

The Associated Press reported that, from 2008-2011, USAID gave $2.5 million to the program, covering nearly the entire budget.

USAID was scheduled to issue another $2.5 million grant to Sharaa Simsim last until 2014, but in early October, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), placed holds on $192 million in funding to USAID for programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

Comments (20)
  1. KEllison says:

    So for a few minutes, Ellison wasn’t the dumbest thing in chambers

    1. Hank Jr says:

      make it seconds….hmmmm. Was that MB walking in the hallway? Ok – he’s tied for the dumbest

    2. Minnesota Nice says:

      lol….Oh I would say he was still the dumbest thing in chambers…

    3. Krusty says:

      Not sure about that one. I mean, I know Elmo doesn’t have a brain or a central nervous system, but Ellison may have him beat in the contest of dumb and dumber. How Minnesota voters leave their houses without wearing paper bags over their heads is beyond me. How embarassing. Between Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Amy Koch, Al Franken, and Keith Ellison…yikes. Embarassing. And I’m not advocating anti-semitism, but maybe there’s something HERE we could spend $200 million on. You can’t tell me all of the under-privileged kids here are well taken care of.

  2. JesseV says:

    Hey Keith where are the jobs? F Elmo and F the Palestinian’s. Start to worry about us here in MN. THATS YOUR JOB!

  3. Real Talk says:

    This POS doesnt understand that people in this own effin State are hurting bad. We have unemployement, childhood hungry and budget issues. Our nation is so in debt, the whole economy is on life support.

    Yet this mother lover wants the US tax payers to fork over $200 million so kids in Palestine can watch Elmo??? So out of touch with reality. What, $200 million isnt much money for Ellison?

    What is the ROI from this “small” $200 million investment?? If that A-hole cannot answer that question with a TANGIBLE repsonce…he should be quartered by horses.

  4. The new normal says:

    I am appalled that the federal government confiscates my money to squander it on BS like this. How many more programs like this are out there costing MILLIONS?
    Also I hope you “victims” in Minneapolis are proud of who you elected to represent you .

  5. Whistling in the wind says:

    We provide $3 billion annually to Israel to provide for their defense. This is $2.5 million for two years. That is $1.25 million per year, or .04% of the amount we give Israel to fight the people who are already fighting them. If this program does anything to reduce the number of Palestinians attacking Israel, it is a good deal.

    Sorry to bring Math and perspective into this, please continue with the brain dead ranting.

    1. Phid says:

      It probably would be pretty inexpensive, and positive, for the U.S. government to fund children’s programming in other countries as well, such as Botswana, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, India, etc. etc.

      Problem is whether the U.S. should even be in the business of funding children’s shows in other countries.

    2. Cork in your whistle says:

      Thanks, professor, for insulting everyone with an opinion. However, apparently they understand the real issue while you don’t: it isn’t WHAT we’re spending, it’s THAT we’re spending in such a capacity.

  6. Mn&TxForPaul says:

    Why are are funding TV shows for other countries? Why do we have to? I don’t know what the other 310 Million Americans are thinking of, but this is a very stupid idea, along with other idiotic foreign funding were giving out. America needs to worry about what is happening here first, which means cut foreign aid first by 1/2 and have other countries contribute.

  7. Kevin says:

    Are you fu*king kidding me? How about M for Muslim terrorist!

  8. PATHETIC Voters live here says:


    No matter which party you sleeping with you got one of the biggest and most pathetic GD politicians in DC. And for that there is ZERO GD excuse you stupid effing voters. NONE

  9. Keith...You Know Where You Shove That Other Hand says:

    Nothing says I will fight for my constituents more than a grown man with his hand shoved into an Elmo puppet. Thanks…I get to explain to all my relatives (again) why Minnesota elects so many goofballs

  10. worthless sob(b) says:

    I thin’ this bastid needs to go over there himself and do the teachy weachy dance with Elmo.
    We get rid of the SOB and save some $$$ to boot.
    Win Win

  11. TKP says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit I live in Ellison’s 5th district. For many years it’s been said if the Democrats ran Mickey Mouse for office in the 5th District he’d win. Now I guess we can change that from Mickey Mouse to Elmo.

  12. Soapy Johnson says:

    What does Keith Ellison have in common with Katy Perry’s magnificent cleavage? … http://placeitonluckydan.com/2010/09/sunny-day-sweepin/

  13. upset!! says:

    Did we really vote this guy into his position? Seriously?!! this is what our government is contemplating right now? Our economy is inthe toilet and we’re worried about what is airing on another country’s tv? ? WTH?!!

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