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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anti-Semitic game removed from Dutch market

On Wednesday, I reported on an anti-Semitic game being marketed by Dutch state television. That game was quickly removed this week, after it had been sold for a year and a half.
According to a VPRO statement, “In November 2010, the VPRO platform for younger viewers, Dorst, published on the website and in the TV guide a satirical item, The Settlers of the West Bank, a commentary over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shaped in the form of a well-known board game, The Settlers of Catan... The Settlers of the West Bank is now, almost one year and half years later, the subject of discussion on whether it contains elements of an anti- Semitic nature... The VPRO finds the political question relevant and will obligingly discuss the borders of satire.

But it has no desire or need to discuss alleged anti-Semitism through this item.

Therefore, the VPRO took off the game The Settlers of the West Bank from the Dorst site.”

Ronny Naftaniel, the head of The Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, told the Post, “This game had to be removed immediately when the first complaints about it were made. The game is based on biases and is unacceptable for Dutch Jews and all Dutchmen. It’s just a shame that VPRO is removing it after The Jerusalem Post wrote about it. VPRO should have done it by themselves.”

In an email to the Post, Benjamin Teuber, the director of marketing and business development for the Catan board game company, wrote, “The Catan company, which is the licensed operator of The Settlers of Catan, was not informed about this project and if we were, we would not have issued approval. We expressly distance ourselves from its content.”

He added that the game crossed over the border of respectable satire, and that “it is regrettable that the Catan brand, which stands for cooperation and peacefulness, was misused for such purposes.”
The game is now gone. And of course, now, no one knows how it got there in the first place, so new games (not literally maybe, but other new anti-Semitic products) will continue to come to market because no one is punished for introducing them.

Read the whole thing.

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