‘Simpsons predicted Syrian civil war’
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Don't have a cow, SyriaDon't have a cow, Syria

‘Simpsons predicted Syrian civil war’

Egyptian TV finds opposition flag in 2001 episode, claims Fox show was in on 'global conspiracy' behind Arab Spring

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Frame from Simpsons episode "New Kids on the Blecch" showing a jeep bearing a Syrian opposition flag from 2001, 10 years before the outbreak of the civil war. (screen capture: YouTube)
Frame from Simpsons episode "New Kids on the Blecch" showing a jeep bearing a Syrian opposition flag from 2001, 10 years before the outbreak of the civil war. (screen capture: YouTube)

An Egyptian television station claims that an episode of The Simpsons from 2001 was part of a global conspiracy to overthrow Arab governments during the Arab Spring which began a decade later.

Al-Tahrir TV on Sunday broadcast a report in which it showed that in the “New Kids on the Blecch” episode of the Simpsons, originally aired on February 25, 2001, Bart Simpson and his boy band drop bombs on Arab-dressed men in a music video.

On one of the Arab trucks is a clearly visible flag currently used by the Syrian opposition.

The Egyptian TV host said that the inclusion of the Syrian flag has sparked speculation among Arab Facebook users that it “suggests that what is happening in Syria today was premeditated,” according to a translation of the clip by MEMRI.

A Syrian revolutionary flag waves on top of a building on the outskirts of Aleppo. (photo credit: Khalil Hamra/AP)
A Syrian revolutionary flag waves on top of a building on the outskirts of Aleppo. (photo credit: Khalil Hamra/AP)

The anchor erroneously states that the flag which appears in the 2001 video came “before there was such a thing called the
‘Syrian opposition.’ The flag was created before the events took place.”

In fact, the Syrian opposition adopted the flag used by Syria from its independence until 1963, when the Ba’ath party under current President Bashar Assad’s father Hafez took over.

“That’s why people are saying on Facebook that this is a conspiracy. In 2001, there was no such thing as the flag of the Syrian opposition,” the anchor reiterated. “This episode was created back in 2001, before the Syrian opposition even existed. Here is the flag. The scene you see here shows animated figures in Arab garb.”

“This raises many question marks about what happened in the Arab Spring revolutions and about when this global conspiracy began,” she said.

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