Cover of Israeli Iran attack preparedness pamphlet. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)
Weeks after passing out gas masks, the Israeli government has started distributing emergency pamphlets that use a muppet character similar to Oscar the Grouch to prepare families for an attack from Iran. Reuters lately reported on the 15-page booklet slipped into mailboxes by the Home Front Command, Israel’s emergency response service:
Israelis, the military-issued booklet says, would have only between 30 seconds and three minutes to find cover and hunker down between the time air raid sirens sound and rockets slam into their area.
On the cover a smiling Moishe Oofnik, the Israeli muppet version of Oscar the Grouch – the resident pessimist of the U.S. children’s show Sesame Street – sticks out of the trash can he calls home.
He strikes a more pensive pose inside the booklet, resting his head on his hand under instructions on what to do when sirens wail.
Screen shot of Israel Home Front’s icon of emergency preparedness, muppet Moishe Oofnik. (Image: oref.mdigital.co.il)
The trashcan-dwelling puppet brochures on safety are a familiar and comforting learning tool to help Israelis deal with the rising tensions with Iran. In the brochure, the government tells families to discuss the possibility of war at home, but recommends not doing so if family members are upset, watching television, or eating. The subliminal message is that Iran, in it of itself, is already upsetting enough:
‘You should find the proper time to have the conversation — not during mealtime or when you are watching television. It should not be held after a family argument or when you are agitated about some other pressing matter.’