Bazooka Bubble gum’s new hero for kids: Yasser Arafat

January 11, 2002

A patriotic card series in America has included Yasser Arafat, as one of the cards portraying the world's support for America. The number 16 card shows Arafat giving blood for Americans after 9/11, whilst the Palestinian people were celebrating the attacks.

-- Tom Gross


January 10, 2002

Topps, the veteran bubble gum company, and the smaller U.S. Trading Cards, have both issued patriotic card series for America's children (and adults) to coincide with America's war on terrorism. Topps' "Enduring Freedom" series gives "biographical information on the civilian and military leaders entrusted to guide us through this fight, statistical data and photos of military hardware."

The makers of Bazooka gum explained that they focused "on America's strengths – its elected leaders, the security of its military, its worldwide support... and the courage and unity of its people." Eight cards portray the world's support for America, with scenes such as:

– Flowers Outside U.S. Embassy In Beijing
– Israel's Foreign Minister Peres Pledges Friendship
– Britain's Tony Blair – A Staunch Ally
– NATO Stands Tall Alongside America
– Arafat Gives Blood For Americans

Arafat? While he was donating blood in a bold public relations ploy, Palestinians were dancing in the streets and handing out sweets, celebrating the September 11 attacks.

View the Topps "Arafat-as-Ally" series at [Arafat Gives Blood For Americans is card no 16]:

If you object to Topps' portrayal of Arafat, send e-mail from:

Topps' U.S. Headquarters
phone: 212.376.0300
fax: 212.376.0573

The Topps Company Operations Center
401 York Ave.
Duryea, PA 18642
ATTN: Consumer Relations Dept.

[Tom Gross adds: Three days after I sent this dispatch the following article was published.]


Jewish group slams Arafat 9/11 trading cards
The Jerusalem Post
January 14, 2001,

A card issued by the US-based Topps trading card company depicts Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat donating blood for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack on the US.

The card, also distributed in Canada, is one in the company's new "Enduring Freedom" series.

"Considering the ongoing terrorist atrocities against Israeli civilians by groups aligned with Arafat and connected to the perpetrators of the September 11 atrocity, the Topps decision has been called the height of bad taste and an insult to victims of terror everywhere," Amos Socheczevski, National Chair of B'nai Brith Canada's Institute for International Affairs said.

"Topps has publicly endorsed what can only be termed as a public relations stunt by Arafat to convince the world that he is an opponent of terrorism," Socheczevski said, according to a report by IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis.

The National Institute's Director, Ruth Klein, added, "Trading cards are commonly used to provide role models for our youth, but what has Arafat's contribution to "Enduring Freedom" been and on what basis is he depicted as humanitarian or worthy of being a role model?

"What has he done to deserve that title when his rule has been marked by corruption and intimidation of his own people?" Klein said.

"Naturally a trading card company operates for profit rather than on the basis of principle, but to make money from this card is immoral," Klein added.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.