Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mickey Mouse Killed By Israeli Interrogator

"Tomorrow's Pioneers" sparked an international furor in April when it began featuring Farfour, the Mickey Mouse look-alike who sounded more like Iran’s firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than a Disney character.

Mustafa Barghouti, then serving as the Palestinian Authority's information minister, called the show a "mistaken approach" to helping Palestinians and tried unsuccessfully to force the show off the year.

The Israeli government and activists who monitor Palestinian programming accused Hamas of poisoning the minds of young children with the show.

After two months, Farfour was beaten to death on the show by an Israeli interrogator. Nahoul, a larger-than-life bee, is now carrying his message.[1]

Tomorrow’s Pioneers is a weekly television show for Palestinian children shown on the Hamas television network. On the show an 11 year old, Saraa Barhoum takes calls from other Palestinian youth concerning issues they are facing with the occupation. The show provides moral lessons, through stories and cartoons. The children call into the show and talk about how the occupation has affected their lives, they sing songs that deal with liberation, religion, and martyrdom.

While reading this story I was torn for a number of reasons, but because I haven’t actually seen the show my comments are speculative at best. The show has been criticized by Israel and the American Government for inciting anti-Israeli sentiments. While Saraa was being interviewed an Israeli missile exploded in the building next door causing the crew and Saraa to run for cover. So, it isn’t the occupation, assassinations, or indiscriminate violence that is fueling these anti-Israeli feelings among the Palestinians, it is the kid shows. You know I never did trust those damn cartoons, I always thought there were some subliminal messages being sent and now I know.

From what I can tell the show is propaganda, but is it anymore so than say Captain America or Superman; fighting for truth, justice and the American way? And what about all those Disney and WB cartoons during WWII, those were definitely sending a message to support our troops and our vision. So, besides the obvious of the pot and the kettle thing, I do find it a little disturbing when an 11 year old is talking about becoming a martyr. There are so many other things her young mind should be focusing on; instead because of her circumstances she does not have the luxury of dreams and fantasies. For many Palestinian children the dream is as simple as a safe place to grow up in and the opportunity to lead normal lives free from coercion.

Instead of focusing on the programming on the Hamas network, maybe if the Israeli and American governments focused more on changing the apartheid policies being waged against the Palestinian people the Hamas programming would change. How many more Palestinian children have to die before there is a real effort at peace? How many more children will have to give up their future and their dreams before the International community will call Israel on their land grab and refusal to negotiate in good faith?

It’s not the cartoons that are fueling this, it is the results of the cartoon. The mouse dying at the hands of an Israeli interrogator and its real life lessons, this is what is inflaming the Palestinians. Should children be used to promote violence? No, but should children be given the truth of their circumstances and about the perpetrators who are carrying out the policies responsible for these circumstances? Absolutely!



M. James said...

You find it only a little disturbing that an eleven year old girl would be encouraging kids to martyrdom? Are you nuts? I suggest you go to and view the videos of the program. Those "cute" six year olds in Gaza are not like any six year old you know. Gaza kids go to "summer camp" to learn to hate and yes, kill Jews and Christians. They don't really need to learn, they pick it up by osmosis.

Forgiven said...

In their situation what would suggest they do? Pretend that their parents are being killed, their villages are not being destroyed, or their country is not being stolen? I'm sorry maybe we could create some reservations for them, worked out pretty good here...

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