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'Farfur' is not funny

Talking of his huge empire, Walt Disney reportedly once said, "I hope that we never lose sight of one thing: That it was all started by a mouse."
Mickey Mouse was a source of tremendous pride to Disney, who in 1935 received a special medal from the League of Nations in recognition of the fact that the cartoon figure was "a symbol of universal goodwill."
I don't want to think of what was started by the Hamas version of the animated mouse. Farfur is far from lovable. He is being used to preach violence to kids via a weekly children's program called Tomorrow's Pioneers, broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aksa TV.
The average Walt Disney movie does not shy away from horrors: Bambi's mother gets shot down in the opening scene, and the brave, wise Lion King father is murdered by his own brother just as you've grown fond of him. But these deaths were probably intended to show children that the world is not perfect, not to prepare them to go out on a shooting spree.
Disney said of his creation: "All we ever intended for him, or expected of him, was that he should continue to make people everywhere chuckle with him and at him. We didn't burden him with any social symbolism, we made him no mouthpiece for frustrations or harsh satire. Mickey was simply a little personality assigned to the purposes of laughter."
Farfur, the Palestinian Mickey, is no laughing matter. Exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, which smelled a rat, this Mickey is preaching that the "oppressive invading Zionist occupation" must be "resisted" at all costs.
Palestinian children in Gaza are not only as impressionable as their peers, they are also stuck at home watching a lot of television lately. This is not due to Israel, no matter what you might think if you're dependent on foreign news coverage of the region, but a result of the civil war raging between Fatah and Hamas on Gaza's streets.
The results are, of course, also being felt in Sderot and the western Negev, where Israelis have been subjected to the ongoing barrage of Kassams as Hamas tries to prove itself and the so-called Palestinian unity government is being shattered into very sharp splinters.
Hamas and Fatah have been literally at each other's throats lately. The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh noted on May 18 that Hamas men are afraid of appearing in public with beards for fear they will be killed or kidnapped by Fatah militiamen.
According to a Hamas official, most of the victims were killed execution-style by Fatah gunmen and members of various Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority security forces. At least one case was caught on camera and later appeared on the YouTube Website, presumably providing "entertainment" to those seeking an alternative to Farfur...

The writer is editor of The International Jerusalem Post.

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