It has recently come to light that Hamas Television is producing and broadcasting a children’s program, in which a Mickey Mouse look-alike character indoctrinates Palestinian children to violence, hatred and murder. Farfur, the costumed mouse, and his co-host, a young girl named Saraa', teach children about such things as the importance of the daily prayers and drinking milk, while taking every opportunity to indoctrinate young viewers with teachings of Islamic supremacy, hatred of Israel and the US and support of "resistance" - the Palestinian euphemism for terror.
Farfur tells children that they must pray until there is “world leadership under Islamic rule,” while the earnest and soft-spoken Saraa’ explains that the nucleus of this world Islamic leadership will be “all of Palestine” - meaning not just the West Bank or Gaza but a Palestine incorporating all of ‘pre-1967’ Israel as well. Farfur teaches his young audience that Israel is “the oppressive invading Zionist occupation,” which the children must "resist."
Israel is devoted to educating its children for tolerance and coexistence, teaching them to respect all peoples in accordance with Israel's democratic values and ideals. Israeli children are taught in their schools and via the media that the pursuit of peace is the highest calling. Israel believes that the key to a true and lasting peace lies in educating the next generation of both Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side.
In contrast, the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority has deliberately created a culture of hatred that encourages Palestinian children to take an active role in violent activities. It has trained young people in the use of weapons and created an atmosphere that prepares them to become suicide bombers. Most casualties among Palestinian youngsters have occurred due to their direct participation in the violence or as the result of Israel's confrontations with terrorists who hide among the Palestinian population. The Palestinian Authority has not attempted to safeguard Palestinian children from harm; rather, it has chosen to use them as a propaganda tool.
Palestinian Authority schools, summer camps, mosques and official media have all participated in creating this culture of hate. The cynical use of children as pawns in the conflict begins in the education system. Instead of educating children for peace, as Israel does, Palestinian textbooks openly teach hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
Educational facilities are used to inspire hero-worship of suicide bombers, psychologically preparing Palestinian children to follow in their footsteps. Children are given weapons to carry in anti-Israel rallies or are dressed up as suicide bombers. Youth groups and official PA summer camps teach young people to become holy warriors, actually training them in the use of firearms.
This cult of martyrdom has inspired Palestinian children to take an increasingly active role in the violence. The average age of suicide bombers has dropped and attacks carried out by teenagers have become more and more frequent. Younger children, some no more than toddlers, have been used to provide cover for the transportation of weapons and explosives.
The Hamas’ manipulation of children, which has been extensively documented by the media, constitutes a reprehensible violation of every international treaty and convention meant to protect children in situations of armed conflict. The PA's heinous exploitation of children is both profoundly immoral and fundamentally illegal.
The suffering of any child is tragic and regretful, and Israel believes that every effort must be made to protect all children - Israeli and Palestinian - from violence. Palestinian schools and media must stop preaching incitement to violence and hatred, and join Israel in teaching the next generation to live in peace. The international community must not support such “educational” activity, and must closely control funding which is meant to help children, rather than harm them.
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Epilogue: The death of Farfur
On Friday, June 29, 2007 Hamas Television broadcast the final episode of the program starring Farfur, the Mickey Mouse look-alike who indoctrinated Palestinian children to violence, hatred and murder. In this episode, Farfur is beaten to death by an Israeli, becoming a "shahid", or martyr for Allah, further nurturing the cult of martyrdom which has inspired Palestinian children to take an increasingly active role in the violence.