Friday, February 15, 2008

Suicide Street

When is Cartoon Network going to start showing these wonderful Palestinian kids programs?

A man-sized talking rabbit appeared on television in Gaza on Friday to denounce Danish newspapers over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that offended Muslims.

The latest in a line of cartoon-inspired characters that take the message of the Hamas Islamist movement to Palestinian children, the actor in the Bugs Bunny-style outfit also railed against "Zionist filth" and Israel's control of Jerusalem.

The Friday show "Tomorrow's Pioneers" on Hamas's al-Aqsa channel has become a weekend fixture for pre-teens since shortly before the Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip last year.

A Mickey Mouse-type creation provoked outcry in Israel and was condemned elsewhere as inciting hatred among the young. The mouse, eventually shown being beaten to death by an Israeli, was followed by a talking bee and, now, by Assud the rabbit.

But wait, what happened to the bee? You guessed it. Another martyr of the wicked Jews.

Assud's return from "the diaspora" followed the death of his brother, Nahoul the Bee, on the show. Nahoul was depicted as dying because he could not get to a hospital in Egypt for surgery. Assud states, "We are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland. We will sacrifice our souls and everything we own for the homeland"; program host Saraa Barhoum concurs. He also vows to "get rid of the Jews and eat them up."

See for yourself.

"I, Assud, Will Get Rid of the Jews, Allah Willing, and I Will Eat Them Up"

Saraa Barhoum [to girl in the audience]: "Is there anything you want to share with us?"

Girl: "Arnoub ['Rabbit']?"

Saraa Barhoum "His name is Assud ['Lion']."

Girl: "How come you are called Assud, even though you look like a rabbit?"

Assud: "Because a rabbit is not good. He's a coward. But I, Assud, will get rid of the Jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up, Allah willing, right?"

Saraa Barhoum: "Allah willing."

My guess? They lost the lion costume in the stampede into Egypt after they blew down the fence. But they had a rabbit costume handy. Back to Reuters:

Though some parents are uneasy about the show's message it has proved popular with children, not only in Hamas-controlled Gaza but also in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. One girl called Rasha said she was phoning in from Bethlehem, near Jerusalem:

"Who has sabotaged the world if not the Zionist plans?" she sang down the line to the studio in Gaza. Dancing and singing along, Assud the rabbit chimed in: "They have bombarded us."

PBS ought to pick this up. "Suicide Street." Start with the same theme song, just change the words:

"Sunny day,
Blowin' the Jews away,
On my way
With plastic explosives under my sheet;
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Suicide Street?"