July 4, 2007

Must We Burn Farfur?

Rod Dreher links to cuts from a Hamas-controlled TV station's children's program starring a character, Farfur the mouse, obviously kyped from Mickey Mouse.

Farfur, who speaks in an annoying, squeaky voice, has a human grandfather who dies, leaving him keys and property deeds to a house in what is now Tel Aviv. Farfur is then victimized by an actor playing an Israeli who tries to buy the key and deed from him, and beats him when he refuses. In a confusing ending, Farfur is killed--although a title suggests he's imprisoned.

The cut includes some pretty inflamed rhetoric against "the Jews." The whole thing is rather crude in a Barney-like sort of way.

Without discussing why, Rod seems to condemn this program utterly. Well, of course, it's crude, and the violent rhetoric is typical of uncensored Palestinian Jew-bashing. On the other hand, the business about the keys and the deed is typical of Palestinian assertions of their claims.
It cannot be gainsaid that thousands of Palestinians lost their homes in what is now Israel to people from Poland and Brooklyn (as well as Baghdad and Cairo). Perhaps they would be better off making the best deal they can and getting on with life, turning Gaza into a Middle-Eastern Singapore and so forth. Certainly they have thrown up a series of terrible leaders, none of whom has had much success in achieving their goals or helping them out, and the Arab world, even while espousing their cause, has exploited and abused them. Nor can I see any prospect of success, in the next 50 years, for Hamas's program.

I find it hard, nevertheless, to harbor some special outrage for Farfur, who simply recites the 60-year old grievance of his people. The Israelis have the land and their own mythologies, which they teach to their own spoiled and unruly children, while Farfur and his audience are stuck in Gaza dreaming their probably futile dreams. He's one angry mouse. Surprise, surprise.

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