ABC's "Good Morning America" should be commended for a segment on Thursday's show that actually turned attention to the face of radical Islamic fundamentalism on Arab television. GMA correspondent Lama Hasan reported on a Hamas children's program entitled "Tomorrow's Pioneers" that routinely "murders" cartoon look-alikes of Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse and blames their deaths on Jews.
Co-host Robin Roberts introduced the subject of "using cartoons to teach children to hate" and Hasan explained how the show features a vile-spewing Bugs Bunny character that threatening to kill Jews. She also noted that a previous episode featured a bumblebee who the series asserted "couldn't get to the hospital because it was blocked by the Israelis." This particular episode followed one in which a Mickey Mouse look-alike is stabbed to death by a Jew trying to buy his land. Hasan didn't mince words, labeling "Tomorrow's Pioneers" "Hamas's latest attempt to brainwash kids."
The extreme nature of the Hamas-based children's show was first brought to the forefront by Palestinian Media Watch and has received much attention on the internet. And while the ABC segment was brief, GMA should be commended for bringing the violent and anti-Semitic program to its viewers attention.
For more on the show and to watch a clip, check out this May 7, 2007 CNS News article.
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:18am on February 14, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: And, Robin, back in the news this morning, another question. The question of using cartoons to teach children to hate. Not long ago, an Arab TV station was forced by outrage to get rid of a hate-spewing mouse. Well, this morning, they're back with a bunny and ABC's Lama Hasan has been monitoring the airwaves.
LAMA HASAN: Beamed around the Arab world, he appears on Hamas TV. The Bugs Bunny look-alike is known as Assoud. In Arabic, he says -- [Hasan speaking in Arabic] "I will finish off the Jews and eat them." His co-host Sarrad (PH) says, "God willing, we will." Watched by millions of children, the show called "Tomorrow's Pioneers" plays a song that says, [Hasan speaking in Arabic] "We don't recognize Israel." Armed with a political message, it is Hamas's latest attempt to brainwash kids. The bunny is not the latest character but the third in a trilogy of shows that uses popular cartoon-like figures. Last year, a Mickey Mouse character was killed by an Israeli and a bumblebee died. The program said he couldn't get to the hospital because it was blocked by the Israelis. This has caused outrage around the world. One Palestinian minister succeeded in pulling the plug on the show and it was taken off the air for a while, until now.
AMBDEL BARI ATWAN (Editor-in-chief, Al Quds Al Arabi): This is, you know, a great opportunity for radical organizations like Hamas to recruit those people, to actually affect their brains, to manipulate them, to be a suicide bomber in the future.
HASAN: Will the kids listen? Living under conditions like these, they are desperate for a childhood. That is why they are so vulnerable. For "Good Morning America," Lama Hasan, ABC News, London.