Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Passion of Farfur According to Hamas

In many ways Farfur was a symbol of Hamas' defiance of the Palestinian Authority (PA) that culminated in a separation of Hamas-led Gaza from West Bank territories governed by the PA. Through the very name of their television program, Tomorrow's Pioneers, the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa channel set the tone with Saraa, their little girl host, serving as interlocutor for an obvious Mickey Mouse clone (complete with high-pitched voice) spouting propaganda while taking telephone calls from viewers. When the Palestinian Authority tried to pull the program off the air, Farfur demonstrated where the real authority lay in Gaza long before the case was finalized by the recent militant bloodshed. So perhaps Farfur was the avant garde agent provocateur in the Hamas effort to separate Gaza from the Palestinian Authority.

If this was the case, then it was time for Farfur to exit the stage. According to the BBC, al-Aqsa achieved this through one last tirade of hate-filled rhetoric:

The Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa channel aired the last episode on Friday, showing the character, Farfur, being beaten to death by an "Israeli agent".

"Farfur was martyred defending his land," said the show's presenter Saraa.

At least his ending was more consistent that the efforts to spell his name in the Latin alphabet, where "Farfour" is an equally valid spelling! Indeed, at least one story filed by Nidal al-Mughrabi included both spellings! However, the spelling of the signifier hardly matters when what is signified is such vicious discrimination and hatred. One can only wonder what al-Aqsa next plans to show to its viewers.

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