In America, the term "Mickey Mouse" usually can mean one of two things: It usually refers to an innocent Walt Disney cartoon character that was always getting into some mischief and fun.
Or, it can sometimes be used in a political context, to describe something as being unprofessional, ineffective and childishly ridiculous.
This week, the Hamas terrorist organization has added one more definition to the term, "cartoon hatred" to poison the minds of children.
The Hamas-owned TV station in the Gaza Strip broadcast an episode of "Tomorrow's Pioneers" in which it featured a character that looked
"Martyr Mouse," as it has been dubbed in the Western media this week, was encouraging Palestinian children not to raise their arms in protest, but to actually go out and find guns and murder people.
Most people are used to the fundamentalist hatred that has become the symbol of Hamas, a terrorist organization that distorts Islamic teaching to push Palestinians, usually either young or just plain stupid, to strap on an explosives-filled vest and commit suicide.
Hamas targets are always the tough ones, like little children and old men and women who ride Israeli buses. That's their style. There is no bottom to their heinous lack of morality or principle.
This kind of hate-broadcast from Hamas has been going on a long time. And it's not funny at all.
In fact, it is about time that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims stop trying to justify this kind of hateful garbage and stand up and not only denounce this, but also denounce Hamas, Hamas hatred, and Hamas leaders.
Hamas has repeatedly shown that it has no place in any leadership positions at all.
This garbage about how they were somehow elected democratically is a lie that is just not worth debating.
So why do Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims allow Hamas extremists to get away with what they get away with?
Is it because they really believe Jews are "monkeys," as is described in the Hamas "charter?" Is it because they are such victims of oppression and they lack any intelligence at all that the only response they can come up with to respond to oppression is to be more of an oppressor, to be more of a criminal and to be more of a monster than the monsters they denounce?
It really is disgusting.
I don't blame Hamas. They are extremists driven by hatred. How else do you explain a philosophy in which the entire goal is to use suicide bombers who target innocent children, old men and women and civilians of all kinds to prevent Palestinians and Israelis from achieving peace based on compromise?
I do, though, blame the mainstream Palestinians. They claim they just want justice, but all they do is scream hate.
I blame the Palestinians who complain about how badly they are treated, and yet they cheer on the fanatics when innocent Israelis are murdered in cold blood on buses, at restaurants and in schools.
I blame the everyday, average Palestinian who despite obvious hardships that have been going on now for nearly 40 years, has allowed hate and vengeance to become their leadership, and has forgotten how to speak the words of righteousness. Justice and principle.
Quit making excuses
The only response to the "Martyr Mouse" controversy is not to shake your head and say, "Wow, that was a bad move" as many in the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim world are saying.
Because it is not about "Martyr Mouse." It is about the hatred that is fueling that kind of garbage.
In any other civilized community on earth, political leaders behind this kind of pathetic hatred would be chased out of office by an embarrassed public.
Instead, all I hear are Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims responding to the Martyr Mouse controversy saying, "What else do you expect from a people so oppressed by the vicious Israelis? They are going to do these crazy kinds of things."
What I expect is that Palestinians who have even a modicum of decency and self-respect will use this incident not to further bash Israel and complain that Palestinian criminal behavior and terrorism is the result of Israeli behavior, but to show some courage and say what is right.
Hamas needs to go.
Ismail Haniyeh must resign as Palestinian prime minister and he should take every one of those Quran-thumping religious fanatics in his cabinet who have used a distortion of Islam as the basis for their fundamentalist hate.
There is no other answer.
Quit making excuses. Stand up for principle, not selfishly driven hate.
Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist, author and standup comedian. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.