The Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, California recently appealed to the Walt Disney Company to examine whether or not Hamas infringed upon its copyright on the character of Mickey Mouse by using a nearly identical figure in one of its children's shows.
Hamas had featured a black-and-white colored mouse named 'Farfour' who bore a striking resemblance to the world's most famous mouse in its flagship education program for young children.
Some of the topics Farfour has discussed with children on his show include: the importance of praying regularly in mosques, the benefits of drinking milk, the superiority of Islam and his hopes it would one day rule the world, hatred of Israel and America and support for the "resistance."
International outcry eventually led Hamas to kill-off the controversial character. On a special episode of the program, called 'Tomorrow's Pioneers,' Farfour is beaten to death by an actor portraying an Israeli security officer.
Needless to say, the show its message were not particularly popular in Israel. MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Union-NRP) recently directed a parliamentary question to Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni to verify that Israel had already lodged a formal complaint to Disney regarding the use of their character as the company "retains the necessary clout to put an end to the phenomenon or bankrupt Hamas by suing them for copyright infringement."
Deputy Foreign Minister Whbee responded to the Slomiansky's question: "As someone who watches Arab programming, including the channel that broadcasts Farfour's program, (I can say that) it is one of the most radical and racist out there.
Their incitement against 'the other' is evidence of what they are, and I personally condemn what is going on there," he said.
According to Whbee, the Foreign Ministry and the consulate in LA have embarked on a PR campaign "against the crude use of the Mickey Mouse character by the Hamas channel."
Whbee reported that the daughter of one of the owners of the company has said that Disney will take punitive steps against Hamas.
"The use of the Disney trademark damages its reputation. If I could look them in the eyes, I would ask them if this is the way they want to educate their children. It’s shameful," the deputy said.