Assud the Bunny, a character on the popular Hamas children’s program, Pioneers of Tomorrow, died on the first Friday of January 2009. His dying wish: the ‘liberation’ of Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (www.memri.org) provided translation of the episode.
In the January 2 episode, Assud, a man dressed in a bunny costume, is wounded by an Israeli attack on the Al-Aksa TV station in Gaza and later dies of his injuries.
Assud lies on his deathbed, telling his co-host, 11-year-old Saraa, the lessons he wishes for her to pass on to all Palestinian children.
Assud first laments the killing of children by IDF soldiers in Gaza: “The Zionist enemy is treacherous, and it kills everything, but I never thought it would kill the children of Palestine, and that it would bomb the Al-Aksa TV station,” he cries.
Assud implores Saraa to remember the importance of Jerusalem and to tell the Palestinian children of the necessity of martyrdom. He then makes a pledge for a return of Palestinian children to all of Israel.
“We should teach our children that we have a land to which we must return: Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Tel Aviv. We will return to all these cities, Allah willing,” he says.
Following his final pronouncement, and a recitation of the Islamic creed, the Shahada, Assud dies.
The show ends with a call to arms by young presenter Saraa: “Victory is near. The soldiers of the Pioneers of Tomorrow will grow up. Allah willing, we will follow the same path, the path of the scholars, the path of the authors, the path of the learned and the intellectuals. Oh Palestine, we will liberate your soil, Allah willing. We will liberate it from the filth of the Zionists. We will purify it with the soldiers of the Pioneers of Tomorrow.”
Pioneers of Tomorrow has come under fire in the past for statements made by a Mickey Mouse-like character named Farfour. Farfour, who was beaten to death by an Israeli interrogator, called for the violent liberation of Jerusalem.
After the deaths of both Farfour and his replacement, Nahoul the Bee, Assud became a presenter in February 2008.
Suffer the children…