May 10, 2007 | Press Release

Hamas’s Murderous “Mickey Mouse” Broadcast Globally by Three Satellite Providers

With terrorist group Hamas refusing to back down from its use of a Mickey Mouse-like character who teaches children to hate and murder, the Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM), a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, today renewed its call on satellite providers to immediately drop Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV from broadcast.

“When Hamas appropriates Mickey Mouse to teach children to murder, it shows that the intent of the station is not news and entertainment, as they have repeatedly claimed, but rather as an operational weapon to brainwash a new generation of suicide bombers,” said Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of CATM.  “These satellite providers have an obligation to remove terrorist stations being used to infect the minds of innocent children.”

“It’s clear that Hamas officials understand their global reach and audience,” said Jonathan Snow, manager of research for CATM.  “They have twisted one of the most beloved characters in the world to teach children to hate and carry out holy war far beyond the boundaries of the Palestinian territories, attempting to recruit millions of children throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia into their culture of death.”

The Coalition Against Terrorist Media has repeatedly urged that satellite providers stop carrying al-Aqsa TV, but three distribute it:

o       Intelsat, a privately-owned company with headquarters in Washington, D.C., that broadcasts al-Aqsa to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and almost all of Asia via Intelsat 7 (click here for a coverage map)

o       ArabSat, which is controlled by the government of Saudi Arabia, and broadcasts to Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa

o       NileSat, which is controlled by the government of Egypt, and broadcasts to Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa

In a letter delivered today to the Washington, D.C. headquarters of Intelsat, CATM’s Mark Dubowitz and Jon Snow praised Intelsat for removing stations controlled by the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah and by the Sri Lankan terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and urged that it immediately drop al-Aqsa from distribution.  CATM has previously called on ArabSat and NileSat to remove both al-Aqsa and al-Manar television.

The Coalition Against Terrorist Media was formed by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a non-partisan, non-profit policy institute, to combat terrorist owned and operated media outlets.  CATM has successfully encouraged eight out of ten satellite providers to stop broadcasting Hezbollah’s al-Manar, numerous international corporations to stop advertising on al-Manar (costing the station more than $2 million in annual revenue), and the U.S. Treasury Department to designate al-Manar as a terrorist organization.

CATM officials have worked in recent months to turn attention to Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV.  Recent op-eds (here, here, and here) have highlighted its central role in Hamas’s terrorist operations, through indoctrination, recruitment and logistical support.  In addition, CATM representatives recently concluded a tour of Europe in which they addressed the Aspen Institute-Berlin and German policymakers on the danger posed by terrorist media.