Indoctrination of death
By Ryan Jones
Jerusalem - January 14, 2003
A senior IDF official reported Monday that what was at first believed to be two more Palestinian child terrorists sent to attack an Israeli convoy in Gaza were in fact young Arab men in their twenties.
The news that the two terrorists were slightly older than first imagined does not diminish the shocking reality that Palestinians are turning more and more to their young people to carry out acts of brutality against Israelis.
Over the past two weeks, three Palestinian teenagers have been killed and another two wounded during terrorist infiltrations of Gaza Jewish communities. They were all reportedly sent by the official Palestinian committee formed to oversee the terrorist war against Israel - an umbrella group that includes not only the likes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization as well.
The use of children in such a cynical and deadly manner, and the complete lack of outrage among the Palestinian public in general is of little surprise, however, for those willing to see Palestinian society for what it has become over the past decade.
A child growing up in Palestinian Arab society is brought up to believe that not only is Israel a hated enemy, but that to die as a "martyr" while murdering as many Israelis as possible is a noble fate greatly to be desired.
This warped sense of reality is pounded into the young impressionable minds from all directions - at school, on TV and even from the adult figures around them.
The PA education system - and its European donors - has long been criticized for its curriculum of hatred, which teaches Palestinian children to view Israel as an enemy that must be eliminated, and to desire to die as "martyrs" in the glorious death struggle with the Jewish people.
The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (www.edume.org) has meticulously documented this deadly and vile violation of the Oslo Accords.
PA-controlled television has been no better, and in many ways worse, considering the great hold TV can have on young people in today's world.
Children's programs on Palestinian television make use of the same type of fuzzy characters seen on similar shows around the globe, but the content of the programs is a world apart from what would be expected.
An ideology of hatred for Israel and glorification of death are the norms for the programming targeting Palestinian children.
One television clip relates for children the story of a Palestinian boy who goes to school one day, leaving his father with a bone-chilling letter reading:
"Do not be sad, my dear, and do not cry over my parting, oh my dear father. For my country, martyrdomâ€¦ How sweet is martyrdom, when I embrace you oh my land!"
Set to emotive music, the clip ends with the "heroic" death of the young boy as he "embraces" the land.
This and other more horrifying scenes have been documented by the Palestinian Media Watch organization (www.pmw.org.il).
Perhaps most detrimental in the skewed upbringing of Palestinian children, however, is the great honor given to child "martyrs" by their parents and the other adults around them.
Young minds are easily taken in and persuaded by the actions and words of the parental figures in their lives. This is true in every country, and no less so in the PA-controlled territories.
While every Palestinian parent certainly is not eager for their children to die, television scenes of rampant jubilation by Arab parents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza following the death of their children in a "martyrdom operations" against Israelis do take a toll.
Palestinian parents are regularly shown handing out candy and celebrating the deaths of their young ones following terrorist attacks on Israelis. These televised scenes have a major impact on Palestinian children - more so for any children who may actually be in the vicinity of such a celebration of death.
A yearning to soak the earth with their own blood and that of their victims is often expressed by Palestinian children as a result of these factors.
The words of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir continue to ring true:
"We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us."
That time, clearly, has not yet come.
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