Barbara Kay: The hate that feeds the war
National Post - Wednesday August 13th, 2014
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. In every religious faith, in every ideology, leaders know that the surest route to mass compliance and unshakable faith is through the children. Get ‘em early and, if possible (in democracies it isn’t), insulate them from any competing belief system.
If there is ever to be harmony between Israel and the Palestinians, it won’t come about solely through negotiations over settlements or demilitarization or the right of return. True peace will only exist when Palestinian children are no longer brainwashed into Judeophobia from birth.
There are Israeli individuals who loathe all Arabs, and who say so. Most other Israelis condemn such hateful expressions. They aren’t the norm because Israeli children are not exposed to hatred of any collective demographic in school, at synagogue or via children’s programming on TV. But a child in Gaza today would likely have seen a TV show like the one I recently viewed, which aired this past May.
In one segment an older child host “interviews” younger ones. Rawan, the older girl, asks a little girl, “Tulin, why do you want to become a policeman [like your uncle Ahmad]?” Tulin: “They shoot thieves.” Prompt from Rawan: “And they shoot Jews, right? You want to be like him? Allah willing, when you grow up.” Tulin nods. “I will shoot the Jews.” Rawan: “All of them?” “Yes.” “Good.” Rawan smiles broadly.
A chicken mascot figure leads the kids in song: ‘The mothers send their sons to victory or to Paradise, Allah willing’
In another segment, we see a circle of children who look about six to 10. Again, an older girl interviews a younger one. “Iman, you are the daughter of the martyr [Abu] Nidal. What did your father do to help liberate Jersualem?” Iman: “He produced missiles.” Prompt: “He produced the first missile and it was called ‘Qassam’, right? Did [your grandmother, Nidal’s mother] encourage him to do so?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Would you like to follow in their footsteps?”
In a third segment, the children are led in song by a chicken mascot figure, chanting in unison, “The mothers send their sons to victory or to Paradise, Allah willing (repeat). Jihad bestows pride and glory upon you when you become a martyrdom-seeker (repeat). Oh, explosive device of glory — with her blood she created freedom (repeat). Ask [suicide bomber] Fatima Al-Nazzar how one should live a life of pride.” A young girl then extols the life of Fatima, concluding, “When one of us is martyred, we say that his life is precious, yet it is a cheap price to pay for the liberation and defence of the homeland.”
This show is not exceptional. It is typical. Is it any wonder that by the time they are adults, virtually all Palestinians hate all Jews and wish for their extermination? I can think of no other conquered territory in which state-sanctioned exterminationist hatred toward the conquerors’ ethnicity or religion is systematically inculcated in children via cultural institutions — institutions funded and serviced by the United Nations, no less, which only adds insult to injury.
How is one to conclude a “peace” under such circumstances? Peace negotiations with Palestinians should be predicated on the cessation of incitement to hatred of Jews in children, which is a form of child abuse and a hateful practice to all civilized people.
We would not know about this vile propaganda if it were not for organizations like Palestinian Media Watch and, in this case, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which has a wider mandate.
For more than 15 years, MEMRI, an independent and non-partisan non-profit organization based in Jerusalem (MEMRI Canada is headquartered in Montreal) has translated mainstream media, speeches, sermons, social media and online forums of the Arab and Muslim world that were not previously available in the West. MEMRI maintains the largest archive in the world of translations and research from Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Pashtu and Dari sources.
MEMRI provides services to the RCMP, the Armed Forces, the Canada Border Service Agency, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has called MEMRI’s work “a peaceful weapon of truth-telling in a civilizational conflict in which we are all engaged.”
The famous words of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir are often invoked: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” Arabs love their children. What they believe is pleasing to Allah in the expression of that love is the more intractable issue.