PMW in the Media
MidEast Turmoil: Killing Encouraged
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MIDEAST TURMOIL:
Palestinian children are getting the message loud and clear. There’s nothing more honorable than being homicide bombers. Who is teaching these kids to be killers and is it destroying hope for peace in the Middle East?
MIDEAST TURMOIL:
Children willing to end their lives before they’ve even begun. Palestinian kids turning themselves into human bombs. Why would someone so young do this?
MIDEAST TURMOIL: Killing Encouraged
Host: “Ask for Death” – that’s the message that the Palestinians have been saturating children with through the media for years, encouraging kids to become homicide bombers. Shahada – that’s a term they use meaning the perfect death which teaches them to prefer death over life. Joining us now is Itamar Marcus, a member of Palestinian Media Watch, which put together a documentary on all of this. I actually want to show a clip right away of your documentary. We’re going to look at the scene of two young girls talking about their excitement at becoming a homicide bomber.
[Clip: Walla and Yussra]
Host: Those were 11-years-old. I also want to take a quick look at the type of propaganda the Palestinian Authority has been using to brainwash children.
[Clip: Farewell letter]
Host: Chilling, chilling images. Welcome, Itamar. First of all I want to ask you, how old are those girls?
Itamar Marcus: The girls were 11-years-old.
Host: 11-years-old. Why is this happening? How do you convince children to become homicide bombers, killers.
Itamar Marcus: The Palestinian Authority has been using every means at their disposal in the whole society to encourage children to be what they call Shahids, martyrs. And the most effective means, prominent means for young children has been music videos…
Host: …Like the one we just saw…
Itamar Marcus: …which around the world are for entertaining children, are being used regularly, sometimes hours a day in the PA to convince children that the most these children can accomplish in life is to have this glorious heroic death as a shahid.
Host: Glamorizing.
Itamar Marcus: Yes, glamorizing
Host: But these are children. Why are these young children, some as young as six, vulnerable to this? Children should be playing. Children should not be thinking of such big things.
Itamar Marcus: The Palestinian Authority, when they started this conflict two and a half years ago, knew that they couldn’t defeat Israel militarily. But they could defeat Israel on Fox news and on the other media outlets if they would have children on the front lines, if they would have large numbers of dead children. So what they have done is that they have encouraged their children essentially for political purposes, they have encouraged their children to go out on the front lines, glorifying death, encouraging them to seek death. I think they were much more effective than they even wanted to be. Today we have public opinion polls that 80% of Palestinian children want to achieve the Shahada, want to die for Allah.
[Clip: Arafat]
Host: When you see a kid…
Itamar Marcus: Yes, that’s right, we saw that, we publicized this…
Host: Wow.
Itamar Marcus: The point is that this was coming right from the top. This was coming from a direction that started from the top and then it branched out into every area of society, we find it in school books, we find it in music videos, religious leaders, even parents…
Host: What’s in it for parents? How can any parent, it is goes against biology for a mother to send her 8-year-old out to be a homicide bomber.
Itamar Marcus: One of the quotes that we have in this documentary and that’s in our report is a mother who is interviewed, who sent her son off to die. Literally, she sent him off on a suicide mission and he killed four Israeli teenagers and killed himself. And she’s interviewed afterward and she said were ‘I to focus on my motherly feelings I would be doing the wrong thing for my son, because the best thing for him is to be a shahid.’ And then she went on to say ‘no, the best thing as a mother that I can do for my son is to encourage him to die as a shahid.’ Many, many parents interviewed on Palestinian television saying those same things.
Host: They must feel quite despondent and hopeless.
Itamar Marcus: It’s not necessarily a function of being despondent. The children are being told that they will be shahids not because life is so terrible but this is the most you can achieve. They are being shown, for example - there is one horrific music video, which takes the boy, Muhammad al-Dura, this is the boy who was killed in the crossfire in the Gaza strip. The whole world and every Palestinian knows this – they have a music video where this child is running through paradise. And he is saying to other children, come and follow me.
Host: Chilling scenes, unfortunately we are out of time, Itamar Marcus. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Itamar Marcus: Thank you.