PMW in the Media
A steady diet of hate for kids in Palestine?
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YOU NEVER forget your first intifada. That’s one of the ways of describing how I felt in 1987, when a rock smashed into the city bus I was riding in Jerusalem. It hit just below the window two rows in front of me. Loud as hell. It left a serious dent, we saw afterward; had it hit a foot or two higher, someone’s head would’ve been a bloody mess.
It was just a rock, and just a kid, probably, throwing it—a far cry from the suicide bombers in cafe's that would come next, or baby strollers laden with explosives that would come along in Intifada Version 2.0, or 3.0, or whatever number it’s up to now.
Still, the rock made an impact far beyond the damage it did to the Israeli bus. The heavy “thud” was the sound of hatred. Of resentment. Of resistance.
It was a small symbol, but a potent one, of violence as the solution to Palestinian anger.
Some months later, as I got to Ben Gurion airport to head to the home front, I heard shouts and screams. A group of Israeli Defense Force soldiers rushed by me, pushed some people out of the way, grabbed a bench that apparently had been wired underneath to send the next occupant on a one-way trip to paradise, and carried it away from the crowds.
Brave kids, those IDF troops. Not a hint of fear in their faces. Just duty and protecting the innocent, bombs be damned.
I’d met plenty of Palestinians in my time over there. Great people. And they had legitimate grievances, foremost of which is: They deserve a country. They exist now in a kind of vacuum, waiting for a George Washington to rise up and lead them to true nationhood.
The ones I met, and still know, aren’t the kind to blow up discos or smash buses (or skulls) with rocks—but still, it happens there.
That’s why it’s helpful to read this week’s report on what the Palestinian Authority is teaching students. It ain’t pretty.
Bottom line: The textbooks are pumping kids so full of hate, peace seems like just another desert mirage.
The report was released by Palestinian Media Watch, and introduced by Sen. Hillary Clinton. It documents what’s in the latest schoolbooks used by Palestinians in 12th grade.
In essence, Palestinian educators are using books that stoke anger, and justify jihad. No matter how unjust a situation, should the following be what kids are learning?:
From a grammar lesson: “Believers who sit at home, other than those who are disabled, are not equal with those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives.”
From a section allegedly dealing with Arabic language: “Palestine will be liberated by its men, its women, its young ones, and its elderly.”
From a chapter on Arabic literature and criticism: “Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands, and their houses.”
Same chapter: Terrorism against Jews is called “resistance” and “acts of most glorious heroism.”
In recounting the history of WWII, the Holocaust is never mentioned.
On the maps, Israel does not exist—only a gigantic Palestine. No two-state solution here, please.
The examples go on, and give us insight into why the conflict over there rages ceaselessly. Feed a child hate, and he grows up a hater—plain, simple, and sad.
Certainly the Israelis are no angels. But until Palestinians stop poisoning the young, hope in that troubled region of the world will always be dead on arrival.
Dave Smalley is Op-Ed/Viewpoints editor for The Free Lance–Star.