Everyday life in an extraordinary place.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Teach Your Children


The headline says, "A Chilling Costume."
IDF forces found this picture of a Palestinian baby dressed as a suicide bomber in the home of a suspected terrorist in Hebron. Photograph (c) Reuters. This photo was published in the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot in March 2001.

This Postcard from Israel was originally written on 23 August 2002

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Since that time, there have been alot of changes, including new Palestinian leadership (at least, theoretically) and, more recently, a so-called cessation of hostilites amongst the various Arab groups, which was supposed to result in a more peaceful time for all of us. In recent weeks we saw Palestinian workers erasing "death to Israel" type slogans from the walls of buildings in Gaza and the West Bank. We saw a lovely music video of Palestinian children, singing about peace and love.

But as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The photo below appeared yesterday on the Hebrew language Microsoft News website. This, just days after the horrific terrorist attack on a bus in Jerusalem that killed dozens of people: babies, children and adults.


The caption to this picture (which appeared on msn.co.il on 22 August 2003) said, "Palestinian child supports the Hamas: Promising Revenge." Photo (c) AP

Forget about the politicians and what they want, say, think and do. As long as children are raised to hate, violence and bloodshed will follow. As long as youngsters are taught that what they want and believe is the only righteous path, there can never be harmony between different peoples.

I could never claim that Israelis are blameless in the situation we have now. But on Israeli television - on the news and on the political discussion programs - the Palestinian side is always represented. Journalists, professors, and everyday people offer their perspective on the way life is here today.

The reverse cannot be said for Palestinian television. Only one point of view is ever presented. Therefore, only that point of view is learned by the young. If you cannot see things from another person's perspective, you can never understand or accept him.

The same is true of radio, newspapers, even classrooms.

And so the cycle continues, for there is no one to break it. I wonder if the politicians have stopped to consider that, even if the Palestinians were given their own state, the violence against Israelis would continue. Because Palestinian children are being taught that Israelis are evil, that we hate them, and that it is their right to destroy us. Why would a new line drawn on a map change their beliefs, or their actions?

"When you teach your son, you teach your son's son."
The Talmud

(c) Amy Samin

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