In what many have previously likened to a form of child abuse, many Palestinian Arab children from the youngest ages are taught to hate and to seek out violent confrontation with Israeli Jews.
A weekend report in Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper highlighted this heart-breaking phenomenon by interviewing four child rioters from Jerusalem who were so seething with hatred that they would rather “martyr” themselves than play or study as normal children.
“We are ready to die as martyrs, we have nothing to lose,” said one child from the Jerusalem suburb of Shuafat. “Our heads aren’t in studies at all, we are always planning what to do against the police.”
Another 13-year-old boy said that he no longer attends school “because I want to continue our struggle.” His justification for taking violent action in lieu of studies? The death of an Arab motorist who ran over and killed two Israelis earlier this month as part of what has become known as the “Car Intifada.”
Young Arabs were told that the incident was a mere traffic accident (even though security camera footage showed the driver purposely enter the light rail track), and that the driver was murdered by Israeli security forces.
And they come even younger than that. An eight-year-old rioter told the newspaper that “Allah willing we’ll succeed in liberating Palestine and Jerusalem.”
Summing up the sentiment among the children of Jerusalem’s Arab-dominated eastern neighborhoods, two other boys said they were “proud” of engaging in daily violence, and that “all of us here are ready to sacrifice our lives and die as martyrs.”
The current battle for Jerusalem and various aspects of it is discussed further in the upcoming December issue of Israel Today Magazine. Don’t miss it - SUBSCRIBE NOW >>