In the photo: A group of “dangerous” Israeli school children on the prowl for non-Jews. I do hope the sarcasm is evident.
Educating the population for peace was supposed two be one of the cornerstones of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Each side was given the obligation of preparing their people for peaceful coexistence after decades of conflict.
Among Israel’s chief complaints in regards to the peace process today is that the Palestinian Authority has for the past 20 years systematically failed to meet this condition. In fact, anti-Jewish incitement in Palestinian schools and media has only increased since the signing of the “Oslo Accords,” thus putting peace even further out of reach.
A prime example of this occurred last week when a Palestinian man identified as some kind of “military expert” made the outlandish claim that all Jews hate all Arabs, and that the rabbis instill in Jewish children an unshakable desire to kill any and all non-Jews.
“The Israelis train their children to carry weapons. Our children don’t carry weapons… They train them with weapons and train them based on the principle: ‘Kill everyone who is not Jewish.’ The rabbis implant this indoctrination in the children of Israel: ‘Kill everyone who is not Jewish,’” insisted Wasef Erekat. [Translation by Palestinian Media Watch]
Before going any further, I’d just like to note how easily debunked are Mr. Erekat’s assertions. My own seven children are being raised and educated in the Israeli school system, and not once have they received weapons training. What’s more, they aren’t Jewish, and everyone around them knows it. And yet, no one has tried to murder them. So, either Mr. Erekat is full of it, or the indoctrination to which he claims every child in Israel is subjected isn’t taking hold.
If this were just some conspiracy theorist spouting his nonsense into the wind, that would be one thing. Everyone is entitled to their own views, no matter how twisted or disconnected from reality. But that’s not what happened in this and so many other similar cases. What makes this situation so dangerous is that Mr. Erekat is being held aloft by the Palestinian regime as an authoritative voice and granted a platform on government-controlled Palestinian TV to brainwash the populace against ever trusting the hated Jews.
And what of his claims?
Are there some rabbis who harbor nothing but hatred for the Arabs and perhaps pass those sentiments on to their students? Sure. Such types exist in every society. But in Israel they exist on the fringes, and are certainly not granted a platform by the state authorities. In fact, should their hate-mongering go public, they are liable to face prosecution.
If the same were true in the Palestinian Authority, then perhaps we’d be closer to peace today.