Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PA journalist:
"A mother brushes her young son's hair
at 7:00, so that he will be killed at 7:30."

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

A Palestinian journalist has expressed despair about the society of death worship in Gaza. In so doing, he has corroborated PMW findings documenting the death culture promoted in Palestinian Authority education.

The journalist wrote:

“We knew that they would do it, especially in Gaza, where a mother brushes her young son's hair at 7:00, so that he will be killed at 7:30, and where the children learn that death is preferable to life! We knew that they would do this, it was clear to us: with language overflowing with the rhetoric of death and the norms of killing, in the religious rulings [Fatwas] and in Friday and holiday sermons.”
[Ghassan Zaqtan, Al-Ayyam, June18, 2007]

The journalist's critical mistake is that he seems to attribute the death culture only to Hamas, whereas it has been the Fatah leadership and education that initiated and still actively teach that death is preferable to life.

For example, a Palestinian Authority schoolbook written by Fatah educators teaches 13- and 14-year-olds literally to prefer death over life, while it is the "enemies" who cherish life:

“O heroes, Allah has promised you victory ... Do not talk yourselves into flight…Your enemies seek life while you seek death. They seek spoils to fill their empty stomachs while you seek a Garden [Paradise] as wide as are the heavens and the earth. Do not be anxious to meet them [enemies], for death is not bitter in the mouth of the believers. These drops of blood that gush from your bodies will be transformed tomorrow into blazing red meteors that will fall down upon the heads of your enemies." [Reading and Texts Part II, Grade 8 (2002), p. 16]

The words introducing this poem are: "Read and enjoy."

PMW has been alerting the world in numerous reports since November 2000 that the PA has been indoctrinating children to see death as preferable to life. Senator Hillary Clinton severely criticized this PA education when she introduced PMW's latest report on PA schoolbooks earlier this year:

"When we viewed this report [on PA textbooks] in combination with other media that these children are exposed to, it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children."
[Press conference introducing PMW report, US Senate, February 8, 2007]

The Director of the Palestinian Children’s Aid Association, Firial Hillis, explained that it was an integral part of the official educational policy to educate young children to aspire to Shahada – Martyr's death. These are her words:

“The concept of Shahada for him [the child] means belonging to the homeland, from a religious point of view. Sacrifice for his homeland. Achieving Shahada in order to reach Paradise and to meet his God. This is the best. We also teach our children to protect the homeland, belonging and to reach Shahada”. [PATV, May 4, 2003]

Click to view video on YouTube or PMW website

Music videos that have run thousands of times on PA TV have reinforced this message to children to aspire to Shahada.

The following are some examples:

1. In a video broadcast on Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority TV hundreds of times from 2001 to 2004, a young boy leaves a farewell letter to his parents and goes off to seek Shahada, describing the death he achieves as "sweet." This PA clip is designed to offset a child's natural fear of death by depicting Shahada as heroic and tranquil.

Click to view video on YouTube or PMW website

2. From 2000 to 2003, PA TV broadcast a music video depicting the delightful Shahid paradise of Muhammad Al-Dura, who died in a crossfire. The child actor is shown flying a kite, frolicking on the beach and even at an amusement park. The clip opens with an invitation to other children from Al-Dura to aspire to death: "I am waving to you not in parting, but to say 'follow me'." This video directing children to follow Al-Dura to paradise as Martyrs was suddenly broadcast again in June 2006, after Israeli troops had gathered at the border of the Gaza Strip after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Click to view video on YouTube or PMW website

The result of such virulent PA indoctrination is apparent, when listening to the interview on PA TV with two 11-year-old Palestinian girls talking about Shahada and describing it as a primary ideal and personal goal. They explain that "all Palestinian children" view Shahada as more worthwhile than living, because of its promised grand Afterlife.

Click to view video on YouTube or PMW website

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