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Friday, May 06, 2011

Gaza Marathon: Just another occasion for hate

As I have mentioned on a few occasions, 20 years and more than 20 pounds ago, I used to be a marathon runner. For the uninitiated, a marathon is 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers) long, and is probably the most popular endurance event in the World. The World record is in the 2:03-2:04 range (a World record was set in Boston two weeks ago, but the sport's governing body won't recognize it). Yours truly has a personal best of 3:24:22 in New York in 1990.

Israel had marathons in Tel Aviv and, for the first time ever, in Jerusalem in the last couple of months, and so Hamas and its patron - UNRWA - decided to get into the act.

The World media gushed with enthusiasm over the existence of a Marathon in Gaza. Al-Guardian did a photo spread worthy of Boston, New York or London.

All over the World, sports transcend politics. The worst of enemies meet and compete on the athletic field. Unless Arabs or Muslims and Israel are involved. Then sports, like everything else, is just another occasion for hatred.
UNRWA (Hamas' useful idiot, paying homage and service to the Hamas cause by way of its employees and its own bureaucratic intransigence) is now sponsoring its first-ever marathon to be held along the length of the Gaza Strip on May 5th – part of its Summer Games series and a fundraiser for its recreational programs for children.

At the end of April, UNRWA recorded $2,300 raised toward its $100,000 goal. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness gushed that “It just shows the world that kids in Gaza just want to be like kids anywhere else in the world. They don’t want to live in this terrible and locked-up environment.”

The culpability for such a terrible and “locked up environment” lies squarely with Hamas - and UNRWA - leaders. It's not just sports where Palestinian children are deprived of potentially peaceful messages and instead indoctrinated in hate and ignorance. Just before the annual commemoration of the murder of six million Jews for Holocaust Memorial Day, UNRWA workers rejected a Holocaust-awareness curriculum designed to be taught in United Nations-sponsored schools.

Stating that "We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students' by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum,” the UNRWA Workers' Union suggested teaching students that Israel had massacred Arabs. “Emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out against Palestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza,” the group said.

The bread-and-circus shows (not to mention the uncanny habit of hiding behind children – whether as human shields in missile attacks on Israel or as fodder for public relations campaigns in the guise of sports or education) cannot hide the true face of Hamas’ Gaza or the rot at the core of UNRWA’s co-opted and corrupted mission there.

Had UNRWA modeled its Summer Games after the Maccabiah Games - focusing on good will and sportsmanship - it would have marked a dramatic positive change in the organization's position. Instead, UNRWA (along with Hamas) chooses to emphasize values to Palestinian youth that contravene the UN charter and foster division rather than unity; and embed antipathy rather than recognition of mutual humanity.

Palestinian youths are being robbed of opportunities to be full members of the world community as athletes and scholars; they are being force-fed a diet of intolerance and hatred, deprived of the value of true healthy competition, and being steeped in an illiteracy in history and human rights that perpetuates generations of violence.
Read the whole thing.

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At 6:36 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

They hate Israel for not disappearing. Is it any wonder why we won't have peace in our lifetime?

What could go wrong indeed

At 1:46 AM, Blogger barisabak said...

why are you so pessimistic about it?


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