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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Seducing children to martyrdom

Back in the 'bad old days' when Yasser Arafat was running the 'Palestinian Authority,' the official 'Palestinian' television often showed a commercial showing Muhammed al-Dura playing in heaven and calling upon children to become 'martyrs' and join him.

As I'm sure most of you know already, al-Dura was killed in the cross fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists outside Netzarim in the Gaza Strip in the early days of the Oslo War. A French television crew (France 2) near Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip filmed the boy clutching his father as his father tried to shield him from bullets. Broadcast around the world, this event caused outrage against Israelis soldiers, who were assumed to be responsible. It has since been proven that the bullets could not possibly have come from Israeli soldiers' guns, but the al-Dura image endures in the Arab world.

In today's Jerusalem Post, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook report that PA TV is again broadcasting music videos designed to brainwash young children into seeking death as shahids - martyrs for Allah. Marcus and Crook describe the al-Dura video, which was played twice last week by Palestinian television for the first time in three years:

The clip features a child actor playing the most famous Palestinian child martyr, Muhammad al-Dura - whose death in a crossfire was broadcast to the entire world - calling to other Palestinian children to literally follow him to Child Martyrs' Heaven.

"I am waving not to part but to say, 'Follow me,'" is Dura's invitation on the TV screen.

The children watching this video are then shown what awaits them if they join Dura in death. The video follows the child actor - "Dura" - joyously frolicking in heaven. He romps on the beach, plays with a kite and runs toward a Ferris wheel.

The children are being told that death in conflict with Israel will bring them into a child's paradise. Muhammad al-Dura is already in this paradise, tranquil and fun-filled.
Marcus and Crook go on to describe a second video involving children that has also been shown recently on Palestinian television and then speculate as to why the 'Palestinian Authority' may be showing these videos:

The reason for its sudden rebroadcast now, after three years, seems clear: The PA learned a long time ago that images of dead children are an ideal way of manipulating public opinion against Israel. Images of children running up to tanks and of children's funerals are precisely what the PA used so successfully in the past.

It is apparently planning to revive this tactic if Israel moves deeper into Gaza in search of terror leaders.

Societies prepare for battle in different ways. Some focus on military preparations, while others focus on prayer. For the Palestinian Authority, battle preparation means encouraging their children to leave their homes for the front lines and to seek death.

In today's editorial the Post takes 'moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen to task for this and more:

When questioned by [Author Elie CiJ] Wiesel regarding incitement of hatred and violence in the official Palestinian media, Abbas said he would work to stamp out "instigation" in the curriculum as well as in the media and literature.

Whether Abbas was being untruthful or exhibiting his powerlessness is hardly material. Abbas is the Palestinian leader who has campaigned for at least the suspension of terrorism. Yet it is not just through PA TV that the Palestinian cult of martyrdom is being perpetuated rather than dismantled.

The attempt to obtain Hamas's agreement on the "prisoners' document" has been widely portrayed as a bold assertion of moderation on Abbas's part. But in his interview last week with The Jerusalem Post, President Moshe Katsav raises a critical point: "I think it's wrong that murderers of women and children, prisoners in Israeli jails, initiate a political move and are given precedence over the Palestinian parliament ... and government. That also says something about the Palestinians themselves ... why do they need people in jail to set the agenda?"

The prisoners' document repeatedly calls for continued Palestinian "resistance," what we know as terrorism. But in addition to its inherent lack of moderation, there is the matter of its source. If terrorism is against Islam and terrorists will go to "hell," as Abbas said in Petra, why is he turning to the terrorists themselves as a source of political legitimacy?

Yesterday, I received an email from Arnold Roth, who was briefly a colleague of mine and with whom I have maintained an internet correspondence for about five years now. Arnold is originally Australian and his wife Frimet is American, but they are best known here as the parents of Malki, Malka Chana Roth HY"D, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the age of 15 in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro Pizza Shop in 2001. Malki was two years behind my eldest daughter in high school.

Like many of us, Arnold and Frimet have taken to blogging, and they wrote me to send me yesterday's entry. Arnold and Frimet have paid in blood R"L (God save us) and therefore they are much more qualified to talk about terrorism than I am:

The romance of Palestinian Arab society in particular, and Jihadists in general, with suicide and infanticide is in full force. The most unimaginable aspect of this is that the death of children is a principal goal - not of Israel but of Palestinian Arab parents and Palestinian Arab society. Difficult as this is to accept, there's plenty of evidence.

Earlier this week, with Israeli and Gazan forces in a hot shooting war with each other, official PA television, controlled by the 'moderate' Abbas, has chosen, after a three-year absence, to renew its campaign of advertorial-style, pro-suicide video clips. Their chief purpose is to encourage young children to become shaheeds - fighters happy to go to their violent deaths.


Airing this video clip now has one clear purpose: to influence the behavior of young Palestinian Arab children, encouraging them to seek death as a means of hurting the despised Jews. The film was earlier taken off the air by the Arafat government in 2003 in response to Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus showing it to a U.S. Senate hearing.

The appalling abuse of their own children is part of a consistent pattern of pathological, self-destructive behavior by Palestinian society over a period of years - and it works. Palestinian Media Watch points out that the Arafat regime's TV campaign succeeded, according to 3 separate opinion polls of Palestinian society, in persuading between 70 and 80 percent of Palestinian children to want to die as shaheeds. So to those who believe the Palestinian thugocracy has achieved nothing in its decades of leadership: technically not true. No other government in the history of civilized society comes close to the evil outcome the Palestinian Arabs have wrought with their own children.

Will the world stand up and take notice? Or will it continue to worry about the salaries of 'Palestinian Authority' employees instead?

Will we continue to pretend that there is a difference between the 'moderate' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen and his Fatah movement on the one hand, and the terrorist Hamas on the other?

Think about it.

Update 5:20 PM

View the al-Dura in Paradise clip.


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