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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Looking for hatred in Tunisia

Although it was formerly Yasser Arafat's home in exile (as well as his widow Suha's home until she was expelled last week), Tunisia is hundreds of miles from Israel. Yet hatred of Jews and Israelis is alive and well in this country which is wedged into western Africa between Libya and Algeria.
Hundreds of Tunisian jurists and intellectuals have condemned the participation of a Tunisian newspaper in a competition for children organised by an Israeli centre.

They threaten to legally challenge what they describe as "symbols of normalization with the Israel."

This competition, called "The World's Children and Picasso's Dove of Peace", is being organised by the Leo Safeer institution which is part of the Israeli Shimon Peres centre for peace.

The competition is for children to express their opinions about peace in newspaper articles, taking their inspiration from Picasso's painting, "Dove of Peace".

Signatories to a petition protesting against the Tunisian newspaper's participation in the competition include the secondary and elementary education unions, the popular resistance committee, and the committee supporting Iraq and Palestine, the Dean of Lawyers Basheer Al Said, and prominent journalists such as Fatima Kray.

They issued a statement saying, "we strongly condemn any attempt to let our children be involved in those practices. Those practices are an attempt to erase the Arab national struggle, history and murdering the future of the coming generations".

The petition which was entitled "No to Normalization, Yes to Resistance" demanded the Tunisian daily newspaper, Al Sabah and the other Arabic newspapers withdraw from "this Zionist competition because it serves the enemy and Shimon Peres who once called the Arab people dirty, ignorant and backward".

Al Sabah said in its Thursday editorial that its participation in the competition is on the basis of the principle that "peace is not made with friends but with enemies."
I can't believe Peres ever gave such a perceptive assessment of the Arabs.

But somehow I think that promoting 'martyrs' will do a lot more to 'murder the future of coming generations' than a contest in which children write about peace.


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