By Bren Carlill
The Daily Telegraph – May 15, 2007
WORLDWIDE headlines were generated last week when a Hamas TV station featured a giant mouse – similar to Disney’s Mickey – encouraging children to martyr themselves.
The idea that Farfur the mouse is one of the most dangerous aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict might sound exaggerated.
But that mouse is all but guaranteeing the conflict will never be resolved.
By poisoning the minds of today’s children, the Palestinian leadership is ensuring that the teenagers and adults of tomorrow not only believe Jews to be their eternal enemies but also that violence is a legitimate response.
When a child believes the greatest accomplishment he or she can achieve is to die while killing others, then that child’s mind has been destroyed. With TV programming like that, it’s little wonder that Reem Riyashi, a Palestinian woman who blew herself up aged 21, said in her farewell video that she had wanted to kill Jews since she was a little girl.
“I hoped my shredded limbs would be shrapnel, tearing the Zionists to pieces, knocking on Heaven’s door with the skulls of Zionists,” she said.
When Fatah was in power, its TV featured a talking bird warning children you can’t trust Jews and that violence is always the preferred option.
Palestinian television doesn’t aim to brainwash only children.
Sermons for adults delivered by members of the establishment call on Palestinians to kill Jews. A sermon televised on the government channel declared: “They are all liars. They must be butchered. Wherever you are, kill those Jews.” Mothers expressing pride their children became suicide terrorists have appeared on Palestinian television, but not mothers expressing regret.
Sport stadiums and cultural events are named for terrorists. For example, a camp for 14-year-old girls was named in honour of a 16-year-old female suicide terrorist. That’s powerful role modelling.
Every single peace agreement the Palestinians have signed with Israel has included an obligation that they stop incitement. But it has never stopped.
Until Palestinian leaders start teaching its children to be doctors and lawyers, not bloodthirsty murderers in a death cult where martyrdom is the peak achievement, the conflict has no hope of ending.
* Bren Carlill is a policy analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.