Children throughout the Middle East have been brainwashed to believe that Jews are akin to apes and pigs and should be killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“Hatred against the Jewish people is so routine in the Middle East that many in the West fail to notice it, let alone condemn it,” Netanyahu said in a prerecorded brief address to the fifth annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on the danger of verbal and visual incitement against Jews, particularly on the Hamas-run Al-Aksa television.
“Hateful language that should be condemned everywhere and always, is not condemned everywhere and always,” he said.
“Millions of children are being taught daily that Jews are subhuman, that they are apes and pigs and they have to be destroyed,” he continued.
“These children get up each morning, put their clothes on and go to school. They play with their friends, they ride their bikes,” Netanyahu said as he described a normal childhood routine. “But their pure and impressionable souls are then seized by fanatics. Their minds are poisoned with hatred.”
Such incitement to kill “is one of the worst crimes imaginable,” he said.
“No child should be taught to hate, let alone to kill or to want to die,” he said, adding that this is occurring both in the Palestinian territories, such as Ramallah, and the Middle East in general.
“Imagine how you would feel if someone took away your child’s doll and handed them a knife,” Netanyahu said, before describing a CNN interview he had recently seen in which they interviewed a 13-year old Palestinian girl, Sabine, who had placed a knife in her knapsack with the intent to harm Jews.
“She said, ‘I was not concentrating on anything, not playing or even doing homework, I was only watching Al-Aksa TV, I saw all those girls and guys doing what they do and I wanted to do the same for my country’ “Al-Aksa TV, where Sabine saw all this, is Hamas TV. It is responsible for much of the violence we see today,” the prime minister said.
Children like Sabine are victims as well, because it is the adults who have filled their heads with incitement and brainwashed them, and who are ultimately responsible for such hatred, Netanyahu stated.
“Ending this hatred is critical to advancing peace. This is the crux of the problem, this incitement to kill Jews and kill the Jewish state,” he continued, calling on the listeners to make it their mission to eradicate this kind of hatred.
“Encourage your friends, family, your leaders, your elected leaders to highlight the hatred of Hamas, Iran and, I regret to say, the Palestinian Authority as well,” Netanyahu said.
“Combat their hatred by spreading tolerance and respect. Do not let their words go unchallenged. Battle back with words of your own.
“Working together, I am confident that hope will triumph over fear, that tolerance will deflect bigotry and defeat it [and] that peace will overcome war,” Netanyahu concluded.