We go to the cinema or the opera ready to pretend that people and situations are
different from real life. We accept a film scenario in which a person might,
under certain circumstances, fly under his own steam; or an opera climax in
which the heroine, fast expiring from consumption, robustly engages in a long
and taxing farewell aria.
Our pretense that these things are possible is
called “suspension of reality,” and we do it willingly.
But it’s a
different matter entirely when the existence of a country and its people is
suspended from the reality of entire Muslim populations; and when their
political leaders and institutions, egged on by religious authorities, labor
hard to keep that reality suspended.
IT WAS first entertaining, then
sobering, to watch a YouTube clip of a Lebanese tot identifying with confidence
a string of Arab and world capitals as his father, off-camera, cued him with the
Hassan, aged no more than three, stuffed his mouth with
popcorn in between enthusiastically shouting out the capitals of some 25
countries, including those of Mauritania and Djibouti and others many of us
would be hard put to recall, if indeed we ever knew them.
But when his
father asked about the capital of Israel, the cute party trick took an ominous
turn. Little Hassan made a sweeping movement with his arm and, tiny index finger
upraised, intoned: “There is no Israel! It’s Palestine!” Well-versed, he was
reflecting, to his father’s gratification, what he had been taught at home or in
This Arab toddler may or may not be an intellectual
prodigy, but his performance before the camera indicates potential far above the
norm. With his innocent young mind sullied by lies adults have implanted there,
that potential is already being grossly misused.
How will Hassan employ
his inborn gifts when he grows up? Some of the possibilities make one
MANY OF the attitudes that accompany us into adulthood are
inculcated during our first five years of life, child psychologists say.
Further, and astonishing though it may sound, we amass more information –
neurological, intellectual and emotional – during our first five years on earth
than we do during the whole of the rest of our lives. These facts alone make the
hate-indoctrination of small children a heinous moral crime.
little Hassan by hundreds of millions of children in Arab societies being raised
from infancy through adolescence on a diet steadily sprinkled with
Israel-negation and other suspensions of reality – and one is left feeling very
troubled about the region, the “Arab Spring” notwithstanding, and about Israel’s
future in it.
In the mindset of those for whom Israel does not exist –
including, tragically, a generation and more of Palestinian children brought up
to dismiss the reality of Israel – Israelis/Jews deserve to be eliminated. Like
characters in a computer game – fearsome, devouring monsters – they have no
rights, no human substance. That they are hated and feared only makes their
destruction more obligatory.
There are Palestinians and other Arabs who
understand that Israelis, while only too real, are human beings like themselves
with the right to life and liberty. But when the prevailing mentality is
totalitarian, everything is portrayed in black and white. The “other” is allowed
no redeeming characteristics. Those who would speak up for tolerance and
sanity and against the negation of Israel do so at their peril.
PHONE-IN quiz program on Palestinian Children’s TV, translated by Palestinian
Media Watch, tested young viewers’ knowledge of a “world without Israel.” In the
quiz, Haifa, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Eilat were named as “Palestinian
ports”; a question about the size of the West Bank and Gaza elicited the
heartily commended answer of 27,000 sq. km. (the whole State of Israel, plus
Gaza and the West Bank). To the question “What’s the name of the only sweet
water lake in Palestine?” a young viewer called Ayyam answered “The Tiberius
Sea” – Lake Kinneret – earning praise and a smile from the
This past December, PMW released a 269-page book called
Deception: Betraying the Peace Process
detailing systematic hate speech in
Arabic by the Palestinian Authority from May 2010 through April 2011 – at
cultural events, in leaders’ statements and in educational media, including
children’s magazines. Emphasized is the contrast between what the leaders say in
Arabic and their peace talk in English to the international media.
press conference launching the book, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and human rights
leader Robert L. Bernstein condemned the PA’s indoctrination of children to
In the book, authors Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques
Zilberdik point out the direct link between the PA’s demonization of Israelis
and the perception of Hitler as a positive role model. As an example, they cite
an essay submitted by a Palestinian teenage girl to a PA-funded educational
magazine presenting Hitler as a hero because he killed Jews.
essay, Hitler tells the girl in a dream: “I killed them so you would all know
that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world.”
is surely important that, at the very least, PA leaders be denied the ability to
exploit Nazi ideology against Israel while, at the same time, depicting Israelis
as the new Nazis who are victimizing the Palestinian people.
official environment where public squares and children’s holiday camps and
sporting events are named after coldblooded murderers – last month PA President
Mahmoud Abbas met privately with released Palestinian terrorist Amna Muna in
Turkey – it’s hardly surprising that the mufti of Jerusalem should feel free to
call on Muslims to kill Jews.
Seventy years after the plan for the Final
Solution was hatched at Wannsee, a video of a January 9 Fatah rally, distributed
by Palestinian Media Watch, shows the cleric, Mohammed Hussein, reading out an
exhortation attributed to the prophet Muhammad: “The day of Judgment
[redemption] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind
stones and trees. The stones and trees will call, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God,
this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”
As Herb Keinon reported in the
January 23 issue of The Jerusalem Post
, the rally was introduced by a speaker
saying, “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion
and faith. Long live Fatah!”
Hussein denied he had incited to murder Jews,
saying he was just reading religious texts (!) whose wording he couldn’t
Palestinian Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al- Habash
“confirmed the details of the rally as they appeared in the PMW video, but said:
‘We believe in peace.’” He added that the mufti “was simply quoting a [religious
text] that talks about destiny, about what could happen in the
It’s the kind of prevarication that makes one laugh, or
PITY THE children of a people with leaders such as this. And
pity our children, who will have to contend with the results of an ongoing
suspension of reality that shows little sign of coming to an end.