25 November 2002

This is Unacceptable

I started writing this article last week on Wednesday night when I heard about the latest bus bombing in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the first reports was that there were school children on the bus and that they were a good number of the dead. The results I found out Thursday morning. 11 dead. Four of those dead were teenagers on their way to school. A mother and son, sharing the bus ride before having to part ways. A grandmother and grandson, together in the morning rush.

Thursday morning during rush hour, an Arab decided that it was a good morning to blow up Jews.

The Arabs are fond of saying ‘they do not have problems with Jews, they have a problem with Zionism’. I will say this: I have no problems with Arabs, I have a problem with their Culture of Violence.

The use of children to wage war against the Jews is unacceptable. Children should not be used as weapons of war, or as targets of war. Children are sacred, and should be kept out of harms way. However, the Culture of Violence uses children as a political tool, to use the number of children dead in their public relations.

The Palestinian Authority ran summer camps to give young children military training. The New York Times reported that 25,000 children were trained in the summer 2000 how to use firearms, Molotov cocktails, how to kidnap and ambush Jews (New York Times, Aug. 2, 2000).

Death is glorified. A Palestinian Authority TV program clip, obviously aiming for younger viewers, features a boy killed in Gaza, arriving in heaven where there are beaches, waterfalls, and a Ferris wheel. He is saying, “I am not waving goodbye, I am waving to tell you to follow in my footsteps.” The music plays in the background, “How pleasant is the smell of martyrs, how pleasant the smell of land, the land enriched by the blood, the blood pouring out of a fresh body.”

This is unacceptable.

The Religious system also supports the use of children for violence. The Palestinian Authority appointed Mufti Ikrimi Sabri (religious leader) of Jerusalem said, “I feel the martyr is lucky because the angels usher him to his wedding in heaven...The younger the martyr, the greater and the more I respect him” (Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Oct. 28, 2000).

Arab children are reminded time and time again that their deaths should be the goal of their lives. Children collect and trade necklace-pendants with the pictures of homicide bombers. Munir Jabal, head of the Balata teachers union said, “These children are convinced that martyrdom is a holy thing, something worthy of the ultimate respect. They worship these pictures. I think it will lead them in the future to go out and do the same thing.”

This is unacceptable.

The parents of these children are also involved in the Culture of Violence. The Palestinian Authority pays the family $2000 per child killed, and $300 per child wounded. Saudi Arabia has pledged 250 million dollars as an advance on its billion dollar fund supporting homicide bombers families. The Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group loyal to Saddam Hussein, also donates to the Culture of Violence. $500 for a wound, $1000 for disability, $10,000 to the family of each “martyr”, and $25,000 to the family of a homicide bomber. This is money not going to a proper education, but a reward for using children as violent terrorists. (HonestReporting.com)

Children are special gifts. They should be protected from war and must not to be used as targets or as terrorists. This is unacceptable. The Culture of Violence must end.

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