Children and Heartache

Yesterday I posted a recent news item about the Israeli settlement Gush Etzion which offers an opportunity to tourists of any age who want to experience the thrill of shooting a terrorist.     A banker from Miami took his three young children to Gush Etzion to “learn some values” by becoming marksmen.  I kid you not.

Today I post a blog story about a graduation ceremony in Gaza.   This is graduation for young kindergarterners wearing military fatigues and carrying guns.  I kid you not.

“At every graduation ceremony, it is our obligation to educate the children to love the resistance, Palestine and Jerusalem, so they will recognize the importance of Palestine and who its enemy is,” stated the kindergarten’s director.

As part of the graduation, Palestinian kids dressed up as Israeli prison guards and played the exaggerated role of torturing Islamic Jihad’s military wing’s (Al Quds Brigades) prisoners.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of either story, but I can confirm that my blood pressure has hit the roof after reading both accounts.   Are both sides really glorifying the violence for the next generation?   Do these stories represent the “normal”  experience of young people on both sides of this Occupation?   Or are they aberrations?

I have a whole lot of questions and alot of heartache this evening.

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6 Comments

Filed under Gaza, Israel, Occupation, Settlers

6 responses to “Children and Heartache

  1. Pam Bailey, thank you for your kind words about Palestinian people..
    i once attended your lecture in CPDC..
    Thomas, come here and live only a week and you’ll know what Lora says..

  2. Thanks Pam. I think your “on the ground” testimony is what’s missing for most Americans. Fox News feeds us dribble, and the rest of corporate media isn’t much better.

    But I’ve also noticed that blogs can be a dangerous tool to feed our biases. I want to be very careful not to fall into that trap.

  3. Lora, as you know, I have lived in Gaza for many a month, and I can say with confidence that while the story you reported may indeed have happened (I actually don’t doubt it), it is NOT the norm. The vast majority of the Palestinians I have met, in Gaza or the West Bank or East Jerusalem, would gladly live in peace with Jewish people if a settlement could be reached that is just.

  4. Thomas — my blog is focused on asking questions that many Americans have about the Middle East, and specifically Palestine and Gaza. Americans hear alot of one-sided news that is heavily weighted in Israel’s favor. I’m hoping to travel to Gaza to learn for myself.

    I posted both pieces side-by-side to raise the important question about how children in Israel and Gaza are being indoctrinated with fear and hatred. Which piece do you think is propaganda? Or do you think both are?

    I hope someone can share information that either story is propaganda. I don’t want to believe that either is true.

    But a friend of mine in Gaza confirmed that this kindergarten exists. And the story about Gush Etzion was written in an online newspaper which gives it some credibility.

  5. thomas

    Why would you post such propaganda and you don’t even know if its true.
    To me it just sounds like your trying to stir the pot and cause unnecessary hatred, and you claim to want piece. you post stories on here when you have know idea if its true, well you saw it on the internet so it must be true. Just remind yourself what side your really on, on the side of peace or on the side of action. I think action, so you can bash one of the sides.

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