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.