Jewish World Review / August 13, 1998 / 21 Menachem-Av, 5758
Welcome to Camp Hate
"Israel and the [Palestinian Authority] shall seek to foster mutual
understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement,
including hostile propaganda."
Welcome to Camp Hate
"Israel and the [Palestinian Authority] shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda."
Summertime. You're a Palestinian kid. Peace is in the air. If not full-fledged peace, at least a full-fledged peace process. In your own short
|Happy Arab campers?|
Summertime. A new season of peace. What are you going to do?
Go to camp, maybe? The PA operates a network of them -- they've been featured on Palestinian television and in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official PA newspaper. In one TV ad, a camper at Khan Yunis sings:
In another promo, you watched a trainer lead children in a chant:
"My children, my children, o my country/ Are in the suicide squad!"
The camps are for more than just singing, though. Their commander boasts he has nine military trainers and two supervisers holding the rank of lieutenant. And the purpose of this intense military atmosphere? "To build a generation," he told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, "that can arrive at Jerusalem, fight the settlements, and build the independent Palestinian state." Or, as the TV announcer says: "Jihad" -- holy war -- "is the main belief. It will never end."
If you go to summer camp, your head will be filled with violence and anti-Israel incitement. One trainer, Lawy Abu, drills Palestinian children in battle techniques, using "tires, plaster, and nails." Another teaches them how to use a rifle. In one commercial, according to Palestinian Media Watch, which documented this coverage, "children scream 'Commando!' and jump into a burning ring.'' A PA-TV broadcast aired on July 19 showed campers standing at attention before "a huge picture of the Temple Mount" -- Judaism's holiest site -- "covered with blood, arms, and heads, and with Arabian horses going up."
The camps indoctrinate kids in the belief that all of Israel is occupied land waiting to be "liberated." Children are organized into brigades named for Israeli cities -- the Safed brigade, the Tiberias brigade, etc. They wear shirts emblazoned with a map of "Palestine" on which Israel has been wiped out. No attention, it seems, is devoted to the Oslo accords or their requirement to "foster mutual understanding and tolerance."
But you're a Palestinian kid who's interested in peace, not war. So you forget about camp. You decide to surf the Internet, check out the brand-new Fatah website. After all, Fatah is the PLO faction led by Arafat himself -- Arafat who signed the accords with Israel, Arafat who renounced terror, Arafat who won the Nobel Prize for peace.
You visit www.fateh.org. Opening image: A map of Israel pinned behind crossed guns with a grenade underneath. You click on Publications. Click on Constitution. Before you is the charter of the PLO's largest component.
It is raw propaganda.
Fatah's goal is the "complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence" -- i.e., Israel's extermination. And the way to achieve that goal? It's spelled out, too.
"Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic . . . Armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence. This struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated."
This is the new website of Arafat the peacemaker? You search for the word "peace." It isn't there. You look for a mention of Oslo. None. Instead you find that Fatah opposes "any political . . . alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine." Arafat has gone on the Internet with a message not of peace, but of total and unrelenting war.
Summer camps full of hate. A web site calling for nonstop terrorism. And more than that: schoolbooks that preach violence against Jews. Kids' TV shows that glorify suicide bombers.
You're a Palestinian child. This summer, peace should be embracing and
inspiring you. But everywhere you turn, your leaders teach you to hate. To
them, there is no peace process, no coexistence, no living with Jews in
neighborly accord. There is only jihad. They have no intention of living up
to their treaties. Or of letting you live up to them,