The Problem, And The Problem About The Problem
The New York Times reports on the Hamas propaganda that is twisting a new generation of Palestinian children into anti-Semitic fanatics.
Far too few Americans understand the depth of the effort to dehumanize Jews. The new anti-Semitism isn’t limited to Gaza —some of it has made it into places like Barack Obama’s church bulletin— but American media doesn’t know how to report on this chilling phenomenon, and recoils from its implications.
How chilling? From the Times:
At Al Omari mosque, the imam cursed the Jews and the “Crusaders,” or Christians, and the Danes, for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. He referred to Jews as “the brothers of apes and pigs,” while the Hamas television station, Al Aksa, praises suicide bombing and holy war until Palestine is free of Jewish control.
Its videos praise fighters and rocket-launching teams; its broadcasts insult the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, for talking to Israel and the United States; its children’s programs praise “martyrdom,” teach what it calls the perfidy of the Jews and the need to end Israeli occupation over Palestinian land, meaning any part of the state of Israel.
Such incitement against Israel and Jews was supposed to be banned under the 1993 Oslo accords and the 2003 “road map” peace plan. While the Palestinian Authority under Fatah has made significant, if imperfect efforts to end incitement, Hamas, no party to those agreements, feels no such restraint.
Since Hamas took over Gaza last June, routing Fatah, Hamas sermons and media reports preaching violence and hatred have become more pervasive, extreme and sophisticated, on the model of Hezbollah and its television station Al Manar, in Lebanon.
Intended to indoctrinate the young to its brand of radical Islam, which combines politics, social work and military resistance, including acts of terrorism, the programs of Al Aksa television and radio, including crucial Friday sermons, are an indication of how far from reconciliation Israelis and many Palestinians are.
Contrast the deepening hatreds of Gaza with the reception given Michael Totten and the Marines he was embedded with when they entered a school in previously al Qaeda-occupied Karmah, between Fallujah and Baghdad:
I stepped inside the school yard. Hundreds of children saw me and the Marines, and the whole place erupted in screams of excitement. It was as if Britney Spears or the guy from Coldplay had shown up. The volume was just extraordinary and I took a few steps back in surprise.
The only way to defeat the extremism of the Hamas/Hezbollah propaganda machines is for the U.S. to be in the region providing security and aid, and demonstrating on a daily basis that there is a better way than that offered by the extremists.