We’re used to hearing about the incitement of Israeli children from Max Blumenthal, who says indoctrination begins in the “spring season” of holidays when kids are taught about the enemies who surround them. Well the American Jewish community is getting the message. The Forward has published a shocking piece called, “When Israelis Teach Their Kids to Hate” with the picture above of children in the settlement of Efrat celebrating Israeli independence day, and another one of a child holding a giant rifle (at that link).
Gideon Levy has also landed on the pictures. “When Hamas treats its children like this, Israeli parents tut-tut with disgust: Look at these beasts.”
Here’s another image from another site:
The Forward’s Michael Kaplan writes sardonically:
Little kids throw mock grenades and pretend to shoot big guns; a boy crawls militant-style as gun-wielding adults cheer him on; a girl wearing a pink dress carries a rocket launcher twice her size.
These are some of the disturbing photos that flooded out of the West Bank earlier this week on Israel’s Independence Day, or what Palestinians call the Nakba (Catastrophe).
I can imagine that despair and hopelessness probably rattled the Jewish community. How could there ever be peace when kids are trained to aspire toward violence and militancy?
And now, we have yet another confirmation that Israeli children also learn to glorify and aspire toward violence, and — surprise, surprise — no one really seems to care.
Yes but maybe they do. These are settler children now seen widely in the U.S. Jewish community. Not your grandfather’s Israel.
Speaking of the changing paradigm inside the American Jewish community, here is Peace Now’s latest letter, spotlighting Israeli extremism:
“King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage.” This is today’s graffiti found on a Jerusalem church the day after the Vatican called on Israel to protect Christian sites.
This is happening nearly every day. No longer just in the West Bank but in Israel proper.
These Price Tag attacks, perpetrated primarily by extremist Israeli settlers and their supporters, have escalated focusing on Arab towns and villages inside Israel. Private property and places of worship are targeted with grotesque destruction and graffiti. Whether it is a Church or a Mosque—it doesn’t matter. Jewish sites have been vandalized in retaliation.
Some may dismiss these attacks because they “just” focus on buildings and cars but as Yossi Alpher writes in this week’s Hard Questions Tough Answers although no Palestinian has been physically attacked or killed in the price tag actions, it is almost certainly only a matter of time until that happens. It is pathetic that it has gotten to this point. It is disgusting that these perpetrators haven’t been caught and dealt with. And it is pathetic that it is only a matter of time…
Rabbi Alana Suskin
Director of Strategic Communications