Trending Topics:

‘San Jose Mercury News’ runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns

on 35 Comments
Settler children at Israeli independence celebration May 2014

Settler children at Israeli independence celebration May 2014, by Gali Tibbon

The other day we ran a post about the fact that the Jewish Forward ran several photos of Israeli independence day that highlighted the scary degree of militarism in that society– pictures from a settlement of children and guns.

Well this is probably more significant: The San Jose Mercury News has run even more of the same photos, taken by Gali Tibbon. In an album of shots from Israel’s independence day, check out numbers 1-8. This is the new face of Israel, children caressing guns.

Here are the first eight pictures’ descriptions:

An Israeli boy plays with an M-16

An Israeli man shows his son how to work a machine gun during a traditional military weapon display to mark the 66th anniversary of Israel’s Independence at the West Bank settlement of Efrat on May 6, 2014

An Israeli child holds a rocket launcher…

An Israeli boy in a military vest throws a mock grenade [shown above]

An Israeli woman holds up an M-16
An Israeli boy jumps from an Armoured Personnel Carrier
An Israeli man shows his son how to work an M-16
An Israeli boy wearing a military vest crawls on the sand

Later photos are traditional Israel celebrations: they show kids with balloons and an old man with small Israeli flags pasted to his face. But as we say in San Jose, you get the picture.

Reader Kathlene writes:

I had stumbled upon these photos via a link at the Mercury News which innocuously mentioned photos of Israel’s celebration of its independence. Expecting a pro-Israeli propaganda piece, I was shocked (in a good way) to see these photos. Unsurprisingly, comments are closed under the photos.

The photos that disturbed me most included photo 3 of an angelic girl clutching a weapon next to another girl who is holding a doll, and photo 2 of a father showing his son how to use a machine gun. I was immediately repulsed by these photos, similar to the revulsion I feel when I see American gun-culture photos of young girls clutching pink AR-15s in the name of freedom. The innocence that is being destroyed in the name of hatred (which is disguised as freedom) is immoral, sad and sickening. The fact that a mainstream publication would post these photos online makes me hopeful that people will see Israel’s role in preventing peace in the Mideast and with Palestine.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

35 Responses

  1. amigo on May 12, 2014, 2:01 pm

    It was bound to happen. Someone in MSM would break the mold and come clean about Apartheid Israel.

    Who is next.

    The Oakland Trib or does Gerry Brown have his fingers in that pie.

  2. Henry Norr on May 12, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Did these pictures run in the printed paper? If not, how about correcting this post to say ran the pictures? To me that’s a very different thing from having them in the paper: putting them in print would be much more of a statement on the part of the editors and would be much more noticeable to readers than just including them in the photo gallery section of their web site, which on the same day also featured pix of “‘Dog-In’ at Oakland City Hall,” “125th Anniversary of Eiffel Tower opening at Paris Exposition,” “V-E Day 69 years ago, allies celebrate surrender of Germany,” and so on.

  3. just on May 12, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Repulsive, indeed. Monstrous, too. Child abuse. A lost generation.

  4. lysias on May 12, 2014, 2:36 pm

    American soldiers learned to their cost in Vietnam that the M-16 is an inferior weapon to the AK-47 Kalashnikov.

    • Citizen on May 13, 2014, 9:09 am

      @ lysias
      When the M-16 was first given to US troops in Vietnam, the troops were told they did not need to clean their rifle regularly. So the rifles jammed in combat firing. After this was corrected by issuing instructions to each solider emphasizing the need for regular cleaning (via an issued comic book, detailing cleaning instructions), the M-16 worked very well. Nevertheless, the AK-47 requires no cleaning, will faithfully fire at will no matter how dirty it is. It’s also, of course, much cheaper.

      • Citizen on May 13, 2014, 9:23 am

        There are a lot of urls/YouTube videos devoted to a comparison of the two weapons: Here’s just one of them:
        It doesn’t mention that the AK-47 is a “mud gun,” while M16 requires regular cleaning.

        Given typical IDF usage environment, it’s not hard to see why the M16 might be preferred by IDF (other than political reason).

  5. DaBakr on May 12, 2014, 3:36 pm

    Do you people even know how many hundreds of photos are in existence of Palestinian babies dressed as suicide bombers complete with paper ‘bomb belts’ older kids with toy rocket launchers, or “caressing” as you say AKs and other arms. If your point is that now Israeli parents have stooped to the level of animosity displayed by Palestinians then its a valid point. Otherwise-it just shows how intractable the conflict is. Not much different then how the southern US civilians demonized the mechanized and faceless warmongers of the north while the northern press aka Horace Greely demonized the south as rebellious and retarded barbarians hiding behind ‘polite’ mannerisms and false glory. In the end-and in the midst of ruinous battles the two sides often found themselves mingling like the two neighborous peoples they once had been. If this sites fans can not see that they function as a pr arm of one side, and one side only of the conflict it would behoove them to read a little more history about warfare and its often humdrum affect on its subsequent populations.

    • talknic on May 12, 2014, 4:30 pm

      @ DaBakr “Do you people even know how many hundreds of photos are in existence of Palestinian babies dressed as suicide bombers complete with paper ‘bomb belts’ older kids with toy rocket launchers, or “caressing” as you say AKs and other arms.”

      No. Tell us how many ‘hundreds’ … thx Any on tanks? Fighter bombers? Artillery?

      ” If this sites fans can not see that they function as a pr arm of one side”

      That’d be the side of International Law it seems by the majority of the posts. Whereas you and you fellow propagandists are not, instead trying at every turn to justify Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territories.

      “If your point is that now Israeli parents have stooped to the level of animosity displayed by Palestinians then its a valid point.”

      “Parents” ? The State of Israel puts on these displays, send the IDF to schools. The State of Israel has had Israeli forces with their human slaughtering equipment in other folks territory for 66 years

      • DaBakr on May 12, 2014, 8:21 pm

        “human slaughtering equipment” Well. that about sums up the hyperbole and hysteria that marks your side of the PR campaign. If you really want to weep read the reports from Business J. and Econ rags about Israels shift to east Asia where it doesn’t have to fight every second against a delegitimization campaign rooted in archaic european anti-semitism, marxism, socialism and good old left-wing bleeding heart liberalism turned-on-its-head. None of the stratagies being employed now against Israel are in the slightest bit ‘new’. Arabs-long before any occupation of the west bank or Jerusalem tried to boycott Israel out of existence as well as threaten all sorts of dire consequences in store for the ‘zionist entity’ which seems to keep chugging along. Somehow-I don’t thinkl the 5000 year old culture of China or India repleat with many conquests and slaughters along the way are going to have much difficulty building its economic and military relationships with the Jews in israel because there just isn’t a deep-seated core of hostility to jews and any accomplishments they have made. I would like to think that Palestinians will ot let time pass them by by holding out for a deal that sets things up so they can eventually ‘reclaim’ all of what they consider their land.
        I don’t really expect you to see things in this way, however, since you belive in moral absolutes and seem to think there is actually a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side not a dominant side that negotiates a treaty with a less dominant ‘enemy’. Israelis have much less problems seeing the palestinians as full blooded humans then your characterization of crazy religious fanatics as ‘nazi-like’ Jews (which is only equalled in the characterization by many mainstream Arab religious leaders characterizing the Jews as ‘sons of pigs and apes)

    • Woody Tanaka on May 12, 2014, 5:50 pm

      “Not much different then [the US, regarding the Civil War]… In the end-and in the midst of ruinous battles the two sides often found themselves mingling like the two neighborous peoples they once had been.”

      Except in the US, both the North and South were invaders and colonists in the land. In Palestine, that’s not the case. The Palestinan are the native people of the land. The Zionists’ neighbors, on the other hand, are in Europe and Brooklyn, primarily.

    • Kris on May 12, 2014, 5:56 pm

      DaBakr, I googled “Palestinians mistreat Israeli child,” but all I got was links to Israeli abuse of Palestinian children, like this one:

      Then I tried, “Palestinians kidnap Israeli child,” and all I got was links to Israeli kidnapping of Palestinian children, like this one, a video report of the kidnapping of a 6-year-old Palestinian boy yesterday by Jewish Israeli land thieves (aka “settlers”) in the South Hebron al-Khalil hills. These vicious Jewish “settlers” traumatized this little boy so much that he was unable to speak when he was finally found.

      Where can I find news reports of Palestinians demonstrating this “level of animosity” towards Israeli children?

    • on May 12, 2014, 7:29 pm

      DaBakr: Seeing is believing and these pictures we can all see. Along with all the videos of the IDF operating in the Occupied Territories now that the Palestinians have video recorders. Meanwhile from the Zionist side, we get Bibi with a cartoon drawing of a bomb and you claiming to have hundreds of photos — yet not supplying one. Surely you can show us a few of these photos?

    • a blah chick on May 12, 2014, 9:08 pm

      Now, now, let’s not pile on poor DB. It takes a lot of courage to come here and defend pictures of Jewish tykes lobbing grenades at people. He/she could have gone with the well worn and easy response of “look, over there! Syria! Iran!” but no, it was a change up in the form of “well, the Arabs have driven the Jews to do it.” Though this argument is straight out of hasbara 101 it is not often used as it seems to indicate that Jewish folk are not our moral superiors. This is a Zionist no/no.


      • Citizen on May 13, 2014, 10:01 am

        @ a blah chick

        An analogy lies in comparing the bias/inflammation as between what Palestinian kids learn in their text books, and what Jewish Israeli kids learn in theirs.

    • Qualtrough on May 13, 2014, 12:52 pm

      DaBakr–I used Google Image Search to look for “Palestinian babies suicide bomber” and saw something like three different very young kids dressed that way even after I scrolled way down the results list. It is not even clear if they are Palestinian, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt on that. Can you provide us with a link to the hundreds of photos you mention? Just a couple of hundred will suffice, thanks. Or did you mean there are hundreds of photos of a handful of kids? I know this doesn’t detract from your larger point, but when you write ‘hundreds’ you imply that the phenomena is much more widespread that it appears to be in reality. I wonder why you would do that?

  6. Kay24 on May 12, 2014, 5:02 pm

    It is ironic. We have heard, ad nauseam, that hate was taught on the other side. I have yet to see pictures of Palestinian kids being trained to be violent like this though.
    These little monsters grow up to resort to those “terroristic” activities, condemned by our own State Department. Ugly pictures.

    • bilal a on May 12, 2014, 6:01 pm

      Its not just Israel:

      American children killing British redcoats at their Father’s direction (Hollywood version)

    • DaBakr on May 13, 2014, 1:32 am

      You have yet to see pictures…? Have you been living in a rabbit hole for the past 20 years. Just google: Image of palestinian baby dressed as suicide bomber and see what comes up. These are not images taken by ‘hasbarists’ as you might claim but by proud and jubilant Palestinians celebrating the impending martyrdom of their children if that is what it comes to. (im not saying they don’t value their children-of course they do but many Palestinian parents have willingly paraded their kids in both Gaza and the West Bank decked out in all sorts of military and militant paraphenalia from suicide bomb vests to AKs and toy grenade launchers all to show they would rather sacrifice their children in the ‘resistance’ to the so-called ‘zionist entity’ then ever except a treaty where all of what they consider their rights would be sacrificed. It not an indictment of them or this particular cultural offshoot of Palestinian resistance. It simply is. No more or no less then Israeli children playing mock baby war games to prove the same but opposite point.
      Your condemnation of one side over the other proves nothing except your own bias and possible bigotry and racism as well.

      • pjdude on May 13, 2014, 5:35 pm

        You see that’s were your wrong the Palestinians never had a choice they have always had to fight for their most basic rights. So that kind of teaching is somewhat sympathetic even when it hits the extremes. The Israelisand zionists have always had a choice between peace and violence. They always chose violence. So their efforts to teach such things will always come across as more sinester and wrong. Also their in the position of power. They have never faught a single war at an overall disadvantage so again paints it them in a darker light when they do such things.

    • Walid on May 13, 2014, 11:17 am

      Kay, in fairness, there are equally disturbing pictures of Palestinian kids getting the brainwashing treatment. At one point, Palestinian kids were being exposed to the concept of bad Jews, resistance to the Jews and of martyrdom being encouraged on a Gaza TV program with a Mickey Mouse look -alike character named Farfur that eventually gets stabbed by a Mossad agent. As to which of the two is the worst and which is justified and which is not can be debated for a very long time. It’s a sad sight to see kids on both sides going through this shit.

      • DaBakr on May 13, 2014, 12:10 pm

        on this point I agree

  7. Clif Brown on May 12, 2014, 6:18 pm

    I would argue that something worse is going on – the new effort in Israel to introduce the holocaust to children starting in kindergarten. To attempt to fix ideas in the heads of those far far too young to have any perspective is, unfortunately, something that each generation does to the next, but to have a state do it, too, makes it all but certain that young minds are chained before they have any chance of freedom…but of course that is precisely the goal: as we are, so must they be.

  8. Shuki on May 12, 2014, 7:24 pm

    Outrage that kids are dressing up and playing soldier.

    Silence that Hamas has a children’s television show with characters encouraging kids to shoot Jews:

    No double standard to see here… move along now.

  9. Shuki on May 13, 2014, 2:27 am

    Really, you’ve never seen pictures of palestinian kids being trained to be violent?

  10. Elisabeth on May 13, 2014, 3:04 am

    I noticed that even the kites and balloons are in the shape of fighter jets.

  11. jon s on May 13, 2014, 5:00 am
  12. DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 9:58 am

    RE: “‘San Jose Mercury News’ runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns”

    MY COMMENT: The internet contains a veritable Smörgåsbord of sexual fetishes almost certainly including photos relating to people having fetishes involving guns, rifles etc. (but hopefully not involving children). Frankly, my father always had some guns and rifles although he never seemed to actually use them. He would sometimes take them out and admire them. I don’t think it was a fetish, at least not of a sexual nature, but I did suspect that it had something to do his being both generally insecure, as well as insecure as to his masculinity.

    • Citizen on May 13, 2014, 10:03 am

      @ Dickerson3870
      Was your father ever in a combat arms unit when young? Or did he grow up in a rural environment where they, at least sometimes, ate what they shot?

    • DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 10:11 am

      P.S. I recall reading ten or so years ago about a study done in the years following the introduction of Viagra to the US market. The study found a statistically significant correlation between the increasing sales of Viagra in the US and a contemporaneous decline in gun sales in the US.

    • DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 1:37 pm

      Does anyone know what the deal is in Israel and the West Bank regarding what we here in U.S. refer to as “Child Protective Services”. Some of this might conceivably qualify as child abuse by parents (at least if done here in the U.S.). Does Israel make any effort at all to protect children from abusive parents?
      My sense of it is that interest in protecting children from abusive parents rapidly declines as militarization increases, especially as a country reaches the point of becoming saturated with a “fortress (i.e., Iron Wall) mentality” where “national security” trumps all and provides a handy excuse for the government’s claiming that national security is more important than virtually everything else.

      • DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 2:03 pm

        P.S. Here in Georgia, as is typical in the U.S., when an attorney becomes aware of a possible instance of child abuse, he/she is required to report it to the authorities for further investigation, and when failing to do so risks the possibly of being sanctioned/reprimanded/prosecuted.

Leave a Reply