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Why are Israeli children brainwashed to hate?

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On a recent video, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed both the new Hamas charter (which he ’threw in the bin’ at the end of the clip), as well as mainstream media for suggesting that the new document indicated ‘moderation’. He could also have read Fathi Nemer’s sober analysis here on Mondoweiss, which points out that the new document merely emphasizes politics that have been in a process of ‘moderation’ in the past decade anyway.

But for Netanyahu it was important to point out that Hamas is ‘rejectionist’, in that it doesn’t recognize Israel, whilst it does concede to a Palestinian state inside 1967 lines (2-state solution). Netanyahu calls this a rejection of “Israel’s right to exist”. As Amira Hass notes in her analysis, the matter of recognizing Israel (as well as refugee return) is considered by Hamas as “a formula of national consensus.” 

It would be possible to delve into the many accusations levelled by Netanyahu, to support throwing the document in the bin. As for example, whether recognition of Palestine would at any point be an item for consideration by the Israeli government. Netanyahu’s Likud platform of 1999, never rescinded, states:

“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river”.

But Netanyahu’s rhetoric escalation up to the point where he throws the document in the bin goes like this:

“[Hamas] brainwashes kids inside suicide camps. So, where does this hate-filled document belong? [throwing it in the bin] Right there.”

His focus is thus around ‘brainwashing’ and ‘hate’. Thus it could be interesting to look at some examples of Israeli violent brainwashing of children:

There is a particular religious educational program that is indoctrinating children to ‘long’ for a rebuilding of the ‘3rd temple’, instead of Al-Aqsa. It is called “Love of the Land and the Temple”. Aviezer Weiss, who is a self-declared right-winger, former student of a religious school and former head of Givat Washington Academic College of Education, says of this curriculum:

“The program follows one very clear ideological direction: that we need to quickly build the Temple so the Jewish people will be ‘the best’ in the world. That’s brainwashing, not education”.

The following video, taken from Israeli television (I could not find the prime source), shows children at an Israeli Jewish Orthodox religious school, visited by two men who have come to ‘test’ their general knowledge. It deserves special scrutiny. The female teacher asks them what they think when she says ‘Jerusalem’. They answer sacred, temple, etc. She asks who believes the (3rd) temple will be built in the coming years – everyone raises their hands. “And what is there now?”, she asks. “The mosque, Al-Aqsa” they answer. “And what will happen to the mosque?” she asks. “It will be broken, exploded, disappear” they answer. (The teacher makes no response and continues on, as tacit approval). She asks who has met an ‘Arab’ boy in the past year. Many raise their hands. One of the visitors asks where. A boy says near the ‘Wall’ (‘Western Wall’). He is asked whether he talked with him, and the boy says no, that he just “pushed me”. The teacher hurries on: “And what happens when you see an Arab boy? What do you feel?” They answer “Anger”, “I want to kill him”. Teacher continues unabated: “And what happens when you meet a secular [Jewish] boy?” she asks. One boy answers “I pity him for not having been born Haredi (Orthodox Jewish)”. The teacher asks why, and another answers that it’s because “he doesn’t tread the right path”. The teacher asks what they see when they think of Jerusalem in 10 years’ time, and several answer. A little debate ensues between those who say all will be Haredim and those who say all will be Jews but not necessarily Haredim. One boy then answers that all will be Jewish, but there will also be some Arabs who will be slaves. The teacher picks it up – “because the Messiah will come! I get it!”. Another student opines, that “there will be a war, and all Arabs will die, and some of them will be slaves”.

The visitor who seems to be the main supervising authority, is very pleased, he says to the teacher “there it is, you got the whole story”. He thanks the students and wishes them continued success and continued study “here in the Yeshivas”. 

But religious fundamentalist, fanatic and violent indoctrination is not the only brainwashing going on in Israel. There is also the purely military violence.

Two days ago, the Israeli police did a demonstration in Ramat Hasharon for hundreds of 5th-graders, in how they ‘verify a kill’ of a suspected ‘terrorist’.

The mock-operation using blanks, featured policemen coming on motorcycles and riddling a terrorist with countless rounds, continuing to shoot at him long after he has fallen and is motionless – to ‘confirm the kill’.

This is a mock-theatre of an extra-judicial execution, with outrageously excessive violence. And we are not speaking about security forces ‘in the heat of battle’, as it were. They are performing a carefully tailored, and staged, operation. One must thus be in the conviction that they are demonstrating HOW IT IS DONE.

Some parents were upset with this demonstration of violence, whilst the police spokeswoman could not understand the issue: “The children clapped, they were happy”, she said.

Yet the upset Mayor of Ramat Hasharon Avi Gruber said something really worth noting. He told Haaretz that

“in light of the Elor Azaria incident, it can’t be that the Israel Police itself would show a situation in which a man is lying on the floor and is being shot this way.”

Bingo. Azarya was no aberration – he just got caught on film. And now the Israeli police also spilled the beans, in front of cameras and hundreds of children.

It’s good we have Hamas, to always blame the violence upon.

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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35 Responses

  1. John O on May 10, 2017, 2:00 pm

    Rogers and Hammerstein nailed this in “South Pacific” :

    • YoniFalic on May 10, 2017, 5:07 pm

      Commendable but lyric “eyes are oddly shaped” suggests some humans are normal and others are odd.

    • RoHa on May 11, 2017, 1:45 am

      Racial prejudice is the theme of the entire musical. Nellie Forbush is shocked to discover that Emile de Becque’s first wife was an Islander. Joseph Cable falls in love with a girl of Vietnamese (“Tonkin Chinese”) ancestry, but knows that his family, and his society, would reject her if he took her to the US with him.
      Nellie overcomes her prejudices. Cable gets killed.

      Wikipedia says that the song caused rather a fuss.

      The musical is derived from Michener’s book Tales of the South Pacific. I read that when I was a boy, shortly after seeing the film, so I can’t remember how strong the theme of racial prejudice was in the book.

      Michener also wrote The Source.

  2. wondering jew on May 10, 2017, 3:37 pm

    I don’t know where the video of the haredi students comes from, but I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that the woman is not their teacher.
    The video is labeled aleshiva, which is apparently an amalgam of al (Arabic for “the”) and yeshiva, (hebrew for religious school).

    • amigo on May 10, 2017, 5:09 pm

      “I don’t know where the video of the haredi students comes from, but I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that the woman is not their teacher. “YF

      Seems to me she is very involved in their education.A sort of “hit and run brainwasher” .

    • annie on May 10, 2017, 5:36 pm

      yonah, what difference does it make if she is not their teacher.

    • Jonathan Ofir on May 10, 2017, 6:16 pm

      So, Yonah, your suggesting that this video is simply a staging by Palestinians in order to give Jews a bad name?

      • wondering jew on May 10, 2017, 6:25 pm

        Assume nothing about my stance. I’m saying that you present a video and leave it to me to try to construct an eye to see it. Thank you for the video. That added to my knowledge. But the journalism here is shoddy to mediocre.

      • Mooser on May 10, 2017, 8:30 pm

        .“I’m saying that you present a video and leave it to me to try to construct an eye to see it “

        Most people just use the two conveniently located in their head. Try it sometime.

        There’s also some text to read.

      • Mooser on May 10, 2017, 8:38 pm

        “Assume nothing about my stance.”

        We must. You have taken the position. Would you have another?

      • oldgeezer on May 10, 2017, 10:17 pm


        Too much of an intellectual challenge for you yonah? I showed that video to a former primary school teacher. They didn’t know where it was taken but they were horrified. Absolutely horrified that would be conducted for children of that age. And rightly so.

        You can always be counted on to either be absent when any reasonable criticism of Israel is in discussion or to present with an excuse to suggest it be ignored. In the latter case you displayed that in the barghouti thread. The fact he may have been railroaded in a show trial doesn’t appear on your radar.

        One thi g you can count on with zionists is a total absence of morality it if it impinges on zionist objectives. Pure flotsam.

    • lyn117 on May 10, 2017, 9:25 pm

      The video appears to have been subtitled by someone Arabic, so if it’s labeled in an amalgam of Arabic and Hebrew, it says nothing about whether it was staged or not. The video itself seems as genuine as any. I can’t imagine anyone “staging” the scene with such perfect attention to costume and attitude. I can’t attest to whether the subtitles are correctly translated or anything else.

      • Jonathan Ofir on May 11, 2017, 12:31 am

        I have checked the subtitles in English against the Hebrew spoken, it is precise.

  3. Mooser on May 10, 2017, 4:59 pm

    “I don’t know where the video of the haredi students comes from, but I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that the woman is not their teacher.”

    Wink-wink, nod-nod, nudge-nudge.

  4. YoniFalic on May 10, 2017, 5:04 pm

    Over the years a number of elementary and vocational schools in Israel have born the name Beit Elisheva. There are probably still a few.

    • lyn117 on May 10, 2017, 9:26 pm

      Yes, someone posting might have misspelled it as Alesheva

  5. Citizen on May 10, 2017, 7:17 pm

    Meanwhile Trump tells us the big problem re peace is Palestinians educated their kids to hate.

  6. Jonathan Ofir on May 11, 2017, 12:41 am

    Let it be known, that I had voiced my own concern to the editors, about posting a video which I did not have the prime source of. I made full disclosure of not having it. Nonetheless, the content of it is really not doubted by med for a moment as being authentic. I have checked the translation for being precise. I have provided context from an Haaretz article that puts this whole trend in perspective.

    Finally, let it be noted, that if this was a Hamas video showing Mickey Mouse educating kids to take over Palestine, I’m not in doubt that it would be on all mainstream in no-time. Let’s not lose perspective of the bigger story here.

  7. Maghlawatan on May 11, 2017, 1:00 am

    Nurit Peled Elhanan wrote a super book about Israeli schoolbooks and how Palestinians are portrayed

    Zionism is an attempt to control time and space. There is zero continuity either historically or psychologically.
    Israeli Jews are ultra vulnerable to hucksters and charlatans as a result . They do not know who they are.

    Hedy Epstein survived the Shoah and was on a speaking tour with Hajo Meyer a few years ago. “They told me the Palestinians were my enemy”. That has to be taught in primary school.

    Because the kids have to join the army and run the occupation. And soldiers can’t be allowed think .

    This is why they are brainwashed . In school.

    Philip Larkin was an English poet. One of his lines is “they fuck you up, your Mum and Dad”.
    In Israel so do the teachers

    • Elizabeth Block on May 11, 2017, 10:28 am

      Hajo Meyer was on a speaking tour several years ago. He came to Toronto. No mainstream Jewish organization would give him a platform. He spoke at the Winchevsky Centre (left-wing secular Jews) and Quaker House. The title of his talk: Never Again For Anyone. Mainstream Toronto Jews called him an anti-Semite.
      I have a button that I wear that says Never Again For Anyone, and also one for people who don’t get it, that says Never Again BY Anyone.

      I remember reading about a concert that Daniel Barenboim gave in the West Bank. (He refused to perform in Israel, only in Palestine.) One of the children in the audience told him that he was the only Jew she had ever seen who was neither a police officer nor a soldier.

      The Israelis claim that Palestinians teach their children to hate Jews. They don’t have to. Israeli Jews do a fine job of it.

      • Maghlawatan on May 11, 2017, 1:37 pm

        I think both Hajo Meyer and Hedy Epstein have since died. I am always delighted to come across thinking Jews who havent bought into the groupthink of Zionism.

      • Jonathan Ofir on May 11, 2017, 5:46 pm

        Thanks Elizabeth. I believe I should correct, that Barenboim did perform with the East West Divan Orchestra also in Israel (Jerusalem at least I know). They performed in Ramallah too (a good documentary – Knowledge is the Beginning). But I think what you may be referring to is his refusal to perform in Israeli Jewish illegal settlements. He was asked on Army Radio whether he would do so, now that he performs in Ramallah (as if that’s the same). He was vehemently against it. His clear and vociferous of Israel’s occupation has won him great unpopularity amongst many in Israel.

  8. RoHa on May 11, 2017, 1:22 am

    “there will be a war, and all Arabs will die, and some of them will be slaves”

    I’m not sure that ghosts would be very useful slaves.

  9. Maghlawatan on May 11, 2017, 4:25 am

    Meir Ariel

    At the end of every sentence you say in Hebrew
    Sits an Arab with a shisha

    Life is stronger than trauma.

  10. jon s on May 11, 2017, 7:12 am

    The video does look authentic, unfortunately.
    The woman is probably not their teacher, she’s a guest, maybe a reporter.
    Horrible, reminds me of Hamas.

    • eljay on May 11, 2017, 8:39 am

      || jon s: … Horrible, reminds me of Hamas. ||

      It should remind you of Zionists. No need for contortions and whataboutism.

    • Mooser on May 11, 2017, 11:04 am

      “Horrible, reminds me of Hamas.”

      Completely incapable of taking responsibility. Like a small boy.

    • talknic on May 11, 2017, 11:17 am

      @ Jon s May 11, 2017, 7:12 am

      “… reminds me of Hamas”

      Hamas are a resistance movement. Apart from resisting any adherence to International Law, the UN Charter, the Israeli Declaration of statehood and the basic tenets of Judaism, what is Israel resisting?

      BTW do you have an equivalent tape of Hamas (sans Memri/PMW/Camera unsubstantiated translations) Thx … I’ll wait

      • Mooser on May 11, 2017, 6:11 pm

        “BTW do you have an equivalent tape…”

        “talknic” you must of course, be aware that a talent for cognitive dissonance and rigid compartmentalization is a Zionist prerequisite.

        By now “Jon s” has heard of the Palestinians ‘teaching hate’ so many times that he doesn’t need a video.

  11. Ossinev on May 11, 2017, 7:35 am

    The video is an amazing if not entirely surprising, insight into the Israeli junior “education” system. It has the feel of what we in the UK would refer to as an “Ofsted” inspection ( a regular system of inspection to investigate and monitor standards in schools). But where our OFSTED inspectors are looking for evidence of failing standards in primary subjects the Zio equivalents seem to be looking for evidence of rising standards in extremism.

    The video also has a seriously Nazi “feel” to it. You can visualise similar tours to German schools in the 1930`s with “Party” officials seeking verification that the children have developed and are expressing the right “attitude” towards Jews.


  12. Elizabeth Block on May 11, 2017, 10:32 am

    Why are Israeli children taught to hate Palestinians? Simple. If you’re going to mistreat people, you have to hate and despise them.

    Especially if you’re going to kill them. Killing doesn’t really come naturally to most people; studies have shown that soldiers in battle are reluctant to fire their weapons.

  13. Ossinev on May 11, 2017, 11:16 am

    “Wink-wink, nod-nod, nudge-nudge”

    I hope that you have a reliable source for this allegation:

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