The 'occupation' that kills Jews
It’s not the disputed occupation of the West Bank that convinced a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager to stab a 13-year-old Jewish girl to death while she was sleeping.
Rather, it’s the corrosive and longtime occupation of Palestinian hearts and minds with vicious, genocidal Jew-hatred.
“Hate has no place in the curriculum of schools, and the glorification of violence has no place in the education of children,” Sen. Hillary Clinton said in 2007, after a Senate hearing on Palestinian Authority (PA) schoolbooks and media presented by the watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). Referring to official PA TV broadcasts, she said they “were a clear example of child abuse.”
Referring to new PA 12th grade textbooks, she said “[these textbooks] do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination.”
Her conclusion: “When we viewed this report in combination with other media that these children are exposed to, we see a larger picture that is disturbing... because it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children.”
Poison is the right word. How else do you describe the condition of a mind or a heart that murders a young girl in her bedroom?
Unfortunately, the Senate hearing failed to stop this poison, as PMW has been as busy as ever monitoring the scourge of Jew-hatred in Palestinian society.
To cite one example, six years after the Clinton hearing, on the official PA television program, “Palestine this Morning,” two young sisters recited a poem that featured these words:
“Oh Sons of Zion,
Oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs...
Jerusalem vomits from within it your impurity...
I do not fear barbarity.
As long as my heart is my Quran and my city.”
If you are taught that Jews are barbaric monkeys and wretched pigs, and that you shouldn’t fear barbarity, then what’s the big deal about getting rid of one of those wretched pigs?
This is what we must remember about the Palestinian teenager who killed Hallel Yaffa Ariel: In his mind, he wasn’t killing a little girl, he was killing a wretched pig.
He was eliminating a demon. He was committing the holy act of a martyr.
Why are we surprised when Palestinian leaders send paychecks to the families of those martyrs, since they are the ones who sanction the very demonization of Jews in the first place?
Of course, none of this is news. We have been hearing about the sanctification of Jew-hatred and glorification of terrorism in Palestinian society for so long that we’ve become numb to it.
It’s not a coincidence that Jews downplay such inconvenient news. The Jewish way is to focus on our own actions, not the actions of others. We take responsibility for what we can change, not what others must change.
That’s why so much Jewish energy has been expended on protesting Israel’s presence in the West Bank. This is the “occupation” we are comfortable fighting. The other occupation—the occupation of Palestinian hearts and minds—well, that’s for “them,” not “us.”
The problem with this way of thinking is that we miss the real obstacles to peace. Murdering a little Jewish girl has nothing to do with fighting Israeli policies and everything to do with the brainwashing that teaches Palestinians that Jews are not humans.
We have ignored this brainwashing for so long that now we are in freefall. The Jew-hatred has gone so deep and so broad that it is killing all hope and putting Israelis strictly in survival mode.
As long as the Jew-hatred and the violence continues, the Palestinians will never convince Israelis that they can take risks for peace.
Jewish groups who crave peace must call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian hearts and minds with vicious, genocidal, demonizing Jew-hatred. This is the occupation that kills.
David Suissa is a columnist with the Jewish Journal.