Fighting Fire With Fire

December 15, 2015

Growing up in America, it is common for children’s shows to teach messages of sharing, kindness, and love. Terrorism? Not so much. In the Palestinian Authority controlled West Bank region, on the other hand, “death, not life, is the prime value” of popular children’s show Tomorrow’s Pioneers. The program, whose co-host Nassur boasts his intentions to “wage Jihad” and “carry a gun,” features various characters, all of whom teach children anti-Western, anti-Semitic, and anti-Zionist messages. Another such character, a bee named Nahoul, makes statements such as, “We will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the criminal Jews,” and “We will go on Jihad when we grow up.” These messages of hate and slogans of violent intolerance do not just come from the media, but are echoed by religious leaders, Palestinian leadership, and unfortunately, even members of the Israeli Knesset.

Just weeks ago, Imam Sheikh Muhammad Sallah gave an impassioned sermon, in which he encouraged his constituents “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!” This message was not geared toward members of terrorist groups, Jihadists, or even particularly anti-Semitic congregants. This message was geared toward families, children, and regular civilians. This is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. This is the kind of incendiary anti-Semitic vitriol is being preached from mosque pulpits all over the West Bank.

Two children raised in this toxic environment, thirteen- year-old Mansara and his fifteen-year-old cousin Hassan, for instance, cited their desire ” to be killed in the religious by stabbing Jews” before attacking a young student in Pisgat Ze’ev in Israel. After refusing to drop his knife, Mansara was shot by the Israeli police. Instead of censuring this terrorism, PA president Mahmoud Abbas claimed that Israel is “executing our sons in cold blood.” This is not the first or last time that the Palestinian “leadership” has condoned, and even applauded, acts of terror.  The Palestinian Authority is actively seeking to blur the lines between civilian and terrorist.

In the latest bout of incitement, the Palestinian Authority has officially named a street after a terrorist. Yes, you read that correctly. On October 1st, 19 year old Muhannad Halabi brutally murdered two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem, Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita. Mr. Banita was coming back from the praying at Western Wall with his wife, Adelle, and two children. Mrs. Banita was stabbed, and as she stumbled through the Arab marketplace begging for help, not only was she not assisted, but she was spat at and mocked. The Palestinian shopkeepers made no attempt to apprehend the terrorist or help the two small children of Aharon and Adelle Banita, who were left alone after their parents were assaulted, one fatally. Yet, now street named has been named after Muhannad Halabi. Not only that, he has been awarded a posthumous honorary law degree from the PA Bar. This is simply one case of governmental incitement which is encouraging terror attacks, namely from young adults. What’s truly astounding, however, is not the response of the Palestinian Authority to the death of this murderer, but the statements released by member of Israeli Knesset, Basel Ghattas. MK Ghattas said of the Palestinians who mocked and beat newly widowed Adelle Banita-Bennet “you and I cannot judge them.” Morality, however, would beg to differ.

MK Ghattas is, unfortunately, not the only member of Knesset who is a terrorist sympathizer. Arguably the biggest source of incitement of the Palestinian people against Jews and Israelis is coming from members of the Israeli government. Just last week, PM Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement condemning MK Hanin Zoabi for inciting Arabs in Israel with statements such as “Israel has an army that hunts down Palestinian youths and kills them.” While it would take minimal research to determine that this is a flagrant lie, is seems that someone who claims that “Hamas is not a terror organization” has little credibility to begin with. Ms. Zoabi has repeatedly called Israel, the country she is meant to serve, “racist” and even participated in the terror-linked Gaza Flotilla. Another member of the Joint Arab List, Ahmed Tibi, expressed his solidarity with a terrorist FadiAlwan, posting a picture with accompanying text which said that the 19 year old, who stabbed 15-year-old Moshe Malka, was forced to do so because he was being “chased by settlers.”

The media passes off these acts of terrorism as legitimate armed resistance, but that could not be farther from the truth. While this may come off a cynical, “How to Stab a Jew” instructional videos and images don’t exactly seem to aid in the peace process. The murder of Eitan and Naama Henkin on October 1st, a terror attack which left four orphans under the age of 10, will in no way bring about a better tomorrow. The indiscriminate stabbing of Jews in the streets of Jerusalem won’t further dialogue. These attacks are fueled by baseless hatred and incitement. Palestinian children, namely in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, are not given a real chance to choose peace. They are being taught terrorism in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. It is what they hear from their government officials and beloved television personalities. Palestinian incitement has left children without parents and parents without children, and until this is acknowledged and dealt with, the terror may never come to an end.

This was contributed by NYU Polytechnic CAMERA Fellow Raizy Cohen.

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