Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deaf to Peace

Rabbi Avi Shafrin addresses a fundamental problem in the relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
"The issues are well known. What borders should a Palestinian state have? Should it be independent or confederated with an existing Arab country? Should it be armed or demilitarized? Should it be at all?"

But those concerns overlook a fundamental issue not fully set forth by President Obama in his Cairo speech. That issue is how to stop the education of Palestinian children to hate Jews.

The President spoke, as always, diplomatically. “Those things,” in fact, are more than impediments; they are nail-packed bombs under the possibility of peace. As long as television programming for Arab children features puppets spewing hatred for Israel and cheerfully committing themselves to jihad; as long as streets in Palestinian-controlled areas are named in honor of vicious murderers of Jews; as long as Palestinian schools teach canards about Israel and use maps of the region that do not indicate the existence of a Jewish State – issues of states and borders and settlements are purely academic. The Talmud teaches (Shabbat 21b) that “the learning of youth” is the most strongly absorbed, remaining indelible into later years.

It's an age-old lesson that children learn from the adults. And I believe with all my heart that there will be no peace in the Middle East until Arab children are taught that Jews are not dogs, or pigs or monkeys, criminals and murderers. We can only hope that day comes soon.

What do you think?

Read the full article Deaf to Peace.


Andre said...

"That issue is how to stop the education of Palestinian children to hate Jews."

What about the issue of stopping the education of Israeli children to hate Palestinians or Arabs in general?

Do you consider the practice of having young Israeli children writing messages on the shells of 500lb bombs about to be dropped on civilians populations, to be a benevolent education?

Stephen M. Flatow said...

Andre, Israeli textbooks, unlike their Palestinian counterparts, do not disparage Palestinians. Neither are Israeli children, unlike their Palestinian counterparts, presented with TV broadcasts of a mouse vowing to recapture Jerusalem, nor do they attend summer camps to play the role of martyrs.
Palestinian textbooks show maps of Palestine as being from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli textbooks show the three lines from 1947 partition, 1948 Green Line and post-1967.
I would like to see what proof you have that children wrote slogans on bombs (soldiers have done so for one hundred years).