The Ultimate Betrayal

If you wanted a prime example of the Palestinian propaganda machine’s belligerent self-pity in full flow and of the Guardian’s complete commitment to lying by omission by privileging one side of the story only in order to underpin its inveterate demonisation of Israel, you need look no further than Harriet Sherwood’s  “Childhood in Ruins”

Of course Gaza children are traumatised and that trauma is none of their own making, but neither is it only of Israel’s.   Yet nowhere in this execrable compendium of omissions is there any attempt to make this clear.  On the contrary, Harriet Sherwood refers more than once to John Ging, who works for UNRWA and can therefore hardly said to be unbiased (see here for his significant omissions about alleged IDF culpability in the UN school incident during Cast Lead, and here for a more balanced and contextualised account of the incident) and yet nowhere does Sherwood make clear that the school was later found to have been used by Hamas to fire on the IDF from among the civilians sheltering there.

In her one-sided account, Sherwood spares us nothing about the desperate plight of Palestinian children, and desperate it is.   Again, however, there is no attempt to give us the context of this, rather the article heaps all blame and opprobrium upon Israel, reserving none at all for Hamas which is on record as deliberately using those children to be human shields. (See here also).

To read Sherwood, it is as if Cast Lead and its results for these children arrived out of the blue and from nothing Hamas did.  Nowhere, for example, are mentioned the eight years of shelling from Gaza endured by the families of Sderot and the effects of this on their children, for example.  Nowhere is mentioned the Muslim on Muslim violence in Gaza, much of it witnessed first-hand by Palestinian children, and which, it is reasonable to argue, was as much responsible for their mental health problems as were the abuses of their human rights by their leaders or by anything the IDF did during Cast Lead itself.

Worse, Palestinian psychiatrists are roped in to be part of the anti-Israel propaganda machine.   Of course to side with Hamas openly, rather than remain neutral as any ethical practitioner should, may be a vital prerequisite for their own safety, but they are not helping the situation.  As professionals theirs should be voices of reason against the mindless violence rather than trying to find excuses for it without making any attempts to change it.

Sherwood does not hesitate to blame Israel for the potential for violence in Palestinian children.  Of course she ignores the psychological damage resulting from witnessing first hand the Muslim on Muslim violence, particularly after Cast Lead, which I refer to above, and equally carefully avoids any mention of the indoctrination by Hamas of even the very young to aspire to suicide terror (and see also here and here ).

Most human beings are afraid of death and few willingly embrace it.   Children do not have a sense of the “foreverness” of death and are likely to be afraid of it.   Research by Itamar Marcus points up that Hamas deliberately sets out to eradicate children’s fear of death by initially making a game out of it.

Thus, at six to nine years of age, Hamas will encourage children at its schools and summer camps to play games which “normalise” violent death:  Marcus tells us that Palestinian children play the “Shahid Game,” in which children act out a Shahid’s funeral. An interesting note on this game: the children argue who will have the honour of playing the dead child. “I am younger than you. I should be the one to die!” is the 6-year-old’s assertion. Even at this young age, they have already internalized the message that the honourable role is that of the Shahid.

At ages ten to thirteen, many of these children are already actively expressing a wish to die.   Marcus describes how in July 2002, two articulate 11-year-old girls were interviewed in the studio of official Palestinian Authority TV. Among other topics, they spoke of their personal yearning to achieve death through Shahada – Death for Allah – and of a similar desire they said exists in “every Palestinian child.”  It is striking and horrifying that their desire for death was expressed as a personal goal, not related to the conflict with Israel, having been convinced that dying for Allah is preferable to life. Their goal in living is not to experience a good life, but to achieve the proper death – Shahada.

These children are groomed and ready for their handlers to send them out on “martyrdom” missions by the time they reach fourteen to seventeen years of age.  Marcus quotes from an article in the New York Times of 25th April 2002,  that three 14-year old boys set out to attack an Israeli village, hoping to be killed. They left farewell letters which included phrases from the TV clip “Farewell Letter” which was broadcast hundreds of times on PA TV: “The child Yussouf Zaakut wrote: ’…Don’t cry for me. Bury me with my brothers and with the Shahids…’”

Sherwood’s and the Guardian’s show of concern for Palestinian children, whilst ignoring the harm done to their psyches by the very people they and their parents should be able to trust, rings very hollow indeed given the foregoing.  However this is the Guardian where facts are distorted routinely to service the Guardian World View that Israel alone is the unique evil in the world and Hamas and its fellow travellers (which include its supporters on “Comment is Free”), who have such a reprehensible attitude to the safety of Palestinian children, are portrayed as the victims and are therefore foolishly and misguidedly absolved from all guilt and blame for their evil deeds.

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  1. The Guardian has taken upon itself the role of being the “poor downtrodden Palestinians'” spokesperson. Hardly a day goes by without some article or other – very often as headline news above other more important stuff – about the miserable life in Gaza, the traumatized children, the sad state of housing due to the Israeli bombing, etc. etc. ad nauseum. The articles continue even today, a whole year after Operation Cast Lead. I don’t think I have ever read one article (OK, perhaps there was one article) about the effects of constant shelling on Israel’s youngsters who live in the south, or of the effects of the constant fear of suicide bombers on Israel’s citizens everywhere in the country. And of course, as you state in your post, certainly never a mention of the role of Hamas in the dire situation of its subjects.

  2. Thanks Medusa for a reminder of how radical Islamic fundamentalist like Hamas operate to perpetuate hate and prepare children for martyrdom.

    Indoctrination at an early age is, in effect, brainwashing, and the brainwashing of Muslim youth is state sponsored (in some cases) and is widespread by radical clerics, and terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Hate and martyrdom can be learned at any age and indoctrination is an important part of the radical Islamic agenda. Three examples follow:

    From the Sunday Times – concerning the Red Mosque siege in Pakistan a couple of years ago:

    “…………..SAIMA KHAN wants to die a martyr. Life is transient, she told her father in a telephone call last week, and the real glory is to sacrifice it for Allah. Her statement would be alarming at any age, but Saima is only 10…
    …Holed up inside the complex behind the lines of troops and razor wire, the children – many of them girls whose families had sent them to the mosque to receive a strict Islamic education – repeatedly rejected relatives’ entreaties to leave before a threatened army onslaught……There was evidence that many had been brainwashed into a cult of martyrdom, and the authorities feared last night that some were being prepared to be suicide bombers. In barely eight weeks, Saima had been transformed from a religious but fun-loving girl to a jihadi, grimly craving martyrdom……At the barricades, her father, Luftullah Khan, a shopkeeper, frantically pestered soldiers to let him rescue both his daughters. But when he got through to them on their mobile telephone, they said they preferred martyrdom to freedom……Saima, in a bitter, fanatical voice that belied her 10 years, told The Sunday Times her father had cheated her of martyrdom. “The teachers taught us about martyrdom and that it is a great achievement,” she said……………”

    From the Washington Times, January 30, 2007:

    “………..BRUSSELS — The Iranian education system is preparing its students for a global war against the West in the name of Islam, according to an independent study of 115 textbooks and teachers guides released today……The study, which claims to be the first of its kind, catalogs how pupils as young as 9 are conditioned to take part in a global jihad against such “infidel oppressors” as Israel and the United States. “Hate indoctrination is a professed goal of Iranian textbooks,” said the report’s author, Arnon Groiss, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated journalist who also has written critical studies of the Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian, Saudi and Egyptian education systems……Through stories, poems, wills and exercises, martyrdom is glorified as a means of defending the Islamic republic and attaining eternal happiness, the report says. A Grade 10 textbook on “defense readiness” boasts that during the eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s, half a million students were sent to the front and “36,000 martyrs … were offered to the Islamic Revolution.”……In one cartoon for third-graders, the inhabitants of a clean and tidy town discover a trail of garbage left by a ghoulish creature with the Star of David on his right arm. The contaminator is chased out of town and the mess cleaned up after him……………”

    An article about Hamas, NYT, April 1, 2008, “In Gaza, Hamas’s Fiery Insults to Jews Complicate Peace Effort”:

    “……………Another children’s program, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” has become infamous for its puppet characters — a kind of Mickey Mouse, a bee and a rabbit — who speak, like Assud the rabbit, of conquering the Jews to the young hostess, Saraa Barhoum, 11. “We will liberate Al Aksa mosque from the Zionists’ filth,” Assud said recently. “We will liberate Jaffa and Acre,” cities now in Israel proper. “We will liberate the whole homeland.”

    The mouse, Farfour, was murdered by an Israeli interrogator and replaced by Nahoul, the bee, who died “a martyr’s death” from lack of health care because of Gaza’s closed borders. He has been supplanted by Assud, the rabbit, who vows “to get rid of the Jews, God willing, and I will eat them up, God willing.”
    When Assud first made his appearance, he said to Saraa: “We are all martyrdom-seekers, are we not, Saraa?” She responded: “Of course we are. We are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland. We will sacrifice our souls and everything we own for the homeland.”…………..”

  3. TomWonacott, quite so and thank you for your examples. This routine infringement of the human rights of Palestinian children by their ruling government – indoctrination into hatred of Israel and Jews is part of their school curricula – is egregious in the extreme and unforgivable and yet it is never mentioned by the Guardianistas above or below the line, no doubt because, in the terms of Mitnaged’s article, to acknowledge it would cause them too much cognitive dissonance.

    I seem to remember a pathetic attempt by Brian Whitaker to excuse the Farfur programme because he argued that Memri TV had mistranslated it….

    And the indoctrination of Muslim children continues in madrassas here, too. Dr Denis MacEoin in Music, Chess and other Sins quotes a report from the Independent:

    “…A Muslim teacher called Colin Cook has revealed that children there are taught, via Saudi textbooks, that Jews are ‘repugnant’ and Christians are ‘pigs’. Exercises for five‐year olds include the charming exercise, ‘Mention some repugnant characteristics of Jews’. Cook repeatedly heard children in the playground idolising Bin Laden. Challenged on Newsnight about whether she will stop using these racist books, the headteacher, Sumaya Alyusuf, said, ‘No … I cannot withdraw them. There are good chapters in the books.’ …” (See Johann Hari, ‘We all fund this torrent of Saudi bigotry’, Independent, 8 February 2007). Note that Johan Hari wrote it.

    MacEoin goes on to say that Cook was dismissed from his post, but in the following year he took the school to an industrial tribunal which found in his favour. In 2007, textbooks obtained from the school by the think tank Policy Exchange taught similar ideas.

  4. Medusa

    ‘No … I cannot withdraw them. There are good chapters in the books.’

    No doubt, literary art………

  5. Medusa. Great post

    I think that you should send it to Brian Whiticker just to give him the option of posting it.

    I would be floored if he would post it but at least you can know for sure that he has read it. Or at least started to read it. After the first three sentences I fear that he will not continue. (On pain of excommunication).

  6. Medusa. When you think about, The Guardian and the other obsessive Israel haters don’t care a f__k for the Palestinians.

    Their target is Israel.

    They are constantly denigrating any Palestinian trying to arrive at any peace treaty with Israel while trying to support parties like Hamas and Hizbollah who will accept nothing less than the destruction of the Jewish Democratic state.

    There is virtually no references to the starvings in Darfur, was very little on the fall of the Tamils in Sri Lanka even though tens of thousands of people lost their homes with an unknown number of dead. The Guardian doesnt care for those human tragedies.

    No revisiting Chechnya.

    No posts about the ethnic violence in Western China.

    Nothing about ethnic violence with Muslims in Indonesia and the Philippines.

    What obsesses it if Israel and only Israel.

  7. Thanks JerusalemMite. I believe you are absolutely right that the Guardian and its Guardianistas who post to “Comment is Free” care more about their role in bringing about Israel’s demise (no chance of that) than they do about the condition of the Palestinians whom they incite to war by piling on the gooey and cloying sympathy which has them avoiding all guilt and blame for their actions which get in the way of living peacefully, as well as their responsibility to provide a better life for future generations instead of condemning them to the same hopeless existence as their predecessors.

    If the Guardianistas actually gave a damn they would be encouraging the Palestinian people towards a lasting peace treaty with Israel from which both sides would benefit.

  8. This story about the shaheed games is truly heartbreaking and chilling.
    But Medusa’s post points to a larger problem: a few weeks back, Cif had an article by Jonathan Boyd from the JPR, who argued that in debates about Israel context was often missing or manipulated, and perhaps this is a point that gets easily lost when you focus on antisemitism. When people complain about being accused of antisemitism even though they feel what they say is “just criticism” of Israel, they very often do so after obsessively consuming each and every negatively spun news item about Israel, but they know next to nothing what enemies and what problems Israel faces — and most of the time, they don’t want to know anything about that.

    Add to this the sensitivity about anything that might somehow offend Muslims — I mean, wasn’t it incredibly shocking to find out that the Fort Hood attacker had given a presentation to his colleagues raving about his alarming interpretations of the Quran and nobody felt comfortable to report this?

  9. sababa why do you think that these people obsessively consume, as you say, each negatively spun news item about Israel? It seems to me that there is a uniquely facilitating environment on CiF which allows them to do that unquestioningly – that they have lost their capability to think critically and that they no longer question what they read or go to different sources to get an all round picture. I find it scary that there seems to be a whole swathe in our society which fails to ask, “Why? Who says so?” or “Prove it!” even to the most outrageous accusations, and into which this mindless hatred is deliberately drip fed.

    I can’t help but believe that it is an existential problem for such people – that their lives are meaningless (that they actually feel the deadness of meaninglessness) and that CiF exists to addict them to the rush of hatred which makes them feel alive.

    How else could such hatred, so often based on utterly false premises, survive in the face of refuting evidence?

    Mitnaged’s article gives us one explanation, I think, but isn’t it an indictment of our so-called civilised society that a supporting group’s hatred on behalf of the group it claims to represent can actually be allowed to get in the way of peaceful advancement?

  10. sababa why do you think that these people obsessively consume, as you say, each negatively spun news item about Israel? It seems to me that there is a uniquely facilitating environment on CiF which allows them to do that unquestioningly – that they have lost their capability to think critically and that they no longer question what they read or go to different sources to get an all round picture. I find it scary that there seems to be a whole swathe in our society which fails to ask, “Why? Who says so?” or “Prove it!” even to the most outrageous accusations, and into which this mindless hatred is deliberately drip fed.

    I can’t help but believe that it is an existential problem for such people – that their lives are meaningless (that they actually feel the deadness of meaninglessness) and that CiF exists to addict them to the rush of hatred which makes them feel alive.

    How else could such hatred, so often based on utterly false premises, survive in the face of refuting evidence?

    Mitnaged’s article gives us one explanation, I think, but isn’t it an indictment of our so-called civilised society that a supporting group’s hatred on behalf of the group it claims to represent can actually be allowed to get in the way of peaceful advancement?

    The west is afraid of the Muslims but not of the Jews. I am not shocked by the failure to report the Fort Hood lunatic in a world which is bound and gagged by the excesses of political correctness.

  11. mine’s just a question. medusa can’t you send this is to comment is free just to see if they would entertain a less polarised editorial slant ? even if they wont thank you for writing this here.
    hi, serendipity. mitnaged’s article was very good, my sister is reading psychology and she’s saved it.

  12. Serendipity, I agree with what you say about how political correctness can be used to prevent full and frank discussion of potentially dangerous societal phenomena, as per sababa’s reference to the colleagues of Fort Hood murderer being afraid to report him when he was so obviously disturbed.

    We all know how it feels to be confused because we have anxieties for which we don’t know the cause. To be able to name those anxieties for what they are can immensely freeing. Once we know what we are dealing with we can take steps to come to terms with it.

    This exaggerated sensitivity to political correctness, carefully nurtured and taken advantage of by the extreme left which is responsible for taking it to the ridiculous extremes we see now, perpetuates that emotional confusion by gagging us and preventing us from describing what we see is going on. This prevents us from reality-testing our own perceptions because they are too uncomfortable for others to sit with and receive.

    Unless we fight very hard not to be, we are placed in the classic double bind because of this – we are damned if we speak out against what we perceive to be wrong, eg about the obsession with the demonisation of Israel by “Comment is Free”, and damned if we do not because we fall from our own grace by not standing up for ourselves.

  13. Medusa excellent article.

    I note that the CiF article does not allow comments.

    Could it be that it daren’t because it might get chapter and verse of how the Palestinian Authorities of every stripe have abused their children consistently in this fashion?

  14. Sabada

    “……When people complain about being accused of antisemitism even though they feel what they say is “just criticism” of Israel, [they very often do so after obsessively consuming each and every negatively spun news item about Israel], but they know next to nothing what enemies and what problems Israel faces — and most of the time, they don’t want to know anything about that……” my brackets

    Who’s fault is then? The News source(s), or the person? I say both deserve blame – especially if the news source is biased in how they want the conflict to be perceived – and we know they are. A person has their own responsibility to seek the truth. Obviously, many don’t. Yet, the news source has a much greater responsibility to balance the truth to the public. No one should force balance on the media, but the media must assume the responsibility of their important position in western society.

    What’s particularly underhanded about the Guardian is that they return time and time again to the damaging lie that Israel is an apartheid state that compares to former South Africa – as do the CIF posters.

  15. TomWonacott I tend to agree that the opinion formers and those who consume those opinions are jointly at fault. I particularly agree with your point that each person has his/her own responsibility to seek out the truth but a prerequisite for that has to be intellectual curiosity and insight. If we use the average CiF regular as an example, I doubt that any of them have the intellectual curiosity let alone the insight to take those vitally important steps (perhaps it would cause too much cognitive dissonance/discomfort, if we follow Mitnaged’s argument).

    Your point about the Guardian returning again and again to the same lie (like a dog to its vomit) is apposite, I think, but still doesn’t address why it does so. Because it has a willing audience of fools who lack the capability to think critically? Because its agenda is to promote Israel-hatred/anti-Jewish racism? Because it has lost contact with any sense of ethics it had and/or is simply too lazy to put in the spade work to find out what is really going on?

    No, cui bono is a very valid question to ask here. In an age of recession who benefits from the Guardian’s attitude? would the Guardian pursue any policy which didn’t have a benefit to it? It is losing money hand over fist – how does it manage to stay afloat?

  16. Serendipity

    I don’t believe that the Guardian is motivated by hatred of Jews (too simplistic), but, in my opinion, they do promote antisemitism with their articles (especially the ones concerning apartheid). I certainly believe that they are politically motivated, but that doesn’t discount that their columnist and/or owners might be antisemitic.

    Critical to the political left is that they believe that Israel is taking Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and they view the Palestinians as the victims of the Jews (settlements, colonialism, etc). Additionally, dual hatred of the US and Israel is also critical to the far left. The US and Israel are seen as powerful and manipulative with their self interest driving their policies in the Middle East. Its very difficult to separate anti Israelism from anti Americanism.

    The media certainly has every right to promote a political agenda like the conservative Wall Street Journal, for example. Yet the hatred promoted by the Guardian is beyond anything I’ve witnessed so far in a major world-wide newspaper. Many articles attack the fabric of Israeli society like Seth and Ben White.

    How they benefit financially, I don’t know, but they always generate a great deal of interest with their articles on Israel. People don’t seem to tire from the same arguments week after week.

    Thanks for your response.

  17. A great, although chilling, piece Medusa.
    Just a small post script: the founder and director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, has a son, Wasseem, living in England who earlier this year presented a petition to No.10 Downing Street calling for the lifting of Israel’s ‘blockade’ of Gaza together with members of a PSC sub-group named the Halifax Friends of Palestine and the local MP, Chris McCafferty. As we know, the PSC have a one-state agenda.

  18. Israelinurse, Eyad al Sarraj is well known in the psychotherapeutic community for his one-sidedness and blinkered views about the effects on Palestinians of their successive governments’ terror policy and attitude to Israel (ie he is stuck firmly in the “they can’t help it” camp, rather than being capable of presenting both sides of the narrative).

    This could be because he is afraid for his own safety if he were to do anything to undermine Hamas, but somehow I think that this is not his main driver. All his statements about the Israel-Palestine conflict lack the sense of professionalism one would expect from a psychiatrist and are emotion- rather than reason-led and evidence the same “Israel causes the terrorism” brand of moral cowardice one hears from Hamas leaders . That his son behaves in the way you describe is therefore not surprising.

    In all the learned journal articles I have read about him I can find no evidence that he has once said that Palestinian children should not be brainwashed into hatred by Hamas. Instead he resorts to the “they can’t help it” default and bystands, and in bystanding adds to the incitement and the psychological damage to the very children and adults he claims to care about. Whatever he may pretend he is certainly not a man of peace.

  19. Thanks, TomWonacott

    “…Yet the hatred promoted by the Guardian is beyond anything I’ve witnessed so far in a major world-wide newspaper. Many articles attack the fabric of Israeli society like Seth and Ben White…

    That they do this rather than criticise Israel’s policies serves to de-legitimise Israel’s right to exist which, according to the EUMC definition, constitutes antisemitism.

    That they focus only on Israel when, as Medusa has so graphically pointed out, Palestinians’ human rights are to egregiously abused by their own government amounts to wilful blindness which evidences that same agenda.

    Of course the left is anti-American and Israel, being America’s ally, is the focus of their opprobrium for that reason – but why the intense focus?

  20. A PS to Israelinurse and Serendipity:

    Among what follows is a quotable quote from Eyad al Sarraj who, you will remember, is responsible for the mental health of Gazans and makes much of his concern for Palestinian children. Judge for yourselves whether the following in Therapy Today at shows him to be the professional he might claim he is:

    “….Kemp and Pinto* quote Dr Eyad El-Sarraj of Gaza and his claim that Palestinian children have been traumatised and humiliated by the Israelis. Again, they fail to explain Dr El-Sarraj’s record to their readers, including his role in a highly politicised NGO (the Gaza Community Mental Health Program) and his claims of damage to Palestinian children from sonic booms that were not substantiated by any verifiable data and contradicted by what we know about the effects of sonic booms from available research. Dr El-Sarraj, who also made this enlightened statement,

    ‘Are they evil by nature, these Jews? Or are they stupid, born mentally subnormal? I found after long, long thinking about it that they are not born evil. And they are not stupid. They are psycho-pathologically disturbed’ is far from an objective scientist in his observations of the effects of the conflict…”

    *(Kemp and Pinto are the authors of a blinkered account of a visit they made to Gaza as part of a “fact-finding” mission (overseen, of course, by Hamas). The account was published in Therapy Today the professional organ of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and caused a furore because it was so divorced from psychotherapeutic theory and served as a platform for the authors’ anti-Israel views. Their subsequent letter in reply to criticisms only made matters worse).

  21. I note that the Palestinian psychiatrist is afflicted of the same inability to distinguish between “Israeli” and “Jew” as is his Islamist government. This makes him an antisemite in my book particularly in the light of the content of his comment.


  22. Serendipity

    I see where a Jimmy Carter article is featured in the Guardian today. That’s never a good sign for Israel.

    The intense scrutiny? The only answer that I can come up with is that the left has adopted the Palestinians as their raison d’etre. Of course, this goes along with the reasons I suggested above and probably many others as well.

    What is really interesting is that the Tamil Tigers would have killed (so to speak) to get the world attention that the Palestinians received in Gaza during Operation cast Lead. Yet, no one hardly noticed. The left was notably absent. In fact, the Tamils could hardly buy a headline. While world leaders condemned the Israelis, no one spoke up for the Tamils who were then crushed by the Sri Lanka government (almost to extinction). Thousands of civilians were killed. Where is the Goldstone report?

    Articles by the Guardian were absent in the numbers of comments that you expect from a war zone. No US, no Israel. That’s not a coincidence.

    What do you think?

  23. TomWonacott, the left has adopted the Palestinians only while they remain “victims” and they are as much if not more the victims of the left’s misguided and hate-filled interference as they are of Israel’s reaction to their terrorism.

    That being the case, (and if you are right) the left has a vested interest in keeping the Palestinians as “victims” (which is yet another abuse of them) because once the Palestinian people move forward and work with Israel to get their own state, the left loses its raison d’etre and withers.

    It’s rather handy for the left that Israel is a Jewish state, too, because of the left’s historic antisemitism.

    Add to this noxious mix the fundamental ignorance of the majority who foam at the mouth against Israel below the line on CiF and the Guardian can tell itself (quite divorced from reality) that it is performing some sort of service and make money from that hatred.

    The Henry coven and the left care nothing for the Palestinian people; they care only about maintaining their victimhood and using that as a stick by which to beat Israel and the US.

    Add to that the fundamentally instrumental approach of Islamism to those which show it sympathy (it is like an opportunistic infection which takes hold when the body is weak) and those who care about Israel getting a fair shake are almost stymied before they begin.

    I say “almost.” One answer is for intelligent people to keep on chipping away at the twisted version of reality of these haters – to keep on putting the truth out there, with the supporting evidence. We need publicly to pick hate-filled arguments apart in minute detail and highlight the haters’ agenda. We need to continue to exacerbate any cognitive dissonance that the haters will feel when we do that.

    CiF’s and the left’s emperor, which pretends to care about the fate of Palestinians but does nothing actually to help them, is naked. We need to peg away at shouting that from the rooftops whenever we can.

  24. ” These children are groomed and ready for their handlers ”

    The children would hate anyone who oppressed them.The article has merit but overlooks the natural reaction to IDF overzealousness which is the issue ,,not how the children are raised


    To Serendipity concerning ” the left’s historic antisemitism.”

    This is ridiculous. Many people became lefties because these lefty organisations were the most willing to shout about Jewish rights. It is the right which is antiSemitic

  25. Really, Xavier Onassis? You seem not to have read particularly widely or perhaps even at all about this. These children are encouraged to hate (hatred rarely comes naturally to children) and to wish to kill and die as an expression of that hatred, which is an infringement of their human rights which the UN seems conveniently to have ignored. Worse, as Medusa points out, this is done deliberately and calculatedly to capture the most propaganda points. The same “people” who groom these children to wish for death can be seen wailing about their demise and blaming Israel for it, provided that the cameras are rolling.

    For little children to wish to die as a result of what you call the perceived enemy’s “overzealousness” is not a natural reaction. If it were then you would see it world wide rather than only in Gaza and carefully orchestrated from kindergarten age by the execrable Hamas.

    As for the left not being antisemitic – as I said you are not particularly widely read, are you?

  26. Do people agree that a national anthem can reflect a people’s world view?

    Here are the words to the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” (The Hope)

    “As long as deep in the heart
    The soul of a Jew yearns,
    And towards the East
    An eye looks to Zion

    “Our hope is not yet lost
    The hope of two thousand years.
    To be a free people in our land
    The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

    Compare it with the Palestinian national anthem which seems designed to encourage a wish for bloodshed and violence:

    The Palestinian National Anthem:

    “My country , my country
    My country, the land of my grand fathers
    My country, my country
    My country, my nation, the nation of eternity
    With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge
    The longing of my blood to my land and home
    I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
    I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers
    My country, my country, the nation of eternity
    With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the guns
    And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
    Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire, Palestine is my revenge and the land of eternal
    My country, my country, the nation of eternity
    I swear under the shade of the flag
    To my land and nation, and the fire of pain
    I will live as a guerrilla, I will go on as guerrilla, I will expire as guerrilla until I will be back
    My country, my country, the nation of eternity”

  27. Xavier Onassis, you don’t know much about the situation at all.

    Schoolbooks teaching children to hate Israel, showing all of Israel as being Palestinian territory and the Israelis as usurpers is only one facet. Another facet is the Friday sermons calling Jews pigs and monkeys, so that the adults customarily talk of Israelis in these terms in the hearing of the children. The third element is the television indoctrination where stuffed animals take on anthropomorphic characteristics and talk of jihad, shahid and death. An additional facet is the training in the school holidays where children learn to be guerrillieros and to kill Israelis. Oh, and let us not forget the encouragement to spend days off stoning Israeli soldiers.

    I wonder who is being overzealous here?

  28. Mitnaged – thank you for that excellent link. I had read about the ‘Sonic Boom’ claim as put forward by Dr. El Surraj before, although I must admit to never quite having been able to work out how the clever IAF managed to stop those same sonic booms being heard in Kfar Aza, Mefalsim, Be’eri, Nir Am and Sderot in order to avoid damage to the children there….

  29. @ Xaviar Onassis

    Your argument is moot. AntiSemitism travels where ever it finds opportunity. At the moment, the most lucrative opportunities are amongst certain sections of the left.

    WRT extremism/Islamism:
    The Sheikhdoms encouraged Islamism as a bulwark against Pan Arabism – Those supposedly “pro Western houses” i.e. the House of Saud are solely responsible for the spread of fundamentalist Islam, beit in what was once a secular muslim community in the Levant spreading across the subcontinent into Asia, Africa and for sure, now spilling into the Americas and Europe.
    For the masters of misdirection, Israel has been and remains a most useful excuse for Islamic terror.

  30. Serendipity ” These children are encouraged to hate ”

    You are correct. I am merely suggesting that hate would be more difficult to instill without the reinforcement that comes with the IDF taking out a school or two.

    Punzi ” AntiSemitism travels where ever it finds opportunity. ”

    And every F16 attack gives it wings.

  31. @ Xavier Onassis

    “And every F16 attack gives it wings.”

    And that’s the scope of your argument is it. Disapointing but…oh, well.
    This being the case you’re advocating viz a vie islamic terror – American, British, Spanish citizens attacking muslims on home soil and teaching their kids as part of the curriculum, if you please, that muslims per se are pigs and apes ???

  32. Xavier Onassis, you are confused I think. Little children are powerless and can be moulded and groomed to believe anything the powerful adults in their world want them to believe, whether it is based in reality or not, and particularly if the endgame of those powerful adults is to manipulate the world’s sympathy.

    Punzi, I really shouldn’t waste your time if I were you. This person is very “little” and cannot grasp complexity. He sounds like a walking excerpt of a PSC manual and he obviously hasn’t read widely enough before he put fingers to keyboard.

    Xavier Onassis, an attempt to educate you:

    On Fatah’s own television station on 3 December 2009 a music video is designed to promote the desire among Palestinian males to be killed in the conflict with Israel in order to achieve the reward: beautiful virgins in Paradise. The video shows a woman being shot dead and joining other virgins in Paradise. Afterwards a man is killed and he is greeted by all the virgins who have been awaiting him.

    Palestinian TV similarly encourages child “martyrdom” by promising different child-friendly rewards in Paradise.

    Read Medusa’s article again.

  33. So -Xavier Onassis: what do you think we should do? It’s no good just telling Israel what it should not be doing – you have to suggest something practical too. It must be obvious that we cannot put up with our citizens being attacked with rockets and suicide bombs; governments have an obligation to defend their citizens.

  34. To tell you the truth Xavier Onassis, I almost stopped reading after the usual rubbish about F16s attacking and causing little children to want to die by exploding themselves among Israeli Jews, but I feel it’s my duty to add to your education.

    So please try to concentrate enough to read the following. Husam Abdu may be said to be the poster boy for the Palestinian exploitation and abuse of its children. Any society which allows this to happen is not going to survive, and people who bystand or make excuses for them don’t deserve to:

  35. Serendipity

    One more thing.

    “………The Henry coven and the left care nothing for the Palestinian people; they care only about maintaining their victimhood and using that as a stick by which to beat Israel and the US……”

    This is a very interesting idea, Serendipity. You might be more cynical about the left than even I am. However, we clearly can apply your statement to the Iranians and Hamas who use the plight of the Palestinians to advance their interest and gain power. There is no doubt about that. Even Erdogan (Turkey) has now used the Palestinian issue to further his Islamic interest at home where the AKP is battling (politically) the secular tradition of the state represented by the military i.e., he is consolidating power at home by stirring up his Islamic support. He even called Operation Cast Lead worse than Darfur – an absolutely ridiculous statement.

    So the idea that various actors in the ME are using the Palestinians to advance their interest is surely correct. There is no real benefit to solving the problem for some who benefit from the misery of the Palestinians. In that sense, I can see where your statement might apply even to the left.

  36. Hi Leni

    “…..How do we reconcile 2 mutually exclusive doctrines ?….”

    I’m not clear on what you mean. Do you mean how do the Palestinians and the Israelis reconcile?


  37. Punzi




    Its a Terry Wogan joke borrowed for the occasion. Youve got to say it out loud before its funny! 🙂

  38. HairShirt


    ” the Palestinian exploitation and abuse of its children. . people who bystand or make excuses for them don’t deserve to (survive) ”


    As a former social worker in a child protection team I could take great offence but what the hell?

    I call for total peace for all, I condemn any attack on any Israeli as a betrayal of the ultimate sin..raising ones hand against another.. and I am aghast that any Palestinian child is being exploited in such a way . I beg the parents to intervene to prevent this. But the issue is about the sudden emergence of Israel as a powerful force over a comparatively short time… not how a poor people respond to this.

    Before I am forever banned let me say this.

    I led the campaign to have AKUS and others reinstated on CIF . I argued that we needed moderate pro Israeli voices . I have written hundreds of posts begging for peace and against hatred. I have singled out Palestinian rocket attacks as a cowardly and ghastly abuse of Israeli children .

    Yet I was banned here and called a “Jew hater “. Will no one apart from Punzi :)speak up for me?

  39. Xavier Onassis, why on earth should AKUS want to return to CiF? AKUS might well be grateful for your support, but why stop there? Why not call for the reinstatement of Mitnaged too – I happen to know that he/she contributed much and he/she was always polite, but, like AKUS, he/she made the Henry coven uncomfortable, particularly when he/she called out your (sorry, Berchman’s) antisemitism, when he didn’t blame Hamas for being antisemitic “now” – as well as TomnJerry and others who could argue far too well for the Israeli corner for CiF’s comfort?

    You keep on talking about being banned from here (and how theatrical to talk of being “forever banned” – save it, you are not that important) , but don’t tar this place with the CiF brush. – unless of course you really are Berchmans…..

    You seem determined to take offence and although you say that you are doing much to combat the hatred on CiF can you prove it?

    My confusion is around your remark above about F16s (which I took as a “they can’t help it because they were driven to it” excuse for Hamas violence) as well as some of the frankly facile arguments you have advanced so far, which don’t tie in with the picture you paint of yourself as an knowledgeable advocate for all sides.

    But if you really are Berchmans, then you won’t be reading this – you’ll have had to lie down because the mental effort involved in preventing yourself from sloganeering.

  40. @Onassis – Eh?!!! Well, I said hello when the penny dropped – Not sure that’s “speaking up for you” since I’m far from best pleased by the antics of a small group of you on cif, So much so, I closed my cif account and that despite not taking ciffery and the crazy-gang too seriously.
    You say you are banned here?? Well you don’t seem to be doing too bad on it – shhh, but I think we can safely assume if I twigged who you are I’m not the only one.
    Notwithstanding, you, Leni and Germ enjoy being to do your thing here, comment certainly does seem to be “freer” here doesn’t it…..

  41. Berchmans is back and wants us to know that it is he who is posting as Xavier Onassis.

    I don’t believe that his mate Georgina has banned him from “the other place” – every court needs its jester.

    All of which begs the question as to why he feels the need to post here.

    I believe that it won’t be long before the real Berchmans shows his colours. He won’t be able to stop himself and he’s already “come out” above with the idiotic knee-jerk reference to the F16s being the reason for Palestinian children wanting to kill themselves among Israeli Jews, and elsewhere on this blog with references to hassling the moderators.

    And as for his “..I studied anti Discrimination I was the flippin class swot…” – perhaps that didn’t apply to Zionists or Jews. It’s a shame that he didn’t howl more against CiF’s discrimination against pro-Israeli posters, isn’t it (and I, too, remember his remark to Mitnaged, that he didn’t blame Hamas for hating Jews “now.”)