“Most important, the children understand that the conflict with the Jews is not over land, but rather over religion.”
Why will Rice and Bush and Olmert and everyone else never grasp that? From Haaretz, with thanks to all who sent this in:
GAZA – On Sheikh Ajlin Beach, dozens of Palestinian children are shouting and playing and splashing each other, like children anywhere. They are at summer camp. The lifeguard moves in between them, blowing his whistle and ordering them to stay within the marked-off swimming area. There are always a few who stray, deliberately or not. When that happens the teenaged girls who lead the various activities wade into the water in their long dresses and head coverings to make sure that the future generation of Islamic Jihad does not drown in the ocean. The organization runs the camp for disadvantaged children.
All the Palestinian factions have been talking about social welfare in the past several weeks, including Islamic Jihad. Hisham, one of the camp directors, volunteers to discuss the children’s schedule. He prefaces his remarks with the opening chapter of the Koran, Al-Fatiha.
“Gaza suffers from shellings, terrible economic straits and threats to the life of each one of these children day and night,” Hisham explains. “So we try to detach them from the bad feelings and the horrors they are exposed to. They come in the morning and have lessons in sports such as soccer or volleyball. Afterward they go to the beach, where they swim and run around, followed by lunch. We don’t forget our martyrs, and we teach them about making sacrifices on behalf of the Palestinian people and tell them the truth about Islam.”
When asked about this “truth,” Hisham launches into a monologue on history from his perspective: “We teach the children the truth. How the Jews persecuted the prophets and tortured them. We stress that the Jews killed and slaughtered Arabs and Palestinians every chance they got. Most important, the children understand that the conflict with the Jews is not over land, but rather over religion. As long as Jews remain here, between the [Jordan] river and the sea, they will be our enemy and we will continue to pursue and kill them. When they leave we won’t hurt them.”