Another Tack: 'How do you know?'




Why does small, uniquely beleaguered Israel achieve so much more?


 When my daughter was six years old, she once demanded to know where her beloved grandmother went after she died. "To heaven," I replied.


 "How do you know?" came the merciless follow-up question.


 "That's where people's souls go," I exasperatedly sought to extricate myself. But then came the clincher: "How do you know? Did a dead person ever come back to say so?"


 I recalled that exchange a few days ago when viewing clips from official PA television, compliments of the Palestinian Media Watch.


 Two personable preteen schoolgirls were discussing shuhada (martyrdom) in deadly earnestness, praising the virtues of the paradise guaranteed them if they explosively terminate their earthly existence in the holy mission of killing Jews. The proudly approving adult moderator asked encouraging leading questions in a serene studio setting. Children phoning in chimed cheerfully and extolled self-destruction and the pleasures of the reward awaiting them in the hereafter. No participant came close to asking what my kid had asked at a much younger age.


 That in a nutshell is the yawning cultural chasm between us and those whose raison d'etre is our annihilation. Any talk of concessions and compromise with them is senseless wishful thinking, if not life-threatening delusion.


 Even if Palestinian grown-ups would, for various expediencies, ever opt to temporarily exploit our "confidence-building gestures" and unilateral pullbacks, their progeny wouldn't be placidly reconciled to our continued existence. In all likelihood it'll indoctrinate its own offspring and transmit hate via the societal genetic code.


 PATV specializes in song clips passionately praising those who have already blown themselves up or youngsters leaving letters to their parents before undertaking pretend-suicide bombing missions themselves. One need only watch this frightening fare to realize that terror isn't the result of PA inability to control renegades. The PA actively sponsors, recruits, and trains the next generation of mindless murderers.


 NEW FILM footage from Arafatland's summer camps show 10-year-olds forced to jump through flaming hoops. They crawl under barbed wire, learn to toss grenades, drill roadside ambushing maneuvers, practice attacking Jewish drivers, flinging them brutally to the ground and stomping them, while yelling in collective hysteria: "This is what'll be done to the enemy."


 After such bloodcurdling diversions, the campers participate in a "graduation" ceremony. They march to the podium, salute, and are handed diplomas. Brainwashing is never more effective than at a young age. It cannot be imagined that any of these underage trainees could shed what was inculcated into them and become peace-loving folk who'll broad-mindedly tolerate Jewish neighbors (even if the latter all cower behind the Green Line).

 Worse yet, this purposely promoted mass-psychosis isn't limited only to the territories immediately adjacent to our homes in this narrow oddly shaped state, where no center of habitation is too distant from the juvenile pre-programmed human guided missiles.


 German police recently raided a mosque in Frankfurt and confiscated videos imported from oil-rich Gulf states in which children enthusiastically act out the beheading of American Nick Berg - down to the most gruesome detail.


 These were shown to small fry in religious instruction classes. They're a hit all over the Muslim world, including in its new European outposts.


 This bloodlust appears too widespread to be simplistically ascribed to Jewish oppressors who drive desperate Palestinians to the ultimate extreme.


 Those who slander Israel with much alacrity, both at home and abroad, would do well to ponder the UN's Human Development Index (calculated on the basis of such factors as life expectancy, adult literacy, income, and women's status). Israel, despite its objective tribulations, emerges as the 22nd best place to live from a list of 177 states. All the Arab countries feature far below us.


 The PA occupies 102nd place, ahead of our free and independent neighbors Syria (106) and Egypt (120), who lose no opportunity to denigrate Israel but can hardly blame their backwardness on "Zionist occupation." The plain fact is that the Palestinians' association with awful Israel leaves them considerably better off than their counterparts in all too many Arab lands.


 If any freethinkers remain in the Arab world, they ought to ask themselves where their national energies flow and why a small, uniquely beleaguered state like Israel achieves so much more. Resorting to facile excuses from the tendentious and tattered anti-imperialist lexicon is a cop-out.


 The true measure of human development is that there's no mind control in our midst, that dissent and debate are integral to Jewish tradition, that in over three millennia of Jewish history no tyranny could take root among us, that no one can turn our kids into homicidal automatons, that our little girls don't dream of dying, that they don't believe everything they hear (not even from their mothers), and that they insistently inquire "How do you know?"


(©) The Jerusalem Post

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