Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dead or Alive, Gaza's Schoolkids Are Tools of Hamas

How odd that hundreds of news outlets simultaneously filed stories on Saturday morning emphasizing how Gaza schoolchildren are returning to class after the violence of Israel’s invasion.

The number of stories pushing that angle that just appeared overnight almost suggests that international media are relying on Hamas talking points for their story ideas. Naah.

That would mean all these stories are just a a ruse to convince people that, now that Israel has been browbeaten into leaving poor Gaza alone, things can return to “normal” in Gaza. You know, normal, just like where you live, except you don't have to live next to regional terror states Israel. Normal. Where the kids go to school, daddy kisses mommy goodbye after his morning coffee, and then goes to his job storing weapons in grandma’s utility room or firing rockets at civilians in Israel.

Here’s how the Reuters version of the Gaza-Kids-Back-to-School spins it:
Schools reopened in Gaza on Saturday after Israel's devastating three-week war, and peaceful coexistence seemed further than ever from the traumatised minds of young Palestinians.

"Good morning! Still alive?" excited teenage girls asked each other as their class, all in white headscarves, lined up in the yard shortly after dawn at Beach Preparatory School.
[“Excited?” I thought they were “traumatized”? T.R.]

School starts early in the Gaza Strip because there is not enough
classroom space for all the children, so there must be two shifts a day.

The pupils were seeing their teachers for the first time since Israel bombs began falling on Gaza on December 27. About 1,300 Palestinians were killed, over half of them civilians.

Critics [i.e., Reuters reporters] warn that the violence of Israel's offensive, which followed the collapse of a six-month truce, can only reap a harvest of greater militancy from a newly radicalised generation. According to one Gaza website, 3,500 Palestinians were born during the 22-day war.

"Israel hates Palestinians, hates Arabs, hates Muslims, hates Islam," said one girl in Nuha Abdulati's English class, as her schoolmates nodded in agreement. . . .

The girls did not seem to be aware, or to take seriously, that it was Hamas which declared an end to the truce in late December, and that Israel's stated reason for attacking was to eradicate the threat of rockets which began to pepper southern towns. Scores exploded in one day before its forces struck.
(“Gaza schools open but young minds closed to peace”).

I'm betting that these "young minds" were closed to peace long before the Israeli offensive. That these opinionated young ladies are unaware, or else refuse to take seriously, Hamas’s role in the plight of their region, doesn’t say much for the quality of education in Gaza. Gaza schools, by the way, are under the control either of Hamas, or the UN. When you have students placing all the blame on Israel for everything, you have to wonder what they study in English class--the writings of Noam Chomsky? Indeed, as even Reuters admits, the students have gotten all
their information about the war from Arabic language broadcasters: Al Jazeera and al-Arabiya television from the Gulf, al Quds, al-Aqsa and Shehab, of Hamas, here in Gaza.

The West is seen as callous, uncaring, and pro-Israeli.
Fair enough. Though they could have gotten that message from English-langauage broadcasters too, like the BBC, CNN, or NBC, or print outlets like Reuters, or the AP.

I regret the loss of any innocent civilian life in Gaza. I also regret the Palestinian stubbornness that has forced Israel, time and again, to kill them in the process of defending herself.

If "things getting back to normal" in Gaza means teenage girls go back to school and resume being taught that Israel is the cause of all that's wrong, and that the terror army that hijacked their government is blameless, and that the Palestinians' war can never end until Israel is no more, then won't it have to be part and parcel of "normal" that, from time to time, blood will flow in Gaza's streets?

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