On Sheikh Ajlin Beach, dozens of Palestinian children are shouting and playing and splashing each other, like children anywhere. They are at summer camp. ...
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. ...
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."
Concisely put. This is indoctrination of Palestinian children at summer camp. In my drear memories of vacation bible school, I cannot for the life of me recall the condoning of violence in any form, ever. Presumably, residents in Haifa cannot either.
I hope, probably fancifully, that young Iraqi children form lasting impressions of coalition forces handing out candy and stuffed animals to them and contrast these with horrific images of rag-headed miscreants mowing down their peers and blowing up the guys giving out the treats, and that these early memories coalesce into a moderate amicability toward the West decades down the road.
Israel is in a perpetually precarious political position. Every military or police action undertaken by the IDF will be portrayed as an act of oppression by a Western media that once adored the seminal, vulnerable home for European refugees. Israel's response was disproportionate (please do not give me a general who factors in 'proportionality' when devising a military strategy during wartime). Israel's overreliance on military might is proving futile. Israel wouldn't come to the ceasefire table early enough. Israel's still blocking Lebanese ports. And Hezbollah? The few insignificant kidnapped soldiers--the ones Nasrallah said he'd never have snatched had he known it would lead to war--are still being held captive, hoping not to become the next Nick Bergs. I wish Taki Theodoracopulos and commentators like him would consider this and the paragraph following in their pieces on how existential Israel threatens world peace (a view that most Europeans hold, incidentally). Since I'm a blithering novice when it comes to everything involving the Middle East, I'd be able to spare more credulity if such commentators didn't appear so hostile to the only country in the region capable of adding anything of value to human civilization.
Pundits will continue to clamor for various comprises and negotiations, without factoring in the intractable underlying fuel of Islamic hatred of Israel--Israelis (Ashkenazi and pseudo-Ashkenazi European) are considerably more intelligent than Arabs, Persians, or central Asians. So Israel's standard of living is always going to be higher and its economy more versatile than that of its neighbors (especially if and when oil is obselesced), and Israelis are always going to lead happier, healthier (Israel's life expectancy at birth is 79.5 years; Iraq's is 69, Iran's is 70, Lebanon's is 73, Syria's is 70) lives than their Middle Eastern counterparts. So guys like Hisham and Nasrallah will always be able to rabble-rouse relatively destitute, disaffected Muslims in the Middle Eastern countries within close proximity to Israel.