Palestinian Kindergartners Being Schooled in Hate
Posted: June 27, 2002
Palestinian children five years old and younger are being schooled in hate.
During a recent graduation ceremony of the kindergarten class at the Islamic Charity Foundation in Gaza, young children were encouraged to dress in camouflage fatigues, to march with toy machine guns and to burn the Israeli flag.
Some students were made to pose with red paint on their hands, representing blood, or to imitate leaders of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah while repeating virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements. Pictures of the macabre graduation ceremony were posted on the foundation's Web site, and the proceedings were reported by several Israeli newspapers.
Every year, more than 5,000 preschoolers graduate from the Islamic Charity Foundation, where they are taught to revere "Jihad," or holy war against Israel, to admire Hezbollah and to continue the Palestinian uprising, all before the age of five.
At the recent graduation, one little girl posed for cameras while raising her red paint-dipped hands, imitating one of the perpetrators of the lynching of two Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian mob in October 2000.
Another young graduate delivered a speech dressed as Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, saying, "The Palestinians will not be alone in their battle against Zionism." Still another child, carrying a toy machine-gun, paraded around the stage while smiling for video recorders.
Sheikh Ahmed Baher, a Hamas activist and head of the Foundation, said that Palestinian mothers are responsible for "Educating the children in Islam, the love of Jerusalem and Palestine and the love of jihad and resistance."
The Foundation's website notes that they will be running nine summer camps this year for 5,000 boys and 1,000 girls. Campers at the "Al-Aqsa Martyrs Camp "visit the injured people and console the martyr's families." This, the Web site says, is aimed at "causing the children to feel the feelings of those who were hurt in the events," and to "emphasize that all the Palestinian youth and Palestine's sons are the martyr's brothers and the sons of this fighting family." The term "martyrs" is frequently used throughout the Arab world to refer to suicide bombers who carry out attacks against Israelis.
Established 26 years ago, the Islamic Charity Foundation is the largest charity organization in the Gaza Strip with a religious affiliation. Surviving on contributions and nominal membership fees, the Foundation operates dozens of independent preschools in Gaza and helps needy families, orphans, poor students and the children of terrorists.