Editor, Daily Nexus,
Anyone who has ever worked with children knows that the things they learn in their youth affect who they will be as adults. We teach them to use their words and not their fists, to share and to treat others the way they want to be treated. Yet on Al-Aqsa television, a Hamas television station in the Palestinian territories, messages sent to the Palestinian children are a little different. According to CNN, on the show “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” a mouse similar to Mickey Mouse “dances with an imaginary gun in his gloved hands and encourages kids to drink milk, study hard – and engage in violent acts of ‘resistance’ against their Israeli neighbors and America.” It’s as if following 9/11, Barney held up an AK-47 and told children that there’s a new definition to the “Clean Up” song.
Sadly, this is not an isolated event. Children all over the Arab world are taught hate and violence. As someone who works with children, it brought tears to my eyes to hear a Palestinian child, no more than eight or nine years old, proclaim that all he wanted to be when he grew up was a martyr.
In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly ratified a document outlining the Rights of the Child in the international world. In this declaration, many articles are based on the education of children, both by school and the media. Article 17 says “[States Parties shall] encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being.” If teaching children hate, intolerance and that the most honor they can get in life is by dying is not harmful to a child’s well-being, I don’t know what is.
Granted, there are other places throughout the world where hate and prejudice are taught, even here in the United States. Yet, [[no comma]] martyrdom has taken on a fanatic life in the Arab world and is being passed on to children. A spokesman from the Palestinian Media Watch stated: “The danger is its mixing of the poison with the [milk], and the child doesn’t even realize that he’s being poisoned.” The children are our future, but what kind of future is it if they are hate-filled or dead?