Editor, Daily Nexus,
Courtney Toretto (“Hamas TV Trains Children for War,” Daily Nexus, May 17) takes the issue out of context by claiming Hamas’ version of Mickey Mouse teaches children to be martyrs. First off, I have lived 18 years in Jordan and I get Al-Aqsa television at home in Jordan. I have never seen or heard anything of this mouse and neither have any of my Jordanian and Palestinian friends that I’ve asked. The claim that children all over the Arab world are taught hate and violence is also false. As a person who has been brought up Muslim in an Arab country, I have not been taught any such animosity.
Furthermore, we need to recognize these children are living in atrocious conditions under a military occupation and most of them don’t even have access to a television. The continued gross violations of human rights by the Israeli Defense Forces have a larger impact than a silly mouse that dances around on TV with an imaginary gun. I believe children’s day-to-day experiences affect them on a larger scale than what they are taught at school or on television. Living in refugee camps, where most of these children see blood everyday at the hands of the occupation, molds these children’s mentalities in a more influential way than a TV show does. That is the reason “martyrdom has taken a fanatic life” in Palestine. This, Toretto fails to realize.
Additionally, to quote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child about the media is irrational, considering that these children don’t even have access to their basic human rights. How can we address a detail in the UNCRC when the majority of people living in Gaza and the West Bank are not granted their rights to shelter, security, food and clean drinking water?
We all need to realize there is no such thing as inherently violent people. The Palestinian people are living under occupation. It is sad that this cycle of violence continues; however, pointing the finger at Hamas TV is way off the mark.