The systematic use of the media as a way to incite the Palestinian public to violence was a phenomenon that may have appeared likely to disappear following the terrorist strikes on the United States and the outpouring of revulsion throughout the Western world to such suicide terror attacks.
Yet, after Sept. 11 the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) glorification and promotion of “martyrdom” have continued in the government-controlled media. Incredibly, the campaign is primarily directed toward Palestinian children.
A short film that has continued to be shown on PA television nearly twice a day since Sept. 11 provides a chilling example of how the PA is encouraging its children to engage in violent confrontation with Israelis and seek death.
At the beginning of the clip, a young Palestinian boy bids farewell to his father and his baby brother, telling them that he has decided to leave the family and seek “martyrdom.” He then leaves the house and joins a group of other young Palestinian boys on their way to confront Israeli soldiers and attack them with stones.
The scene changes to reveal the boy’s friends delivering to his father a farewell note written by the boy. In the background, a vocalist sings the following lyrics: “Do not be sad my dear and do not cry over my parting—oh, my dear father, for my country—martyrdom. I shall sacrifice myself,”according to a translation done by Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli group that monitors the Palestinian media.
As the father drops to his knees in grief the boy is shown dropping to the ground himself, slingshot in hand, after being shot by an Israeli soldier. As the boy’s body slumps to the ground repeatedly in slow motion, his face serene, the vocalist sings, “I shall sacrifice myself. With determination and desire I long to approach. How sweet is the martyrdom when I embrace you, my land”
The clip ends with a shot of the boy’s mother crying, while the words sung in the background urge her to “be joyous over my blood and do not cry for me.”
As the campaign of violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers continues, the Palestinian leadership is not educating its children for peace or encouraging them to look for ways to coexist with Israelis. Instead, it is instructing them to pursue violence as the preferred strategy and death as an ideal.
Sources: Near East Report, (November 19, 2001)