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What they Are Saying week of 2/23/06
Coming Soon: More on the Heroic Actions of a Child Terrorist-to-Be …
Think-tank scholars Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen write in The Washington Times (www. washingtontimes.com) on Feb. 14 about Muslims teaching their kids to hate others:
"What would you like to be when you grow up?A Hamas children's magazine has a clear answer: a terrorist. A children's story it published calls upon small children and encourages them to commit terrorist acts and sacrifice their souls for Allah.
"Western politicians who delude themselves in the belief that Hamas will change have only to consider what Hamas leaders say. On Feb. 3, Hamas chief Khaled Mash'al declared in Damascus: 'Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded,' according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
"Hamas gives this message to the present generation. But they also ensure that the next generation of Palestinians, now growing up, receives this message as early as possible. Hamas TV shows impart children with the jihad message when they are toddlers. And for kids who have learned to read, there are magazine comics.
"The children's magazine named Fatah - Arabic for the Muslim who conquers the Kufir States - in its last two issues carried an illustrated story about the heroism of a very young but courageous Palestinian child, who is determined to be a jihad fighter like his older brothers. The story demonstrates the indoctrination and 'education' to which even the youngest of Palestinian children are exposed by Hamas in schools and publications.
"The story begins when the child Basaal (meaning the 'brave,' in Arabic) is exposed to jihad activities while watching television, reading newspapers and at meetings his brothers hold with their friends to plan fedayeen actions and to attack Israeli reconnaissance convoys. Fedayeen, in Arabic, means to sacrifice oneself for Allah.
"The more Basaal sees and hears the message, the more he internalizes it. One day, he decides that he wants to commit a fedayeen action for Allah against the 'evil Zionists.' He says to himself, 'I want so much to sacrifice myself by attacking the evil Zionists that stole our Dear Land.' Basaal's father, who knows about his son's desire, tries to cool his enthusiasm by promising to teach him how to be a fedayeen when he grows up. 'You are still young. Take heart. Your older brothers are committing such acts, and when you grow up, I will teach you how to be a fedayeen.' The father and son close a deal by shaking hands.
"Basaal goes to his little bed but can't sleep. He is troubled by questions like, 'When will I be able to sacrifice myself for Allah? When?'
"This is how 'peaceful' Hamas brings the message of Khaled Mash'al alive for the Palestinian children. We anxiously await the next issue of Fatah, to read of Basaal's next 'heroic' adventure."
Will Russia Set a Precedent It Regrets?
Columnist Richard Cohen writes in The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) on Feb. 14 that Russia's stance on Hamas contradicts its policy toward its own Chechen foes:
"France and Russia agree on Hamas. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was considering inviting the leaders of Hamas to Moscow for talks, and almost immediately, and predictably, the French pronounced this a wonderful idea. Putin, I think, would not have been quite so quick to extend a welcome to the Chechen rebels he considers to be terrorists, but the murderers of Jews are apparently a different matter.
"What's more, Hamas is no mere … anti-Israel or anti-Zionist organization. It is also deeply, indelibly and quite openly anti-Semitic. Its covenant, adopted Aug. 18, 1988, does not limit itself to the goal of annihilating Israel, but throws in 'killing the Jews' for good measure. It mentions Jews over and over again, and even cites that notorious anti-Semitic forgery, 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' as proof of what the vile Hebrews are up to. This includes, and I am not making this up, 'control of the world media, news agencies, the press' and responsibility for 'the French revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about.'
"This is 100 percent, non-alloyed, near-perfect and totally bananas anti-Semitism - not the work of rational minds.
"It is, though, the work of the very people whom Putin (with French support) would meet with. He would do so, apparently, without one word being changed in this repellent covenant - or without Hamas' renouncing its intention to obliterate Israel.
"Putin ought to bear in mind the example he is setting. If he can talk with Hamas, why can't others talk to the Chechens? He himself takes umbrage whenever anyone meets with Chechen political leaders - not, mind you, terrorists - because he makes no distinction between the two. But when it comes to Hamas, Putin is willing to embrace it all - political wing, terrorist wing: It makes no difference to him. At least until he shows differently, the only distinction he makes is between the killers of innocent Russians and the killers of innocent Israelis."
No Need to Halt Terror: It Works!
Historian James S. Robbins writes in National Review (www.nationalreview.com) on Feb. 20 that the United States must halt aid to the Palestinian Authority once it is controlled by Hamas:
"Both the United States and Israel designate Hamas a terrorist organization, and have wisely chosen to cut all aid transfers (except for food and subsistence) until Hamas renounces violence, recognizes Israel and makes other fundamental reforms. This move has brought charges of hypocrisy, to whit, that the United States seeks to build democracies abroad, but when the elections do not go the way we want, we attempt to reverse them.
"Interesting argument, but missing the point. Promoting democracy only requires us to approve of the process; we need not be delighted with the results. And it is not hypocrisy to shift policies when foreign governments legitimately change hands. It is bad enough that Hamas seeks to create a new terror state in the Middle East, it would be ludicrous for us to pay them to do it. If anything, cutting funds to Hamas shows more consistency than hypocrisy; their program is barely distinguishable from the Taliban's.
"From the Hamas leadership, there is a decided unwillingness to relinquish violence and recognize Israel. And why should they? Intransigence was their passport to power. If the Palestinian people wanted temporizing moderates they could have kept Fatah. Violence has worked well for Hamas. Come to think of it, it worked for Fatah, too, under Arafat's leadership.
"It is hard to see what billions of dollars of Western aid money have purchased in the Palestinian Authority. Aid did not buy peace, nor did it garner the good will or gratitude of the Palestinian people, who, after all, were the ones who cast ballots for terrorists. Aid money did contribute markedly to the growth of the personal fortunes of corrupt Palestinian officials, but that is typical of most such handouts to authoritarian governments."