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Israel's sudden "concern" for Palestinian child.

Suddenly, Israelis are worried about the bitter fate of a Palestinian child.
To judge by the public shock over Hussam Bilal Abdu, who was caught wearing
an explosives belt at the Hawara checkpoint, it would seem that nothing of a
humane nature is foreign to us, even when it pertains to an enemy and his
children. But this is an infuriating show of concern. The fate of a
Palestinian child only touches us when it suits us, when it serves our
purposes and when our hands are not involved.
The hundreds of children who have been killed, the thousands who have been
crippled, and the hundreds of thousands who live under conditions of siege
and poverty, and are exposed every day to violence and humiliation - all
this has failed to move the Israeli public. Just the child with the belt.

Why weren't we shocked by the killing of Christine Sa'ada, who was shot dead
in an IDF ambush while traveling in a car with her parents in Bethlehem,
exactly a year ago today? Why was there no public outcry following the
killing of Jamil and Ahmed Abu Aziz, two brothers who were riding their
bicycles in Jenin in broad daylight when a tank fired a shell at them? How
is their killing, which was documented on video, less cruel? Why didn't we
show pictures of Basil and Abir Abu Samra, who were killed together with
their mother in their vineyard near Nablus, just as we displayed pictures of
Hussam Abdu? Why have we never discussed the killing of children at the
entrance to the Qalandiyah refugee camp, where a child is killed by Border
Police or IDF fire every few weeks? Why is a putting an explosives belt on a
child more shocking than firing a shell at him?

The harshest expressions are being uttered here, with much clucking of the
tongue: "crossing the red line," "the pinnacle of cruelty," "a satanic act."
And, in truth, it's impossible to understand such cruelty toward an innocent
child who was cynically sent to his death. But Israelis have no moral right
to criticize the Palestinians for their cruelty toward children; we are no
less cruel.

Sending a child to his death with an explosives belt is indeed a satanic
action, but the shocked public reaction is tainted with hypocrisy and double
standards. The cheap attempt to win points on the international public
relations front from the picture of the child is ridiculous: the world knows
that Israel's hands are not clean, that they are stained with the blood of
children.

From September 29, 2000 through February 29, 2004, IDF soldiers killed 486
children and teenagers, 255 of them under the age of 15, according to the
Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). This appalling figure
should have long ago troubled the sleep of every decent Israeli and aroused
a public protest. There can be no justification for the killing of children
on such a large scale. The contention that the IDF does not intend to kill
children has long ago lost its foundation. The real question is what is the
IDF doing to prevent the killing of children. The answer - very little, if
anything. When it drops bombs and missiles on population centers, such as
during the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and when it sends tanks
into residential neighborhoods, it cannot argue that it does not intend to
kill children. There are many children living in the Darj neighborhood in
Gaza City, where Mohammed Shehadeh lived. Whoever decided to toss a one-ton
bomb there knew this very well. That is, he knowingly decided to kill
children. No excuse can be made to relieve him of the responsibility for
killing them.

However, we're not only responsible for the deaths of Palestinian children.
We're also responsible for their lives. Most of the Israelis who were
shocked at the sight of Hussam Abdu have no idea, and are not at all
interested in knowing, about the conditions in which the next generation of
Palestinians is growing up. More than 25 percent of the children, according
to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), suffer from
chronic malnutrition. They live in a backward environmental - without
community centers, computers, extracurricular activities, sports facilities,
or playgrounds. No less serious are the traumatic incidents every
Palestinian child is witness to. These children see their parents being
humiliated and are exposed to violence and horror every day. Their nights
are plagued with nightmares and their days are empty and depressing.

Every brutal house search in the middle of the night and every contact with
soldiers is a source of trauma. There is no Palestinian child who has not
seen a house destroyed, an assassination operation, severe harassment or
violence. They live in constant fear - that any moment soldiers will come,
the tanks will enter and crush, the bulldozer will come and destroy, and the
helicopter will fire a missile. Their fears are left untreated, just as
their health and physical development are left unattended. As an occupier,
we bear the responsibility for all of this.

There is no need for incitement to instill hatred in these children. The
daily sights they are exposed to constitute the greatest incitement. You
don't need to promise too much to a child with this kind of life to make him
want to commit suicide. Why shouldn't he want to? Because of his present
life? Because of the future that awaits him? It's hard to know what
motivated the child Hussam Abdu to put on an explosives belt. Virgins? The
NIS 100 promised to his mother? But instead of being shocked by those who
dispatched him, it would be better for us to focus on our responsibility for
the conditions of his life. Whoever is truly concerned over the fate of
Palestinian children should not only take interest when explosives belts are
attached to their bodies.

These children deserve a different fate. They deserve not to grow up among
the rubble of their homes as children and be killed as teenagers - whether
from a Palestinian explosives belt or from the bullet of an Israeli sniper.
Both of these are cruel to exactly the same extent.
 
 


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Comments

Re: Israel's sudden "concern" for Palestinian child.

Isn't it funny that when a 10 yr-old suicide bomber is stopped by the IDF, you have to blame Israel? Not the cynical adults who strapped these bombs to him. Israel has no desire to kill any children, Palestinian or otherwise. Israeli hospitals treat sick and wounded Palestinian children all the time at its own expense. The poverty the Palestinians are experiencing is in contrast to the economy they had when Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza from 1967 to 1993. Ever since the Palestinian Authority was set up, their economy has headed for the toilet. Unemployment went from 5% to 20% by 1996 under the rule of the PA. The PA is also notorious for siphoning off foreign aid and using the money to build luxury villas for Arafat and his friends. But you have to blame Israel every time for the suffering of the Palestinians, don't you? Facts apparently don't matter.

As for death tolls of Israeli/Palestinian children (I noticed you did not even mention the deaths of Israeli children in your article)---consider this. Between Sept. 2000 and May 2002, 11.7% of the Palestinian deaths were children aged 15 and under. But among the Israelis, 57.7% of the Israeli dead were children aged 15 and under. So WHO is targeting children?

I am not saying that the Israelis are perfect or that unlawful acts of violence against Palestinians do not occur. But it is not a matter of policy for the IDF or the Israeli govt. to target and kill children.
 

An open letter to Husam from an Israeli mother

LETTER FROM AN ISRAELI MOTHER TO HUSAM

Via Harvey Tannenbaum, Israel...and great thx to the israeli consulate ottawa canada

An Open Letter to a Palestinian Boy from an Israeli Mother

25 March, 2004
Dear Husam,
I am looking at your picture in the paper; it says here that a terrorist organization strapped 8 kilos of explosives to your body and sent you to
blow up in Israel. I look at your picture and I think of children your age, such as my own, and how they talk about all the things they want to
do when they grow up.

How do you feel today, Husam? Your mother must have been very worried when you didn't come home from school yesterday. We heard that they gave you
100 shekels to sneak through the checkpoint and then blow yourself up in a group of Israelis. Did you think that your mother would be happy to get 100 shekels instead of her son? I don't think so.

We also heard that the other kids used to tease you and made fun of you all the time because your didn't do well in school. You know what, Husam?
Kids, even teenagers, are always teasing each other. That's no reason to blow yourself up. Maybe you thought that the Koran expects children to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the jihad. That's what your teachers taught you, and of course you believed them. They taught you that it is necessary to make war on Israel. They taught
you that it is good to kill Israelis. They taught you about the virgins waiting for martyrs in heaven. And most of all, they taught you to hate.

What a pity that the teachers who are supposed to prepare you for life, to give you the tools to be a successful and productive citizen, abuse your trust and prepare you instead for death. We call that "exploitation of a minor" - but you wouldn't know about that kind of thing. I know they taught you to trust grownups. So it's hard to blame you. But I also know you can trust your mother.

Yesterday, your mother was angry. She was worried about you. And she did not agree with what you
tried to do. Listen to her; learn from her.

But don't listen to people like your teachers who want to turn children into bombs. Stay away from them. Believe me, there is no ideal in the world, no reason, no cause worth dying for as a child. Whoever convinced you to strap that explosive belt to your chest surely did not want what
was best for you. People like that don't mind sending you to die at the age of 14; they don't care that they are ruining your life, your future,
your chance to grow up, to raise a family and to be happy. They don't want you to continue to enjoy listening to music on the Internet, as you enjoy so much doing.

Well, Husam, I say - listen to your music. Study, play, have fun, do all the things boys your age usually do. Continue to play on the computer. You must grow up in order to realize your dreams. Keep going, and someday you will be able to do what you want to do - maybe open that electronics store you talked about, to repair radios and televisions. You might even eventually succeed in teaching others to repair certain other things that need fixing in this world

Perhaps you are disappointed that you didn't get to heaven, to the rivers of honey and wine and the waiting virgins that you were promised. If you
had succeeded, it is hard to say if it would
have fulfilled your expectations. But one thing is certain - if you had succeeded, you would have caused the deepest sorrow and pain to your
mother. And you would have caused the deepest sorrow and pain to the parents of the children - of all ages - that would have been killed with
you. One of them could have been me.

That's all for now. Please send my regards to your mother.

Ana Schulkin, Jerusalem

found at www.StandWithUs.com
 

Re: Israel's sudden "concern" for Palestinian child.

Isn't it funny that when a 10 yr-old suicide bomber is stopped by the IDF, you have to blame Israel?


You are being obtuse, like so many blind supporters of the brutal regime of occupation.

What Israel is to blame for is the pain of suffering inflicted on the Palestinians. Eventually, this is bound to get out of control and retaliation is gonna come. One form of this is suicide bombers. In that sense, Israel sure is responsible for what happens to a 10year old suicide bomber, just like it is responsible for sending kids - some of who die - in uniform to implement the brutal occupation. Action-reaction Becky. You abuse a population and something bad's gonna happen. Put it another way, if you end the occupation, you won't get suicide bombers heading towards Israeli. It is NOT hard to understand.

The poverty the Palestinians are experiencing is in contrast to the economy they had when Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza from 1967 to 1993.


It's worth noting that during the Oslo years (i.e. after 1993), the number of settlements and checkpoint INCREASED. That's an odd thing to do for a country who supposedly is engaged in a peace process. The decline of the economy owes much of its problems to this. You ought to read from credible sources like Amira Hass, and pay Attention to fine journalists like Gideon Levy.
The PA isn't responsible for the continued land grab, and increasing amount of checkpoints. It is true that Arafat was incompetent in signing Oslo. But that's definitely not enough to exonerate Israel. In fact, the sane and honnest people immediately saw what Oslo would lead, and they were right (read Edward Said for a change)

As for death tolls of Israeli/Palestinian children (I noticed you did not even mention the deaths of Israeli children in your article)---consider this. Between Sept. 2000 and May 2002, 11.7% of the Palestinian deaths were children aged 15 and under. But among the Israelis, 57.7% of the Israeli dead were children aged 15 and under. So WHO is targeting children?


According to btselem, and between Sept '00 and 10 March '04:

464 Palestinian kids killed (under 18years old)
104 Israeli kids killed (under 18years old)

Now, lets say that all the 104 israeli kids killed are under the age of 15. Furthermore, let's consider the total number of Israeli killed since Sept 2000: 858 according to Btselem. So that gives us a ration of 104/858 = 12%. So, one has to wonder how you came to the 57.7% figure.

But that's unimportant because the absolute amount deaths amongst the young Palestinians surpasses the amount of dead young israelis.

And, among others, we're not counting the numerous stone throwers kids who survive being shot by the IDF from within their tanks... as if tank is in any sort of danger.

it is not a matter of policy for the IDF or the Israeli govt. to target and kill children.


Well, whatever the policy is, the net result is that there are more young Palestinians death than young Israeli deaths.

But in either case, it is tragic. And ultimately, this can only stop if Israel gets out of the west bank and gaza (IDF and settlers), and stop oppressing the Palestinians).

Anyways, I'm sorry that you miss completely Mr. Levy's article. Maybe if you ever take off your blindfolds and stop listening to your zionist friend's propaganda, you will one day see what the occupation is, and what it does to Palestinians, and finally understand what needs to be done to sort out this mess and reach a point where neither Palestinians kids, nor Israelis kids have to die because of some crazy zionist thugs.
 

Re: Israel's sudden "concern" for Palestinian child.

"Well, whatever the policy is, the net result is that there are more young Palestinians death than young Israeli deaths"

Unfortunately, the palestinians send their kids out to confront tanks etc....men with automatic weapons hide behind them...
Israeli children aren't going out to fight palestinians, they're having lunch, going to school, having coffee with friends...the palestinians purposely try to murder as many israelis as possible.
If Israel wanted to do that, there wouldn't be any palestinians left...
If the palestinians were doing to an arab nation, what they've been doing to Israel...another BLACK SEPTEMBER would be the result, and nobobody would care, because arabs get a free pass when they massacre other arabs...
 

Re: Israel's sudden "concern" for Palestinian child.

Response to SB: It is true that more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed since the beginning of the intifada. But then the Israelis don't preach the value of martydom to their population. The Palestinians do. It's no secret that even in Palestinian schools kids are taught that being a holy martyr for the jihad is the highest calling they can have and that Palestinian teenagers go down EVERY DAY and throw rocks at IDF positions ---a very dangerous activity and one their parents should put a stop to.

I find it disturbing that you blame the violence on the Israelis BUILDING HOUSES on the West Bank as a justified cause for mass murder. BTW if you look at the provisions of the Oslo accord they do NOT forbid Jewish habitation of the West Bank. Currently, Jewish communities on the West Bank are on 1.7% of the land of the West Bank (a.k.a. Judea and Samaria --the Jewish names that preceeded the King of Jordan's renaming).

If I thought that Israel's retreat from Gaza and the West Bank would bring peace, i would be for it. It won't. Because the root cause is the Arab/Muslim desire to kill the Jews. All of them.
 

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