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Once again, Ramadan is upon us, and once again, we are witnessing random acts of violence against the Jewish population of Israel. We have all seen this movie before. Of course, the Israeli government defends its population against these attacks.  This is specified under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Any responsible government is obligated to protect its own civilian population and, if placed under the same circumstances, we in the United States would behave no differently, nor would any other government.

Ask yourself: How would the United States respond if there were attacks on Buffalo, NY from Canada or attacks on San Diego from Mexico?

Violence does not happen in a vacuum. It takes years and years of steady indoctrination, which we see in schools and UNRWA textbooks. In the Izz al-din al-Qassam summer camps, children as young as nine are taught to fire a weapon and brainwashed to kill Jews. In the media, Jews are depicted as everything from thieves to murderers using ancient antisemitic stereotypes. Violence is promoted in inciteful sermons from imams in mosques. Take for example, the sermon that Palestinian Media Watch documented on April 18th, “Allah liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the defilement of the Jews.”

One is taught in Palestinian society that to be “a good Muslim,” one must emulate the shaheeds, the martyrs. Posters of the shaheeds adorn the walls of schools, the walls of city streets and playgrounds, not only in Gaza but in Judea and Samaria (or the West Bank), as well.

Every child wants to look at himself as a good person and to earn the admiration and respect of his loved ones and peers. No child is born wanting to die prematurely in martyrdom. It is counter-Darwinian.

These unfortunate Palestinian children and their parents are truly victims of an occupation. It is a toxic occupation of their brains committed by the Palestinian leadership. This is a leadership that has eclipsed their personal pursuit of a better life, of personal dreams and ambitions. Why should a Palestinian child be forced to subordinate his dreams of being a doctor, a lawyer, a journalist or anything else for the sake of martyrdom? Who knows what this child might become if he were not indoctrinated to make his body into a human bomb for someone else’s war machine?

The poison of this incitement by their own leadership has unfortunately taken root within Palestinian society. According to the most recent poll by the reputable Palestinian Research Institute, 72% of Palestinians in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria would want elections held immediately. The level of disappointment in Mahmoud Abbas stands at 70%.  This is not surprising considering that the last Palestinian election was held more than 16 years ago on January 25, 2006.

In the meantime, as Palestinian children are being systemically robbed of the opportunity to actualize their personal ambitions in favor of the cause of “greater Palestine,” “from the river to the sea.”

And even if this dream were realized, how free would the Palestinian people be?  Because of the huge media bias against Israel, reports documenting the tremendous oppression leaders by both Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza where they carry out scores of arbitrary arrests and torture of dissidents and journalists do not come out very often. If you watch any video, today, please watch this one.

Yes, the Palestinian people are under occupation. Their minds are being occupied by two regimes that systematically brainwash their people, and those who have the courage to challenge the brainwashing of their regimes are subjected to horrific abuse.

And this is a story that rarely, if ever, gets picked up by the likes of the New York Times or the Washington Post.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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