From a PRESS RELEASE: April 29, 2009, by The Israel Project:
Washington, D.C. – As Israel celebrates its 61st birthday, The Israel Project is airing a TV ad campaign which focuses on the need to teach peace on both sides and to peacefully stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Three ads will air May 2-5 in the D.C. metropolitan area. By the end of the week they will have been broadcast more than 600 times on CNN, CNN’s Headline News, FOX NEWS and MSNBC.
“Today we celebrate Israeli Independence Day and it is a time to focus not only on the tremendous achievements but also on the ongoing threats to Israel’s existence and what can be done to move towards a better future,” commented Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Founder & President of The Israel Project. “I believe there is no question that teaching peace and tolerance to children as Israel does as an official part of their curriculums is paramount. I only hope that Palestinian leaders will adopt this model and stop teaching hate so that together we can work towards a common more peaceful future.”
The teacher ad features three high school teachers from the Ami Asaf School in Bet Berl. Yael Barkol is the Principal; Zehava Kaufman teaches Psychology and Sociology; and Barbara Ory teaches English.
All three teachers believe that education should promote peace and understanding. According to Barkol, “I think teachers should promote peace in some ways. One way is with the children. The other way, I think, is between Palestinian and Israeli teachers, because we are responsible. We are the leaders of the class. What they hear from us influences them. So I think that one part of the job is talking to the children, bringing values and morality.”
The second ad, features Nonie Darwish talking about her upbringing as a child in Gaza. Nonie brings attention to the deceptions and hatred in which she was steeped as a child and that continue as part of her culture to this day. "I learned to hate Israelis and Jews at an early age," she says. One popular song children in her school sang proclaimed, 'Arabs are our friends and Jews our dogs.' "I learned that hate, vengeance and retaliation are important values to protect Islam and Arab honor," Nonie says. "The severe indoctrination is devastating on children. Those who end up as terrorists are simply the ones who took their education and upbringing seriously and did as they were told."
TIP’s ad campaign is also designed to encourage the world community to work for a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis and to increase awareness that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology is in defiance of the international community, which has imposed sanctions on the regime and even offered incentives to persuade Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program. Iranian officials have said they plan to share their nuclear technology with others.
Yael: My job as a teacher is to make a difference.
Zehava: We’re going to have to come to a realization — that we’re all human beings and that we do have the right to live side by side.
Barbara: I still have that bit of hope inside of me, I hope, especially for my children, that there’s going to be peace...
Zehava: I think that our students are much more open than we are. — I think they’re quite confident that there will be a peace — a peaceful solution one day.
Nonie: They turn perfectly healthy children into hateful robots.
Narrator: Nonie's father led Arabs to attack Israel, a model for today's terrorist groups. As a child in school she was taught to hate, now she speaks out.
Nonie: The Arab people are beautiful people, but their culture is being destroyed from within, by hate. We learned about hate, vengeance, retaliation, jihad.
Nonie: Peace has to be taught as a value.
Imagine Washington, D.C. under missile attack from nearby Baltimore.
Since 2005, Israel has been targeted by 8,000 rocket and missile attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah.
Iran has helped fund, train and arm these terrorist groups.
A nuclear Iran is a threat to peace, emboldens extremists …and could give nuclear materials to terrorists with the ability to strike -- anywhere.
The world’s leaders can peacefully prevent a nuclear Iran. The time to act is now.