Such violence has deep roots. It goes back to the rampages at the behest of Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Muslim activist and at one point grand mufti of Jerusalem, in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. It continued with the fedayeen Palestinian[-Arab] militants in the 1950s and ’60s, and evolved into the terrorism of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah under Yasser Arafat and now Mahmoud Abbas.
Anyone who claims that Palestinian[-Arab] terror against Jews dates only to 1967, or is a response to Israeli settlements, should become more informed of the conflict’s history.
Yet the apathy shown by the international community to the death-culture fostered by Palestinian [Arab] elites, and the unbalanced manner in which subsequent violence is often treated by the international media—as if there is any kind of symmetry between terrorists and their victims—is doing long-term, and possibly irrevocable, harm to generations of Palestinian [Arab]s.
A few recent examples underscore the depth of the problem.
Mr. Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, said the following on Palestinian[-Authority] television on Sept. 16:
“We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
Days later, with the Henkin children still in mourning, PLO official Mahmoud Ismail went on official Palestinian[-Authority] television, PBC, and proclaimed their parents’ murder to be a fulfillment of ...“national duty.” He was one of several Palestinian[-Arab] officials who condoned the murder.
Such statements strike a resonant chord among generations of Palestinian[-Arab] children who have been taught that Jews are the descendants of “barbaric monkeys” and “wretched pigs” (a phrase from a poem repeatedly recited on PBC television, to the applause of children.) They have been taught that “armed conflict” (a common Palestinian[-Arab] euphemism for the murder of Jews) against “the so-called State of Israel” is both a religious duty and an act purportedly legitimized by the United Nations—a falsehood repeated in a number of 12th-grade Palestinian[-Arab] textbooks.
The Palestinian Authority also pays handsome stipends to terrorists and their families, which serve as a powerful incentive to carry out acts of terror.
Is it surprising, then, that Mr. Abbas’s explicit call for “blood on its way to Allah” has resulted in a surge of stabbings and other attacks against Israelis? Is it any wonder that viewers of official television recently were treated to the sight of a Palestinian[-Arab] boy, dressed up in battle fatigues, telling a smiling talk-show host of his wish to become an engineer “so that I can build bombs to blow up all the Jews.”
The unending stream of blood-drenched caricatures and video clips that circulate virally through Palestinian[-Arab] social media is a telling indication of how profoundly the worship of violence is entrenched in Palestinian[-Arab] society. So are the many schools, city squares and sports tournaments named for arch-terrorists.
The cultivation of this culture of death is having devastating effects. As Palestinian[-Arab] terror touches more Jewish families, Israelis, especially of the younger generation, are increasingly resigning themselves to the fact that Palestinian [Arab] society is guided by a dramatically different set of values.
Israeli society and Jewish tradition sanctify life. Palestinian[-Arab]society glorifies death. Israeli children grow up on songs of peace and the biblical vision of “nation shall not lift up sword against nation.” Palestinian[-Arab] children are taught to hate.
Yet there is no international outcry. No indignation at the exploitation of Palestinian[-Arab] children from all the nongovernmental organizations and U.N. agencies that profess to monitor human-rights abuses.
This is tragic because the international community could make a practical difference. About a third of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is financed by foreign aid. This money is intended to develop Palestinian[-Arab] infrastructure and foster economic growth, but it is being misused by the Palestinian Authority to promote the murder of Jews and to sow destruction within Israel. The international community can wield its influence toward a cessation of incitement.
Turning a blind eye to the enormous harm that the Palestinian[-Arab] leadership is doing to its own people—by raising successive generations of children on blind hatred of the Jews and Israel—is dooming these children to a bleak future. This ought to be a compelling reason for the international community to seriously rethink the strange tolerance it exhibits toward the Palestinian[-Arab] death-culture.
Changing this culture of death is no less important for the Palestinian [Arab]s than for Israel.