CNN has fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill for giving a speech in which he called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” In other words, he means the destruction of Israel.
But let’s not forget about a much bigger problem: an entire generation of Palestinian Arabs who want to create “Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
The Palestinian Authority has posted a deeply disturbing photo on the official Facebook page of the P.A. Presidential Guard. (Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch for exposing this.) It shows an Arab boy who looks to be 5 or 6 years old, holding a Palestinian flag and flashing a V sign.
That’s not the peace sign that antiwar protesters used to make during the Vietnam war. In Palestinian culture, it’s the “V-for-victory” sign. As in, victory over Israel.
Behind the boy is a huge map, twice his size, labeled “Palestine.” Now if the Palestinian Authority was really interested only in a state along the 1967 lines—as J Street and other pro-Palestinian apologists claim—then presumably the P.A.’s map of “Palestine” would reflect that.
No such luck. The map of “Palestine” covers all of Israel. All of it.
And just so there is no doubt about the P.A.’s goal, various cities are named on the map. They include numerous cities within pre-1967 Israel, such as Haifa, Tiberias, Beersheva and Ashkelon. The entire Negev Desert is included as part of “Palestine.” Tel Aviv is, too—labeled with the Arabic name “Tal Al-Rabia.”
The entire Facebook image is titled “Palestine We Will Surely Return.” That is the “Palestine” to which they want to return: from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, Haifa and Tel Aviv, and all the rest.
Palestinian children are not born hating Jews or dreaming of destroying Israel. It takes an entire village, an entire society, an entire governing regime to make them that way.
In the schools where they are educated, as part of the television programs they watch and regarding so many other facets of their culture, Palestinian Arab children are taught that Jews are evil, that murderers of Jews are heroes and martyrs, and that the Jewish state must be replaced from the river to the sea.
This message is drummed home even in the games they play. In their summer camps, they are entertained with war (against Israel) games. They perform skits about kidnapping and murdering Jews.
An official P.A. spokesman recently characterized the wave of flaming-kite attacks from Gaza as “a children’s game such as kites, used by peaceful protesters as one of the means of protest against the siege and the occupation.” These youngsters are taught that attempting to burn Jews to death, and setting their houses and fields on fire, is indeed a “game.” That’s their idea of fun.
When those children reach young adulthood and go off to college, the message of hate continues. Palestinian Media Watch recently posted a video of a speech by Saleh Abu Osba, the rector of Al-Istiqlal University, in P.A.-occupied Jericho. “We the Palestinians have a great dream before us,” he declared. “To liberate Palestine from the river to the sea. This dream will remain before us and requires of us will power. Our people’s will power is strong. The proof of this is the thousands of prisoners and the thousands of martyrs who have fallen to realize the dream of liberating Palestine.”
Mr. Osba is not some isolated extremist. He isn’t some lone, rogue faculty member. He is the rector of the university. He is the voice of a P.A. institution of higher learning. His job is to help educate an entire generation of young Palestinian Arabs.
Just to make sure that Osba’s message was heard far beyond the walls of his campus, the P.A. broadcast his speech on the official “Voice of Palestine” radio station.
The child posing in front of that “From the river to the sea” map on the P.A.’s Facebook page may well grow up to imitate the Palestinian teenager who butchered Mrs. Dafna Meir with a 20-centimeter knife in front of her children; or the Palestinian teenage firebomb-throwers who severely burned 11-year-old Ayelet Shapiro near Ma’ale Shomron, nearly killing her and leaving her deeply scarred for the rest of her life.
And if that Palestinian poster child does carry out such a bloody deed, he will be hailed as a hero by his family, friends and community—and showered with rewards by the P.A. If he ends up in an Israeli prison, he’ll receive a generous salary for life from the P.A. If he is killed during the attack, his family will receive those P.A. checks. Schools will be named after him. Soccer tournaments as well.
So yes, I’m just as bothered as everyone else when Marc Lamont Hill talks about “liberating Palestine from the river to the sea.” But I am even more worried about the entire generation of children who are being raised to pursue that goal, and the legion of cheerleaders and apologists who want to give them a state in Israel’s backyard—a state that will be the launching pad for the fulfillment of their evil dream.
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” is available on Amazon.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.