Bringing Light to the Media Darkness

An open letter to Naftali Bennett and the Israeli Education Ministry

Some argue that if we scrub textbooks from Arabs classrooms to remove incitement, they will simply get the incitement at home or in a mosque. But we have to start somewhere.

Ari Fuld at his home in Efrat. Credit: Courtesy of Yishai Fleisher.
Ari Fuld at his home in Efrat. Credit: Courtesy of Yishai Fleisher.
Gary Schiff
Gary Schiff is a Jerusalem-based resource consultant and guide connecting Israel and the United States.

MK Naftali Bennett, In light of the recent murder of Israeli-American Ari Fuld, please refocus your education mission and make incitement your highest priority!

Knesset member Bennett and this administration have had tremendous success in institutionalizing Jewish history, values and pride throughout the Israeli Jewish education system. For those of us who support those traditional values, which I believe is still most of our nation, we cannot thank you enough. These efforts will pay off for years to come.

Now though, we must turn our attention to countering the education of incitement. It is not a knife that murdered our friend Ari Fuld; it is the “education of incitement” that molded the terrorist. We simply cannot allow this to continue. The incredible efforts of the Israel Defense Forces and our police, the amazing technology that helps us find murderers before they tackle walls, fences and metal detectors; all are absolutely critical. But the root of terrorism is the “education of incitement.”

Recent polling data shows that two-thirds of Arabs living in all of greater Israel hate us. They believe that terrorist attacks are an important part of their mission and should be rewarded. It isn’t just the Palestinian leadership; it’s the rank and file. Many are convinced that there is little or no relationship between their largely self-inflicted depressed economic status and their Jew-hatred. We Jews don’t hate them. We provide first-class treatment, even those from terrorist families in Gaza, at our best hospitals. Downtown Jerusalem does not need a Museum of Tolerance. Ramallah does. Remember, Ramallah, by the way, is a place where Jews are specifically prohibited from even entering. Are there such places where Arabs are treated similarly by Jews? Of course not!

We cannot tolerate a math curriculum where the word problem is “if I have captured five Jews and kill two, how many Jews are left?” We cannot continue to provide electricity to Gaza to run schools if their young children are going to terrorist summer camps and taught to kill Jews. We cannot tolerate imams preaching the glory of killing Jews. Nothing has changed since the Mufti incited the murder of Jews in Hebron in the 1920s before the State of Israel even existed.

Some argue that if we scrub textbooks from Arab classrooms to remove incitement, they will simply get the incitement at home or in a mosque. Answer: We have to start somewhere. There’s no reason why the ministry’s education responsibilities end with the schools. Palestinian media cannot be permitted to advocate for dehumanizing and killing Jews. The Israeli version and media platform for today’s “radio-free Europe” needs to take larger steps and media that clearly incites cannot broadcast. Arab government leaders cannot name streets for murderers.

This is our nation. We’re back, thank God. This is the nation of the Jewish people, where others are welcome to stay here if they can behave. Some would say that means following the most basic of the seven Noahide laws, which would include not inciting for the murder of Jews.

We cannot just pay our respects to the Fuld family and move on. Enough is enough. It is time to stop the incitement and focus on eliminating the “education of incitement” quickly of those within our borders who seek our destruction. There are experts who I know can help.

MK Bennett, Thank you for all you’ve done, but there is Jewish life-saving work to do. Please get busy.

Gary Schiff is a Jerusalem-based natural resource consultant connecting Israel and the United States.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.

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