Palestinians are not born hating Jews. That hatred is learned, and for the Palestinians, it is vital.
This is how for generations they have been churning out terrorists who shoot, stab and run over pregnant women, children asleep in their beds, and soldiers and police officers on guard duty. Along with the aspiration to martyrdom and the willingness to die, hatred is apparently the basis for the Palestinian loss of fear and Israel’s loss of deterrence, two issues that are often discussed together.
The Palestinians feed their children hatred with their mothers’ milk. Where else in the world will you find a society that gives babies names like “Knife of Jerusalem” and posts pictures of them on Facebook holding weapons in their tiny hands? Where else on Earth are sports teams, streets and schools named after the murderers of children and the elderly?
While in Israeli society we fight the agents of hatred and try to cast them out from among us, religious figures in the Palestinian Authority explain that the conflict with Israel is an eternal war commanded by God and that hating and killing Jews is the will of Allah. The hadith of the tree and the rock, which explicitly calls on Muslims to kill Jews, has never been more popular in sermons in the P.A. Every Jew killed sends Palestinians onto the rooftops to fire celebratory rounds of shots. They hand out sweets to children and ululate at the funerals of their murderous “martyrs.”
A few days ago, we learned that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement was “holding prayers for the souls” of the killers of newborn infant Amiad Yisrael, and civilians Ziv Hajbi and Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel. Fatah says the killers “are drawing the borders of the homeland with their pure blood.”
A Muslim preacher who recently spoke at the illegal tent city Khan al-Ahmar, where demolition is being held up by Israeli dawdling, said Hitler was one of a line of people sent by Allah throughout history to punish the Jews for their bad behavior and teach them a lesson. This is not the first time the Palestinians have enlisted the Nazi dictator as a role model who contributed to humanity by murdering Jews.
The smell of hatred wafts up from the pages of the textbooks used in Palestinian schools. Their material does not consider Jews to be legitimate residents of Israel. We’re supposed to be removed. The “legitimate residents” will return and take our place, and any “foreign traces” that remain in Israel after the “thieves” are ousted will be annihilated. This is the wording.
Other study materials praise those who slaughtered Jews in Hebron and Tzfat in 1929, calling them “martyrs.”
Dr. Roni Shaked and Dr. Arnon Gross, researchers not aligned with the Israeli right, recently authored a 215-page report about the Palestinian school system that ends with the sad conclusion that the textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority mentally prepare pupils for a violent struggle to wipe out Israel and make its Jewish residents disappear.
This is hatred. This is an enemy. But the problem is not just the murderers themselves, it is the masses in Palestinian society who stand behind them.
Nadav Shragai is a veteran Israeli journalist.