By Batsheva Haber
I woke up this morning feeling queasy.
It took me a minute to remember why. What happened last night? Why am I so upset? And then I remembered. I remembered that another Israeli child was robbed of a future last night, that another Jewish family is in mourning, that another life was lost from our nation. And all of this, simply because she was Jewish, like many others before her. Indeed I had a good reason to feel sick this morning.
Immediately I turned on my computer and went to check the news. That’s when I saw something that shocked me. The man who did this, the terrorist, someone so ruthless that he would drive a car into a train station and run over a baby girl, as well as 9 other civilians – was no more than 21 years old. 21 years old. Younger than I am.
What drives a man to do such a thing at such a young age? At 21 years old he should be full of life, full of hope, full of dreams, not full of hate and spite! How can someone that young, be that ruthless, that heartless, that murderous?
And then I saw the next news item. And there was my answer.
“A Terrorist’s Statuses” – that was the title of the article, and its content was taken directly from the terrorist’s Facebook page. Guns. Explosions. Violence. Hate. That is not the Facebook page of a 21 year old, that is the Facebook of a terrorist.
The problem of terrorism in Israel starts way before the attacks. It starts way earlier than recruitment to terror organizations. The problem begins in Palestinian cradles, Palestinian playgrounds, Palestinian schools.
This may seem like a terrible, even racist libel – but unfortunately it is true. It is true because TV shows for children on official Palestinian TV tell children to “shoot all the Jews”. It is true because schoolbooks teach that “your enemies seek life, while you seek death”. It is true because summer camps and sports teams are named for terrorists who are glorified as heroes. It is true because time and again the Palestinian children are told that Israel has no right to exist, that the answer is violence, and that martyrdom is the highest of virtues. It is true because the Palestinian Authorities do not see their young as children, but as potential weapons.
As long as that is true we can not have peace with the Palestinian people. The problem can not be solved by peace treaties or political agreements alone. The problem goes much deeper – to the seeds of hate that are being planted in the Palestinian citizens’ minds.
This is the true problem we are facing. This has always been the problem. In the words of Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”