Last week a number of bloggers noted that AP had a picture of girls at a summer camp in Gaza. Cute. They were holding a missile aloft. Not so cute.
Backspin wonders how many papers carried the picture.
The neat thing about these summer camps is that they don't just brainwash Palestinian kids into really, really hating Jews. They brainwash Palesitnian kids into really, really hating Jews and they show them how they can do something about it.
I am sane enough to be worried about a political mind-set that is determined to appease a culture of Islamo Nazis.
The Muqata rounds up the varied options available to the children of Gaza.
While Fatah may not be running any camps in Gaza, they apparently are running at least one near Hebron. Given that Fatah's a moderate organization they chose to name the camp after - a terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi.
The Palestinian Authority has also named two summer camps after Ayyat al-Akhras, a 17-year old who exploded herself in a Jerusalem supermarket. They've also named one after Wafa Idris, another female terrorist who murdered and injured many.
In addition, a camp was named for Jihad Al-Amarin, the founder of the suicide terror division of the Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades.
You can tell a lot about a people by looking at their heroes.
Of course such summer camps are nothing new.
Last summer Ali Waked of Ynet reported:
At the Fatah summer camps the kids eat cold cuts but at Hamas' camps they get kebabs (ground-meat skewers) and falafel. Tens of thousands of children spend the summer in the Hamas-sponsored camps in the Strip. After the classes about the Prophet and Islam, they visit the beach and the zoo. Weapon courses? Forget about it
However Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post cast doubt on the claim that there was no weapon training.
Some Palestinian parents in the Gaza Strip are up in arms over Hamas summer camps which are being used to train children on the use of weapons and other military equipment.
The families on Tuesday also accused Hamas of inciting their children against Israel and Fatah. Some of the families decided to pull their children out of the camps after discovering the goals of the camp. Most of the children who are participating in the current Hamas summer camps are between the ages of eight and 17.
In the past, Fatah also used summer camps for teaching schoolchildren how to use weapons and for inciting against Israel and the US.
The Fatah-affiliated Palestine Press Agency reported that the Hamas camps had been established in closed areas in various parts of the Gaza Strip so that the families would not see what's happening inside them.
In 2005, SF Gate reported:
"In this camp we learn the important things of life -- good behavior, respect," said Osama, who was spending the summer at a Hamas-run camp on the beach outside Gaza City.
They also learn how to sing "intifada songs," including one urging them to "kill Zionists wherever they are, in the name of God."
In August 2000, John Burns of the NY Times reported:
It is summer camp time for 25,000 Palestinian teenagers, and strikingly unusual camps they are, too. As run by the men who handle psychological warfare for Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, they allow no horsing around in the dorm, no fun-in-the-sun by a cool clear lake, no rousing sing-alongs beside a roaring campfire.
Instead, there is the chance to stage a mock kidnapping of an Israeli leader by masked Palestinian commandos, ending with the Israeli's bodyguards sprawled dead on the ground. Next, there is the mock attack on an Israeli military post, ending with a sentry being grabbed by the neck and fatally stabbed. Finally, there is the opportunity to excel in stripping and reassembling a real Kalashnikov rifle.
In the summer of the latest Camp David talks, a summer that was supposed to produce a final peace settlement between Israel and its Palestinian adversaries, the Palestinians' idea of a teenage boys' camp is a reminder of how deep old enmities run. At 90 two- and three-week camps on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, youths from towns and villages already ceded to Israel by Mr. Arafat's Palestinian Authority are learning the arts of kidnapping, ambushing and using assault weapons.
It's good of him to acknowledge that this kind of camp "...is a reminder of how deep old enmities run," but which way do those enmities run. The previous month Yasser Arafat and co. had been vacationing in Camp David purportedly to reach a peace agreement with Israel's government then headed by PM Ehud Barak. And that whole time, someone who apparently reported directly to Arafat was running these camps.
Oh, and two months later there was a "spontaneous" outbreak of violence against Israel that quickly escalated in which many "youths" were killed. If I didn't know better I'd conclude that the summer camps were the training grounds for the many underage troops who would soon confront Israeli soldiers and that the so-called "Aqsa intifada" was orchestrated. But of course Arafat was a man of peace, eager to put his terrorist past behind him and create a state dedicated to living peacefully side by side with Israel.
Not surprisingly the Israeli government - in 2003 - charged that the indoctrination and military training that goes on in Palestinian summer camps was part of an organized effort by the Palestinian Authority to radicalize the youth.
Not only does the Palestinian media incite and influence the children and teenagers, but the education system and summer camps "brainwash" the adolescents. The adolescents are inculcated with Islamic precepts that call for and encourage Jihad against Israel. At the beginning of July the Islamic Foundation in Gaza organized summer camps called the "Al-Aqsa Martyrs summer camp". These camps continued until the end of July. On July 2, the "Al-Quds" newspaper quoted Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Baher, the chairman of the Islamic Foundation, as saying that the foundation attempted to keep the summer camps going despite the ongoing conflict, because they deeply believe in the values the summer camps are instilling in the children.
In addition, Dr. Baher stated that there is a constant stream of children who want to participate in the Hamas summer camps, where the children receive uniforms, shoes, exercise books and attention from the camp organizers. According to him, non-religious children join the summer camps due to the vast number of attractions that the organization offers. In addition, they teach the children the history of Islam, with pictures of the "martyrs" displayed everywhere, and in this way "instill the seeds of hate against Israel."
Similar summer camps are being conducted by the Palestinian Authority Ministry for Youth and Sport, designed to incite the children, recruit them against Israel and train them in the use of weapons for future terrorist attacks against Israel.
That Hamas is running summer camps instilling a hatred of Israel in children this year is no surprise. (Except if one believes that Hamas is suffering excessively from the Israeli blockade.) This has been going on for a long time.
The politicians, diplomats, academics and journalists can claim that the fundamental problem in the Middle East that is the construction of Israeli housing in disputed areas. But as long as Palestinian society is devoted to the destruction of Israel the conditions for peace will never exist. These camps are not isolated pockets of intolerance but the foreseeable products of a culture of hatred.
UPDATE: Other comments and observations from the past include ...
This isn't a "summer camp" as we would recognize it. This is the modern Hitler Youth.
IRIS Blog noted a related story in 2006.
When I went to camp we swam, played sports and learned to weave gimp. Gaza has different priorities for their children...
Here goes the future of another Palestinian generation. And, no, I do not feel responsible for it. I hope donors to Hamas do.
and holds out home that some will draw the proper conclusions from this.
By the way, UNRWA is also running 'summer camps' in Gaza this summer, but the 'moderate' Fatah party is not because of its 'meager' resources (I guess $7.4 billion isn't enough money to run summer camps) and because of the 'limitations' that Hamas puts on it in Gaza.
But as noted above, Fatah is still running camps in territories under its control.
LGF, I see, covered this back in 2002, with a touch of understatement.
This wasn't the kind of camp where kids sing Kumbaya and learn how to tie knots; it was the kind where Palestinian kids learn how to murder Jews and set their houses on fire.
Crossposted on Yourish.Posted by SoccerDad at August 3, 2008 6:20 AM