On Rosh Hashanah I thoroughly enjoyed reading the commentary of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in the Koren Machzor. Addressing the question of why both the Torah and Haftorah readings deal with the theme of mothers, Sarah and Chana, who overcame both physical difficulties and emotional frustrations on their convoluted path to motherhood, as opposed to “loftier” topics, Rabbi Sacks wrote:
Children have been the casualties of our age. In the West they have suffered from the breakdown of marriage and the exploitations of a consumer culture. In some parts of the world they have been used as labour, in others they have become the victims of terror or even trained to be terrorists, taught to hate. The protests have been too few.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is guilty of teaching to hate. The (EU funded) PA school system promotes a culture of violence, glorifies suicide bombers as martyrs, delegitimises, through gross historical revisionism, the mere existence of a “Zionist entity” on “Palestinian land,” and from the age of kindergarten upwards poisons young minds AGAINST peaceful coexistence. (An example of this historical revisionism is the following text which is taken from a second grade textbook entitled, “National Education” which deals with the “History of Palestine.” It states:
The first inhabitants of Palestine were the Canaanite Arabs.
The entire statement is an anachronsim! “Palestine” was the name given to the conquered Roman province of Judea in the second century CE, the Arabs only left the Arabian peninusla, with spread of Islam, in the seventh century CE and the Canaanites vanished into the dust of history around 1000 BCE.)
The above picture is from a 7th grade textbook entitled, “Mathematics.” It portrays a map of “Palestine” showing the territory as one single geographical entity, mentioning only “Palestinian” towns (Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus [Shechem], Hebron). No mention is made of the name “Israel” or Israeli towns, which were established by the Zionist movement. (For instance, where is Tel Aviv?)
One of the first things the victorious Allied armies did after the defeat of Nazi Germany, as part of the denazification program, was to change the Nazi-era textbooks. Twelve years of brainwashing had poisoned the minds of an entire generation. If the PA is really serious about peaceful coexistance, they should start by cleaning up their own house and not continually demanding that Israel make, “confidence building” gestures which lead nowhere, such as the recent release of depraved terrorist murderers, who were justly incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
Golda Meir has been much featured recently as the State of Israel commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Her famous statement regarding peace is just as relevant today as if was then:
Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.