I am convinced the violence that historically plagued the Middle East is rooted in the culture of hate that is widely spread and established in the region. We see it in form of sectarianism, religious or ultra-nationalist forms, but we – rightly – beat ourselves for having this disease, while Israel claims to be a democracy and peace-loving country.
Israel continuously fear-mongers about the ‘savage Arabs’ that live around them who want to throw them in the sea, and use children in their militant activities – which is no doubt the worse type of all.
A main differentiation of existence of the hate culture in Israel is its promotion on the ‘state’ level, and not on the level of some rogue elements or parties in the society. Israel is as worse as, if not way ahead of, its neighbourhood in this respect. Israel is the place where militancy and war-readiness is seeded in their children minds.
Above is Yedioth Ahronoth today’s front page (source) featuring what looks like a ‘fun day’ for the family at a West Bank settlement. Never mind it’s on stolen land, but yes, tourist children learn the use of assault rifles as part of their fun; a strange definition of childhood fun.
It’s no doubt the same hate culture that involved children in war activities before, and got them to proudly leave their marks on a destruction and killing tool, on shells that were about to be fired at their neighbourhood in 2006 (AFP).
Update 18/06/2012: from the Ynet article, another photo of the five-year old girl Tamara Michel Brown who was taken with her family by her dad, the Miami Banker, to this tourist attraction with the purpose of “teaching them values.”