The culture of death

If MP Jenny Tonge really wants to understand Palestinian suicide bombers, she could do worse than spend a few hours watching Palestinian Authority TV.

Here are some of the things she might see:

Palestinian society actively promotes the religious belief that their deity craves their deaths. Note the words of a popular music video directed at children, broadcast hundreds of times on PA TV, which depicts the earth thirsting for the blood of children: “How sweet is the fragrance of the shahids [martyrs], how sweet is the scent of the earth, its thirst quenched by the gush of blood, flowing from the youthful body.”

Even children are not spared the indoctrination that the deity wants their deaths. A telling example is the story of 14-year-old Faras Ouda, a boy elevated to heroism by the Palestinian leadership.

Yasser Arafat regularly singles out Ouda as a role model for children, addressing children on TV once as “peers, friends, brothers and sisters of Faras Ouda,” another time telling them “This generation represented by your colleague, the hero Shahid, Faras Ouda!” Yet another time he said, “We are saluting to the spirit of our hero Shahid Faras Ouda, Faras Ouda, Faras Ouda!”

What was Faras Ouda’s great accomplishment that Arafat elevated him to archetypical role model? The boy’s goal in life was to die for the deity, as reported in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al Jadida: “On the day of his death Faras Ouda left his home with a slingshot, after having made himself a wreath decorated with photos of himself and having written on it ‘The Brave Shahid Faras Ouda.'”

Palestinian mothers have been taught to aspire to death for Allah for their children. A mother explained recently on PA TV why she expressed sounds of joy upon hearing of her son’s death: “A mother makes sounds of joy because she wants him to reach shahada. He became a shahid for Allah Almighty. I wanted the best for him; this is the best for [my son] Shaadi.”

PA ideology rejects the values that other societies hold supreme. Here is Issam Sissalem on PA TV: “We are not afraid to die and do not love life.”

Palestinian children have learned to see dying for the deity as their goal in life. In a chilling talk show interview on PA TV, two 11-year-old girls explain cheerfully and eloquently what they and their young friends desire:

Walla: Shahada is very, very beautiful. Everyone aspires to shahada. What could be better than going to paradise?

Host: What is better, peace and full rights for the Palestinian people or shahada?

Walla: Shahada.

Yussra: Of course shahada is sweet. We don’t want this world, we want the Afterlife. We benefit not from this life but from the Afterlife… Every Palestinian child aged, say 12, says “Oh Lord, I would like to become a shahid.”

Forget for a moment what the Palestinians and the Israelis are doing to each other; what kinds of awful things are the Palestinians doing to themselves?