The drama queens of the Israel lobby would have us believe that they are SHOCKED to learn that someone's kid/little brother was not only present at last Tuesday's protest against a proposed Max Brenner outlet at UNSW, but that the child (around 8-10 judging from the photograph featured on the front page of this week's Australian Jewish News) was "brandishing" (Ziospeak for 'holding' when someone they don't like is doing it) a sign reading 'Max, Max, Murderer!':
"They are raising a young child on myths and prejudice and planting the seeds of hatred with reckless disregard for the ultimate consequences. They have learnt nothing from history," ranted Peter Wertheim of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. "It is deplorable to see a young child being indoctrinated with falsehoods and hatred," echoed Yair Miller of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. ('Planting the seeds of hatred', AJN, 3/5/13)
"[I]t's hard to respect people who allow their children to brandish such offensive signs at such a young age," intoned the the AJN editorialist piously. "If more time was invested in teaching youngsters about tolerance and peace, instead of promoting conflict and hate, such scenes - and indeed the scenes we see in the Middle East on all too frequent a basis - would perhaps be less common." (What are they teaching?)
God forbid that our kids should know that consumer choices have real consequences. That there is often a connection between Big Business and War. Or that, in this instance, Max Brenner "sweetens [the] special moments" of troops who gun down Palestinians, young and old, with monotonous regularity and get away with it every time. (See my 12/7/09 post How Sweet It Is.)
The sheer humbug of such voices is breathtaking.
Not from them an admission that Israeli kids are groomed from day 1 for conflict and hate:
"This very cute kid who'd regularly visit our [army] post decided that he didn't like Palestinians walking beneath his house, so he took a brick and threw it at this girl's head. Kid's there do whatever they want. No one does anything about it. No one cares. Afterward, his parents just praised him. The parents there encourage their children to behave like that. There were many cases like that. Eleven-, twelve-year-old Jewish kids beat up Palestinians and their parents come along to help them, set their dogs on them - there's a thousand and one stories." (Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010, Breaking the Silence, pp 308-309)
Nor from them an admission - let alone an expression of concern - that the abuse of Palestinian kids by Israeli soldiers, police and intelligence personnel has reached alarming proportions.
Here, for example, is the opening paragraph of the Christian Peacemaker Teams' recent report, Occupied Childhoods: Impact of the actions of Israeli soldiers on Palestinian children in H2 during February, March & April 2013:
"The recent mass arrest of 27 Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers on March 20, 2013 is a shocking example of the violation of children's rights in H2 (the portion of Hebron under Israeli Military control) in and near the Old City neighborhood of Hebron. Sadly the event is not an isolated incident. The suddenness of the arrest and the fact that it was not precipitated by a specific incident but was instead an attempt to round up as many children as possible in order to question them make the incident particularly egregious. Unfortunately children living in H2 are subject to experiences which violate their rights as children on a daily basis. Since the start of February human rights workers in Hebron have witnessed and documented 47 detentions and/or arrests of children age 15 and under by Israeli soldiers. A UNICEF document* released in February, 2013 describes the arrest, interrogation and detention by the Israeli army, police and security agents of approximately 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 each year, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)." (cpt.org)
[*See my 18/4/13 post The UN Goes to Water.]