Hamas Child Care (Islamic Jihad edition)
In May 2009 I posted Hamas Child Care. To date, that remains one of the posts on my blog that has received the most views. Well, an article that I saw today prompted me to return to the subject matter of that prior post. Ynet News has a story, sourced from images from Agence France-Presse (AFP) about a summer camp operated by Islamic Jihad in Gaza. According to the Ynet News story (I have not been able to find the original AFP story):
In a somewhat unorthodox summer camp in the Gaza Strip, children aged between six and 16 picked up AK-47s and engaged in a series of quasi-military drills, including a lively game of “kidnap an Israeli soldier” in the sand dunes of Rafah.
An AFP correspondent listed some of the activities the Islamic Jihad summer camp offers its enrollees: Weapons use, jumping over fire and crawling under barbed wire, all performed to the tune of exploding charges.
Aside from technical skills, camp organizers also promise religious lessons.
Several photographs released on Wednesday show a young khaki-clad vacationer, his face colored in camouflage, dragged by two gun-toting tykes from an “outpost” adorned with an Israeli flag, in what appeared to be a reenactment of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping.
AFP reported that the summer camp organizers expect the participation of thousands between the ages of six and 16.
And now the photos:
These kids could be learning to play soccer (er, sorry, football). They could be learning to swim in the Mediterranean. Or fish. They could be learning to build houses or plant crops or any of a host of other skills. Instead, they’re learning the art of war.
Please explain to me how peace will ever be accomplished if one side raises their children in summer camps where the lessons are violence and war.