Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

The big lie, redux

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In 1985, following the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer by Palestinian terrorists aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro, Palestine Liberation Organisation Foreign Secretary Farouq Qaddumi famously denied responsibility for the attack, suggesting that perhaps his terminally ill wife had killed her husband for insurance money.

This unique brand of chutzpah resurfaced again this week, when the Palestinian News Network reported on a story in Yediot Ahronot about Gazan kindergarten pupils, who were directed to put on a play depicting Israelis as torturers and oppressors as part of their semester-ending festivities.

The original story makes it abundantly clear that the photographs are of Gazan children acting out the play.

However, the PNN's caption writers were undeterred, deftly turning an incident of anti-Israel incitement into some sort of sadistic anti-Palestinian indoctrination in a few clicks of the keyboard with the caption: "Picture of Israeli kids performing a play about torturing Palestinians".

A follow-up story by Yediot Ahronot on Wednesday further explored examples of how the Palestinian education system continues to strongly reinforce Palestinian claims to pre-1967 Israel, undermining support for a two-state peace solution.

The Gaza kindergarten incident came immediately on the heels of a report by the NGO Palestinian Media Watch of another outrageous case of anti-Israel indocrination of Palestinian children this week, this time in east Jerusalem.

Young boys attending a puppet show were admonished not to take up smoking to prove their manhood. Instead, they were urged to take up weapons - against Israelis.

Said the puppet:

I, and many other youth like me, think that cigarettes will help us to grow, to turn into men. Jerusalem doesn't need men who hold cigarettes. It needs men who hold machine guns, not cigarettes."

And as Palestinian Media Watch noted, Burj Luq-Luq Social Center Society, the Palestinian NGO that hosted the puppet show "is or has been supported by various branches of the UN, including UNICEF and UNESCO" and received funding from "the French consulate, the Swiss Development Agency, the Youth Development Department, which belongs to the Association of Arab Studies the 'Orient House,' the Italian Institutions Union, the Faisal Husseini Institute... UNFPA" and Arab countries, as well as the PA Ministry of Youth and Sports."

Ahron Shapiro

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