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Sunday, June 1, 2003
PMW: Children's letters in the Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin
June 1, 2003

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The Winning Entries in the Palestinian Authority's Children's Letter Writing

The Themes:
1 - Lod and Jaffa are Palestinian cities
2- Glorifying violence, hate, Death for Allah - Shahada
3- Hatred of America

By Itamar Marcus


The Palestinian Authority [PA] Education Ministry has announced the 10 first
place winners from among one million letters submitted in a children's
letter writing contest. What is evident from the PA selections is that the
PA Education Ministry continues to promote hatred and violence as values for
Palestinian youth.

The ten winning letters all deal with the conflict, and promote hatred and
killing. Not one promotes peace with Israel. The themes include longing for
Israel's destruction, desire to kill Israelis, and hatred of the US.
Israelis are defined as the enemy, Israeli soldiers are depicted as taking
bottles of blood of murdered children, and Israel PM Sharon is vilified.

It is very indicative of the foundation of PA education, that the very first
letter cited is entitled "I will yet return to Lod - a letter to my enemy"
in which the Palestinian child writes: "You do not deserve Lod, and after
this day I will no longer accept the small pool [instead of the Sea at
Jaffa]." Honoring the refusal to accept Israeli sovereignty over its cities
Jaffa and Lod is teaching Palestinian children that Israel's destruction is
a legitimate and reachable goal.

Comment: If among the million of letters submitted, peace promoting themes
were present and yet the PA leadership refused to include even one among the
winners, it means the Palestinians are continuing their hate education. On
the other hand, there was not even one peace-promoting letter it is equally
disturbing, as an ominous warning of how successful the PA education has
been in creating a generation dedicated to hatred of Israel. PMW has noted
repeatedly that the PA education to hatred and violence, has been an
accurate indicator of PA goals and behavior in the past.

The following are the letters as they appeared in the official ad published
by the Palestinian Authority in the daily, Al-Quds.

1- "I yet still return to Lod"

"A letter to my enemy,

... I am Lara from Lod, and I am an eleven year-old girl living in the city
of Ramallah. I used to accept that Ramallah is a substitute for Lod, and
that the large sea has been exchanged for a small pool. However, in spite of
this you stole my simple dream from me. You came to my little house and
conquered it; you killed, you destroyed, and you carried out arrests.
Therefore you do not deserve [to have] Lod, and after this day I will no
longer accept the small pool. I will dream of the sea at Jaffa and the
sunshine in Lod." [ed note: Jaffa and Lod are Israeli cities] [Lara
Amar Al-Janan School, Ramallah, Sixth Grade]

2- "My soul, my love, why do they keep me from you?"

"After we suffered from the attack upon my brother, the shahid, Majdi, on
April 24 th 2002, I also lost my father, Naji, forty days later, when he was
[killed] by the occupation.

"I hurried to look for you, my father, in the corners of the houses but I
did not find you. I look at your empty bed, and see you as if in Hell. I am
the one who saw the death of his brother at the moment that he became a
shahid. My heart has turned into a sad block of pain. One day I will buy a
weapon and I will blow away the fetters. I will propel my living-dead body
into your arms, my father, and you will gather me into your hands. My soul,
my love, why do they keep me from you?"
[Mahmoud Naji Chalilah, Jaba Boys Elementary [School] Jenin-Seventh Grade]

3- "A bottle of blood as a Mothers' Day Gift

"To my fellow member of humanity, the Israeli soldier at the military

"We celebrated Mothers' Day and then we went to a family nearby to join them
for the celebration and give them our blessings because their son is
missing. My brother, do you know why he is missing? He died after one of
your comrades shot him, and he was killed at the age of 14.

"Did your mother celebrate Mothers' Day? I don't think you celebrated with
her because of the assignments you have been given to carry out against the
Palestinians. I suggest that if you pay her a late visit, you should bring
her a gift: a bottle of the blood of a Palestinian child whom you have
murdered on the way and whose mother is still looking for him. I am sure
that your mother would be very satisfied with this gift."

[Jhouk Tarek abd Al-Chalim Anavta Girls' [School], Tenth Grade]

4 -"Do they call you "Grandpa"?"

"To Sharon, without any greetings,

"Sharon, you do not know how much I wish I could meet your grandchildren so
that I could ask them if you play with them. Do they call you 'Grandpa'? Or
are they afraid of you? I would like to tell you the secret of my hatred
towards you. I do not hate you because of your religion, because I believe
in Musa [Moses], may his memory be blessed. I hate you because you hate the
children of my nation.

'We love peace just as much you love war. And I would like to let you know
something. A very rude boy lives in my neighborhood, and do you know what
they call him? They call him "Sharon."" [Saja Etzam Marei Mahmoud
Alhamshari School, Tulkarem, Seventh Grade]

5 -"She was at peace with herself"
[Ed note - letter is to parents of the American, Rachel Corey, who died when
trying to prevent an Israeli bulldozer from destroying Palestinian weapon
tunnels in the Gaza Strip.]

"To Mrs. Cynthia and Mr. Craig, the parents of the Shahida [Died for Allah]
of the Palestinian people, the American, Rachel Corey, Washington,

"Rachel's pure spirit is still examining our intentions, and it asks us not
to give in or to be defeated. Rachel did not cross the ocean in vain. It was
in order to turn her body, which was small in size, into something great in
terms of love and hope, [to be] like a protective shield to those who are
exploited under the occupation. She came to take part in a symbolic trial
against the president of her country, George Bush, because she knew that
your president's administration obeys the Israeli government. The sharpest
proof of this is that your country's government did not condemn the killing
of your daughter, but sought to conduct an investigation into the incident.
I would like to invite both of you to visit Palestine so that you could see
how much Rachel was at peace with herself when she said what she did and did
what she did."
Mahmoud Ibrahim Alsatiti Jilabun Elementary School for Boys Ninth Grade

6 -A Letter to the Swiss Ambassador:
"Your respected government constructed our school in 1995.. And now Israel
is currently building their fictitious security fence of separation only
about 5 meters away from our school. Could you send the Israeli government a
request to keep the wall away from our school, as far as possible?"

7 -A Letter to an Israeli Soldier at the Roadblock
"I see you behind blocks of cement, on your back is this ammunition, this
equipment that is too heavy for you to carry, your face shows toughness, in
your heart is worry and fear. I see my friends while they are walking on
their way to school and on their backs their school bag is filled with
[school] equipment. On their faces is hope and happiness. I see a big
difference between what we carry on our backs and what you carry on yours -
[a rifle.] You live with the hope of power, while we live with the power of

8 -10
The last three are a letter to a father in an Israeli jail "who is rotting
in a place where time passes like a tortoise" to a father who left when the
children were young, and a letter to the UN Secretary-General complaining:
"Why are you silent when major crimes are being perpetrated against us?"

[Al-Quds, May 28th, 2003]
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