Tonight's Christiane Amanpour's Presentation on "Generation Islam"
from a Jewish lady's perspective
by Nadene Goldfoot
Christiane's opening words at 7 pm were blaming the Gazan's plight on Israel's birth 60 years ago and this being the cause of their hating America. Then she went on to say that December 27, 2008 was the date of Israel's offensive but blamed both sides. She explained that it lasted 22 days and that only 13 Israelis were killed while 1,300 Palestinians died. Palestinians see America siding with Israel and this makes them mad.
80% of Palestinians are on the dole. They have been receiving UN aid since 1948. There is now nothing in Gaza except destroyed buildings. The visual showed nothing but destruction. She didn't tell the audience that when Israelis left Gaza for the sake of peace they left intact buildings and businesses which the Palestinians tore down the minute they went into the areas.
Young Palestinians are prey for the militia. They blame Israel for the offensive. She didn't bring out that they aren't taking responsibility for their own destruction, and that the offensive wouldn't have happened if they had not shelled Israel for the past four years with thousands of rockets, nor that they were warned of what would happen if Hamas continued to attack Israel.
She then interviewed a very nice Palestinian doctor who worked in an Israeli hospital because in the offensive, his home was hit and 3 of his children were killed. This of course is a doctor who doesn't hate Israelis and listening to him causes viewers to be very sympathetic.
The next shot was interviewing a lady who didn't hate Israelis to start with but now said she'd kill them all if she had the chance. The offensive is causing her to hate. Never mind at all why the offensive happened. Nobody is talking about that to the viewers.
The subject switched to showing the bad effects of the war on the Palestinian children. Militants have become the symbol of power. One third of the children want to be martyrs. Ten children were in a family that they interviewed. The 90 year old grandmother now goes out of the house and sits in the dust. A little girl named Iah wanted peace but now hates Israelis. Her father was killed when Gaza was closed due to the shelling on Israel. His office was hit by a bomb.
The attitude of the people is disappointing to me. What bothers me is their continued denial of why Israel doesn't want to be a sitting duck in a shooting gallery and they find that this duck knows how to shoot back. It's as if they are pouring gasoline on their own house and lighting a match to it and then blaming Israel for the fact that it goes up in flames. It's like the old joke, a young kid kills his parents and then cries to the judge that he's now an orphan. Christiana doesn't bother to question the attitude of these militant Palestinians, like do they understand why this happened?
Children were interviewed who only spoke Arabic but the interpreter spoke as a sophisticated college professor. I would have loved to know the real words spoken. A boy scout was interviewed at a boy scout camp. They were learning to fight Israelis and were being taught self-defense. They want to grow up to defend their country. They were asked why they were so militant and they said that their dreams were of a free independant state. Then teenagers were shown practicing with real guns. She mentions that there is more extremism in Gaza today than there was last year. Was she blaming Israel and the offensive? I think so.
The Gazan children were shown to be dependant on Western volunteers (or working for an organization) who are speaking English. They are there to amuse and teach them. There are 700,000 children in Gaza and they have programs for a third of them. There is a Koran Camp for other children who wish to do that.
Two Palestinian American men were shown fighting for peace in different ways. I believe they were cousins. They were in the "occupied West Bank" which I call Judea and Samaria and they throw in the term "occupied" for political reasons. They are not teaching violence. They were more in tune to Martin Luther King and Gandi's non-violence approach. However, even they, when they spoke, said that Israel uses the excuse of security and that it is an excuse. They don't even realize why Israel had to build a wall and that security is the job of any state. Their attitude made me cringe.
The next shot was in a pre-school classroom with three year olds. They were being taught how to get what they wanted but not fight for it and it wasn't working very well. At least they videotaped a little girl causing a boy to cry and was questioned about what she was just taught to do. She finally said she was sorry and walked away. Muppets were used to teach lessons and Sesame Street has come to Gaza in Arabic. They were being taught diplomacy by a grant from a peace group.
Children were taken to the wall every Friday and chanted things at Israeli soldiers. I call that heckling. One did mention that he was afraid of the soldiers and that they had power. More than half of the population is under 18.
Finally two 21 year old young men were shown at the University in Gaza. One joined Hamas and the other was interested in starting a business. Both were angry young men but were expressing it in different ways. One said that you're being judged. He wanted to defend the honor of his people against attacks on them. (Israel doesn't go around attacking Gazans for sport. This only happens when they are being attacked first, and then they took attacks for four years trying not to retaliate before they were forced to do so.) This little fact was not brought out by any of the Palestinians; only blaming them.
The student who had already joined Hamas said that terrorists were from all walks of people; from scientists to militants. He wanted to be a journalist but would be a terrorist now. The other was already a CEO of his own company. He walked around showing Christiana the destruction and what had been there before. She told him that most people think the university is a hotbed of terrorism. He said that wasn't true. There they study English and human rights. The university is looking for leaders. They are against violence. He wants to be a part of the global community. They concluded with the statement that Al Kadah looks less attractive.
I was happy to see a few interviewees who wanted to be a part of the world and were getting tired of living like they have been. It was marvelous to see in the first part of the program which did a study on Pakistan and Afghanistan that the children were so eager to learn, even by sitting outside with a teacher without any materials except a stick for writing. They were even studying English and realized that to be a part of the modern world this language would be advantagous to learn and was a tool for success.
The only solution to the Palestian problem shown was possibly the fact that a very few young people were interested in getting on with their lives and were not interested in spending their life killing Israelis. I only wish more would adopt that attitude. They didn't seem to be as impressed with learning anything like the other two country's children. They are more focused on the Israelis and Americans that they hate and this is taking precident.
Reference: CNN 6:00pm program