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January 23, 2015 2:42 pm

The Arab-Israeli Conflict Through the Eyes of Two Little Girls

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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The Safra Children's Hospital at the Sheba Medical Center. Photo: David Shay.

One little girl lies in a hospital bed, more than half her body burned by a Palestinian firebomb. Another little girl appears on television, reciting poetry about her dream of destroying Israel. The lives of these two 11-year-olds reveal everything that anybody needs to know about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

On December 25, Ayala Shapira was a passenger in her father’s car, on her way back from a math enrichment lesson. As they approached their hometown of Ma’ale Shomron, a Palestinian terrorist hurled a firebomb at the car. Ayala and her father leapt from the car, badly burned, as the vehicle was consumed by flames.

Ayala’s injuries were so severe that the doctors had to put her in a medically induced coma. Seven days later she awoke. Now begins an excruciating, years-long process of surgeries and additional hospitalizations as Ayala fights to rebuild her life.

Before anything else, Ayala is a person, an individual with feelings and hopes and dreams just like anybody else. But now she also has become a symbol. What happened to her reminds us of the brutal nature of Palestinian terrorists. They want to kill every Jew, young or old, civilian or soldier, religious or secular. They have no mercy. That is what the Jewish people are up against.

On January 9, as Ayala was struggling to utter her first words since the attack, another little girl was in the news. She appeared on official Palestinian Authority TV on January 9. Her name was not mentioned, but from the televised images she appears to be about the same age as Ayala. She, too, is now a symbol.

The TV show is a children’s program called The Best Home. The little girl sang a song called “Oh Flying Bird.” The lyrics – courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch – describe sending a bird to various cities in “my country, Palestine.”

According to the Obama Administration, the European Union, and the Jewish left, the Palestinian Authority does not want to destroy all of Israel, but only wants a small state in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) areas. And, indeed, a few of the cities in those areas mentioned in “Oh Flying Bird,” such as Jenin, Ramallah, and Tulkarm. But then the  lyrics take an ominous turn. The little girl tells the bird to “turn to Safed, and then to Tiberias, and send regards to the sea of Acre and Haifa” – all within pre-1967 Israel.

She doesn’t stop there. The girl tells the bird “Don’t forget Nazareth, the Arab fortress / and tell Beit Shean about its people’s return / Drink the water of Jaffa’s port, don’t forget Ramle…” – all likewise within the pre-1967 areas, all included in what she calls “My beautiful country, Palestine.”

Palestinian children are not born with hatred of Israel. They do not begin life with a determination to destroy Israel. They too start out with innocent feelings and hopes and dreams. For them to get to the point of singing on television that Israel has no right to exist, and all of Israel is really “Palestine,” somebody has to teach them.

That is what the Palestinian Authority has done. It has raised an entire generation of Palestinian children to believe that Israel is evil incarnate, that all of Israel is “occupied Palestine,” and that those who kill Jews are “heroes” and “martyrs.” Every day, every week, every month, year after year, PA television and programs are filled with this hateful message. It fills the mass media and saturates the classrooms. The young men who were arrested for making and throwing the firebomb that maimed Ayala Shapira surely heard the same message as they were growing up.

That is why there is no peace. It has nothing to do with settlements or refugees or borders or whether there will ever be a Palestinian state. It has to do with the hearts and minds of young Palestinians. That eleven year-old girl on PA Television might truly believe that eleven year-old Ayala Shapira is a “Zionist occupier” who deserves to be burned to death. That is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The process of changing the hearts and minds of an entire generation will take a long time, just as it took a long time in Germany after World War II. But until it is complete, there will never be peace.

This article was originally published by Israel National News.

The authors are president and chairman, respectively, of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the current U.S. World Zionist Congress elections

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Bullfrog Europe

    The indoctrination of Palestinian children from the few years after their birth to destroy Israel is a disgrace.

    Much like the white South African Afrikaaners who raised their children to believe that ‘non whites’ were inferior races.

  • David Levy

    Very well said

  • Dante

    What a people where little children are raised in such a hatred for another people, including girls of the same age!
    The Palestinian Authority, not only Hamas, is responsable for that infamy which should be shown both in th White hpuse and in the European parliament and in every parliament of European countries just as the citizens of Weimar were forced to visit Buchenwald after WWII, to see what their fuehrer had done.

  • steven L

    None of this can happen without deep reformation of Islam.

  • I have a question about violent incitement in the Palestinian media.

    Ten years after the Rwandan massacre of 1994, the Intrnational Tribunal on Rwanda indicted the management team of a radio network in Kigali and sentenced several people to up to 30 years in jail, not for killing anybody but for inciting the Hutus to murder all Tutsis in sight.

    Could we have a preemptive similar action against the official Palestinian media and its masters in Fatah, rather than reacting after large-scale atrocities are committed?

  • Julian Clovelley

    By the way there is a bit left out of your header for this article which is not filled by information of the linked page. It is the identity of the writers. From the web I read under the logo of the Religious Zionists of America:

    “Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn, RZA

    Mr. Phillips is president of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia Chapter; Mr. Korn, the former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, is chairman of the RZA-Philadelphia.

    Fancy that. That information really should have been there. Why wasn’t it?

    • Julian Clovelley

      I accept that the identities appear at the end of the article of course . But why isn’t it on the writers identity web page? Regards

  • Julian Clovelley

    I find this a very distasteful piece of propaganda in that it counterposes two images inappropriately. The one is the poor child who has been the victim of a terrorist attack – there is nothing but horror, sadness and pity tinged with anger that can be felt there. My heart reaches out to wish her well and earnestly hope she may be healed and have a happy life. I am very sad that we have allowed the world to get like this. We adults all share the guilt.

    If one had to put a relevant image together with that sad sight, it would be of a child in Gaza maimed in an Israeli military attack. Both children are victims of a conflict not of their making – both are victims of child abuse. But I am unsure that even such juxtaposition when used as propaganda is really acceptable

    But instead here we have a counterposed image of an eleven year old girl spouting hate propaganda on a Palestinian TV station. That child too is the victim of child abuse. But the message here appears to be Israeli child “Good” – and a victim. Palestinian child, “Bad” – and a perpetrator. This is stereotyping and to me it is hate propaganda

    No child should be used as the subject of that kind of propaganda. The child fire bombed in Israel is a victim, the child maimed or killed in Gaza is a victim and the Palestinian child reading hate propaganda is a victim. That is what the region and its adult obsessions is doing to the innocent. The impetus should be to seek a stable and defendable position of coexistence. What stands in the way is that neither the Palestinian extremist position nor the Zionist extremist position have such stability and security on their agenda. The world rightly perceives that neither is prepared to abandon a futile and lethal battle over territory, bolstered by concocted approaches to mythical and slanted propagandist pseudo histories, which both sides imbue into their respective children – often disguised as pious and pretty “religion”. G-d is abused to carry the seeds of wrath and hate

    There will be no peace until at least one side walks away from hate propaganda. No religion that does not demand this is worth anything or has any validity.

    When promulgating propaganda remember it is not just what your friends read into your words- it is what your enemies and the world entire reads that matters. The message received is often not the one you intend to transmit. Communication is like that. If you have any doubt about that try talking to your mother in law.

    And yes – that too is stereotyping. But there is more – because slipped into this article is a staggeringly irrelevant piece of propaganda. It is in these words “According to the Obama Administration, the European Union, and the Jewish left, the Palestinian Authority does not want to destroy all of Israel, but only wants a small state in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) areas.”

    That’s rubbish. It is a piece of right wing election propaganda aimed at the American market – and in its use of the images of the two children in this article for American electoral purposes it too becomes child abuse.

  • Rick K

    why cant the world see pictures of these little children that have been so severely wounded.

    The world sees fake images of Palestinians, how come these pictures don’t make it to the mainstream press? We must fight harder to make that happen.