Palestinian Mothers: A Heartbreaking Obstacle to Peace
A mother’s love for her child is an emotion unlike anything else in the world. In any functional society, a mother’s guidance and love are essential, and their lessons about right and wrong shape our values.
Indeed, for the overwhelming majority of the world’s societies, the mother/child relationship is a force for good. But in the Middle East, particularly amongst Palestinians, the famous words of Golda Meir tell a different reality — one that demonstrates the true obstacle to Middle East peace.
“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
These words, uttered 60 years ago in front of the Washington Press Club, are just as true today as they were in 1957.
Take, for instance, the words of a Palestinian mother whose child’s life wasin an Israeli hospital: “We feel that life is nothing. Life isn’t worth a thing.” Instead of rejoicing that her son would live, she voiced her hope that he would go on to die as a shahid (Islamic martyr) for the cause of annihilating Jews. “That’s why we have suicide bombers. They’re not afraid to die. It’s natural.”
Sadly, this is only one ofexamples of Palestinian society creating a social environment that leads children down the path of jihad, suicide and terrorism. And it’s not just a few radical individuals. To the contrary; the Palestinian Authority (PA) itself has actively encouraged Palestinian mothers to celebrate when their children die while killing Jews.
The PA has launched an endless stream of pro-terrorist propaganda — chiefly through television, social media and newspapers — that praises shahids, and encourages mother’s to send children to their deaths.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas himself has been instrumental in Palestinian society’s honoring of terrorists and mothers of terrorists, such as Latifa Abu Hmeid — the mother of four terrorists who are currently serving life sentences. Abbas invited Hmeid to an event in his office, and the PA governor of Ramallah visited her home. She was nicknamed “Khansa of Palestine,” a reference to a woman in the earliest period of Islam who rejoiced when all four of her sons were killed in battle as martyrs for Islam. For Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, this woman is the quintessential female role model.
Therefore, it was simply a boldfaced lie when Abbasduring his recent meeting with President Trump that, “We [Palestinians] are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”
In September 2015, Abbasthat he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” He has also encouraged acts of terrorism on numerous occasions, for instance, by and financially supporting the families of murderers killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.
In May 2013, Abbas awarded Palestinian terrorist Nayef Hawatmeh the “Star of Honor” in “recognition of his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.” His national service?the 1974 Ma’alot massacre, where 22 Israeli schoolchildren were executed.
Even more striking is the contempt that Palestinian society has for grieving Israeli mothers. On April 20, Hamas’ military winga Hebrew-language music video that taunted the parents of two Israeli soldiers (Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin) who are presumed to have been killed in action during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. The Hamas video claimed that the men were actually alive and being held captive in Gaza.
“Mother, Mother I’m here. Why are they saying that I’m dead?” goes one of the lines of the song’s chorus. Throughout the video, pictures of the two Israelis appear next to their mothers and fathers.
Indoctrinating children to hate, and encouraging them to murder Jews and destroy Israel, is the clearest indication yet that the so-called “two-state solution” is dead. Too many Palestinian mothers would much rather see their children die than live in peace alongside their Jewish neighbors.
Bradley Martin is a fellow with the Haym Salomon Center news and public policy group and deputy editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.