@HRW Notices That Wishing for Children to Be Martyred Is Sick — But Not When Palestinians Wish It
There was a moment of moral clarity from a Human Rights Watch worker recently.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised after telling a girl in military uniform that she would be honoured if killed while fighting.
“If she’s martyred, they’ll lay a flag on her,” he told the sobbing girl at a televised congress of his AK Party.
In the event, broadcast live on state television, the young girl dressed as a soldier seems to catch the attention of Mr Erdogan, who then invites her to the stage.
“She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too. … If she’s martyred, they’ll lay a flag on her, God willing,” he said during the congress in the southern town of Kahramanmaras on Saturday.
“She is ready for everything, isn’t she?” The girl replied: “Yes.”
In response, HRW’s Andrew Strohlein tweeted:
Turkish President Erdogan tells a sobbing girl in military uniform that she would be honoured if killed while fighting. Glorifying children’s deaths? Promoting child soldiers? Sick. https://t.co/3PW1qKsTuT pic.twitter.com/Ua8rson2BD
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) February 26, 2018
That doesn’t seem like a controversial thing to say.
But there are many examples of glorification of death and encoraging child “martyrdom” in official Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts — as well as from official Fatah and Hamas sites.
Yet not once has Human Rights Watch called this Palestinian shahid culture, or any of these examples, “sick.”
Why is encouraging childhood martyrdom “sick” in Turkey, but not worth mentioning in the Palestinian arena?
One reason is that in Turkey, there was actually disgust in social media about Erdogan’s actions — but you will be hard pressed to find a similar reaction in the Palestinian territories or the Arab world towards Palestinian aspirations to die for Allah.
Simply put, HRW doesn’t bother to criticize Palestinians pushing their children to become martyrs, because they would be killing Jews — and there is no local outrage about that goal.