|Hamas Founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Uncompromising Advocate of Jihad
It starts at the age of four. The Hamas terrorist organization runs several hundred kindergartens in Gaza, its home turf. Teachers in ankle-length black dresses and white headscarves teach the preschoolers to read and memorize the Koran, and to sing songs of praise to Hamas operations. They tell them tales of the armed struggle to build an Islamic state and "liberate" Jerusalem from the Jews. The children chant Hamas slogans such as "Dying for the Sake of Allah is our Highest Goal!"
As the kids grow older, they are attracted to Hamas' special after-school sports clubs in many of the three hundred-plus local mosques - programs of karate, table tennis and soccer or low-priced computer courses. But first the youngsters pray together and then are divided into groups where they take courses in Hamas history, the teachings of Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Moslem faith and ideology.
Supported by donations from local residents, supplemented by generous funding from Gulf states and Iran, as well as Islamic faithful in the United States and Europe, Hamas has constructed what some Palestinians consider "a state within a state." It provides shelter for orphans, widows, the elderly and families displaced during the Intifada. The terrorist organization has a full network of educational services, from kindergartens to primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and centers for teaching the Koran.
These centers also serve other functions. The Israel Defense Forces raided one college and found piles of instruction manuals on the use of arms, including instruction on the assembly of homemade bombs. There were also booklets of advice on standing up to Israeli interrogation. In summer camps, tens of thousands of children are taught to clean, assemble and fire guns and assault rifles.
As Arab teenagers study in the Hamas institutions, scouts keep a careful watch on mosques, schools and religious institutions, looking for men with particular dedication to the principles of Islam. They look for youths who spend the entire day studying the holy texts of Islam.
These youths who are usually unmarried and in their late teens or early 20's are singled out for deeper religious and political studies. Gradually they learn the benefits of sacrificing their lives for Allah. They are promised that 72 beautiful virgins will greet them on their arrival in Heaven, where they will drink from rivers of honey. "According to would-be suicide bombers who decide to drop out, they are promised to get "places of honor, near Allah and his prophets." (Jerusalem Report, Sept. 4,97)
When the youths are considered ready for their missions, they disappear without warning from their homes into the secret Hamas network. They spend most of their time in religious study and spiritual preparation. Only a day or two before they are sent out are they given instruction on how and where to blow themselves up or mount suicidal armed attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians. (Ibid.)
Hamas is in competition with Arafat's Palestinian Authority, Hizbullah and other Islamic terrorist groups to see who will capture the greatest power base. Each has its own strategy and tactics of destruction. Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin encourages all Palestinians to eradicate the Jewish state. "We have sworn to God to bring death into every house, every city, and every settlement," he said.
For years, Hamas has been distributing leaflets of which the following is typical: The brothers of the apes, the killers of the Prophets, blood-suckers, warmongers, barbaric, cowards, cancer expanding in to the land of Palestine." (www.ict.org.il; Esther Webman)
PALESTINIAN CITIZENS PUBLICLY URGED TO KILL JEWS
Yet it is difficult to see much difference between the language and actions of the various terrorist groups. The day after two IDF soldiers were lynched in October, Palestinian Authority appointed cleric, Dr. Ahmed Abu-Halabia said, in a sermon broadcast live on official Palestinian television, "Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them…they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine. They created it… to be the sword of the West and the Crusaders, hanging over the Moslems in this land. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12,01)
Palestinians are bombarded with hate-filled propaganda against the "Zionist entity" night and day from every conceivable direction. The PA provides school textbooks from the first grade on, laced with venom on which all Palestinian children are raised. The PA- controlled newspapers and T.V. station spew out a constant barrage of poison against the Jews. Here are a couple of examples:
"Corruption is in the nature of the Jews all over the world, to the point that only rarely do you find corruption that the Jews are not behind…If we take a look at history, we discover to what extent the Jews were exposed to oppression and expulsion worldwide because of their ugly deeds and their wickedness.
"…The descendants of treachery and deceit…spreading corruption in the land of Islam…the Zionist culprits who poisoned the water in the past…Oh believers! Take not the Jews or the Christians as friends…So make war on them: By your hand will God chastise them, and will put them to shame, and will give you victory over them, and will heal the bosoms of a people who believe…." (www.ict.org.il ; ibid.)
T.V. programs are produced with "a definite desire to create hatred. You can't watch that kind of stuff and not hate the people behind it." (JP, Dec.21,98) No wonder that mobs of youths are in the streets daily, caught up in the glory of throwing stones or shooting at Jews, be they soldiers or civilians.
RAISING CHILDREN FOR SUICIDE - NOT PEACE
The invective and hate spewed out by PA-controlled radio and television, the brutality with which Israelis taken by the Palestinians have been treated, the Nazi-like anti-Semitism that has peppered the Friday sermons of Palestinian clerics, the cynical use of children in a man's war, all combine to make future peace look impossible. (J.R., Nov.20,00)
This writer watched in unbelief as a Palestinian mother told a TV journalist that she wanted her son to be a suicide bomber. Her five-year-old boy stood beside her listening to the interview. (Incidentally, the face that Palestinians portray in the English language to the international media is as different as day from night. The notorious Palestinian spokesperson, Hanan Ashrawi, with a straight face told CBS's Bob Simon, "Not even animals would send their children into battle." "Pity, said an Israeli journalist, "she hadn't been watching the news or visiting the morgues and hospitals of her homeland-to-be.") (Ibid.)
The bottom line is that the Palestinians authorities have never agreed to accept the existence of the State of Israel in the Middle East. For the last 25 years especially, they have brainwashed their entire constituency to hate with blind, passionate, undying religious hatred.
On TV, in newspapers and in textbooks, the entire map of Israel is always shown as the nation of Palestine with no mention at all that Israel exists. Their political and spiritual leaders constantly talk about returning to "their" cities in Israel - Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, the villages of Galilee, etc. In a poll, two out of three Palestinians said they support suicide bombings. (J.P., Jan.10,01)
While Israelis are debating which Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza must be evacuated, Palestinian leaders are telling their people that they should prepare to "reconquer" all the cities of Israel. The Palestinian population has not at all considered internalizing the recognition of Israel - let alone make peace with her. Their leaders have not prepared them. Not at all. (Ibid., Feb.12,01)
A BOILING POT OF DEADLY ENEMIES
With over 60% of the 2,000,000 Palestinians under the age of 19, the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank have been educated to be a seething, boiling pot of deadly enemies towards Israel. You can't wave a magic wand and change that by writing the word "peace" on a piece of paper.
Rather this people, overflowing with rage, is preparing war against Israel. Hirsh Goodman, founding editor of the Jerusalem Report, says: "We know clearly how the Palestinians see the war to come. Through a combination of terror, attacks against settlers and settlements, sporadic attacks on Israeli suburbs like Gilo, the use of more sophisticated weapons against Israeli soldiers in confrontation areas, they will try and bring us to our knees.
"They will continue to stir up their people to hatred with seditious propaganda in the mosques, on the airwaves and in the schools. They will lie to themselves and the world about Israeli nerve gas and other imagined atrocities. They will exaggerate Israeli responses against them in hope of bring the international community in on their side." (J.R., Mar 12,01)
All the various terrorist organizations are smuggling more and more semi-heavy weapons into Gaza and the West Bank. They bring them by boat from Egypt to Gaza, slipping through the Israeli naval patrols. Palestinians are being trained by Hizballah in Lebanon and then filtering back into Gaza, bringing with them sophisticated weapons and know-how with them. (J.P.,Mar.4,01)
"In the coming war, the Palestinians will have the advantage of [global] media sympathy, a willingness to die on the part of its young people, a high threshold for pain and a tremendous hatred for the enemy. They have the weapon of terrorism, bolstered by the cooperation of Muslim terrorist groups the world over, and excellent knowledge of the battlefield, enough weapons and ammunition to hurt Israel badly by selecting vulnerable targets of which there are many - Jerusalem's suburbs and the settlements to name but a few.
"This is a cat-and-mouse game that could go on forever, a war of escalating attrition, devastating the economies of both sides, with Palestinians taking the huge brunt of the casualties, but leaving Israel severely wounded." If Israel is to be protected in time of war, "the use of infantry is almost inevitable…The total death toll could be in the many hundreds, even thousands," reports Goodman (J.R., Dec. 4,00)
It is our view that God has hardened the hearts of Arafat and his people to accept nothing save the complete destruction of Israel. Otherwise Israel would keep giving away her birthright until there would be literally nothing left of the land - or the nation.
It is this scenario - the hardness of heart of the Palestinians tied together with the responses of Israel born out of hopelessness and desperation - that will give the Christian people of the world the chance to stand by Israel or forsake her.