You’ve got to be carefully taught: Hamas television urges kids to hate and kill Jews

May 6, 2014 • 5:52 am
This is the kind of disgusting human behavior I had to face this morning. As you may know, Palestinian television regularly not only glorifies terrorists and encouragesof hatred of Israel and the Jews (they’re not the same, you know), but also does that to children. It’s pure indoctrination of young minds to hate those who are different. Here, for example is one children’s show, described to me by Malgorzata (one of Hili’s staff and co-publisher of the rationalist site Listy):
This is a daily children’s program in Gaza Strip in Hamas’ TV. Nahul is a puppet who talks to kids, and the presenters are a bit older kids. The Internet is full of those films. There were different animal-puppets over the years. Some were “killed by Jews”. You can just type into google “Hamas TV for children”. I made quite a lot of Polish subtitles to those films.
In this episode, two young girls are indoctrinated by the moderator and a giant plush bee to say that they want to “kill all the Jews”:
And here’s another one, explained by MEMRI:
MEMRI TV brings you the latest death cult children’s propaganda from Hamas, the episode of Pioneers of Tomorrow in which the evil killer bee Nahoul dies, because Israel prevented him from getting treatment for some unspecified giant bee disease. This leads to his replacement by Assud, the giant Jew-eating rabbit.
That’s not an exaggeration; watch the bit for yourself:

These clips were from a kids’ show called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers“,which apparently ended in 2009 (before that, Disney forced them to stop using a Mickey-Mouse character who egged on terrorists). But the damage is done, and, as I’ve shown before, there are similar programs indoctrinating children still being shown throughout the Middle East.

Here’s one of them—an equally odious children’s show from April of last year:

Want more? Here are two small girls (they can’t be more than six), reciting a poem of hatred on Palestinian t.v.
A bit of it:

“Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs,”

Now this is the Muslim equivalent of what misguided people call Islamophobia. But this is true “Judeo-phobia,” (also known as anti-Semitism), expressed not as hatred of religious doctrine, but  hatred of people—Jewish ones.

To try to be even-handed, I asked Malgorzata if there was equivalent propaganda on Israeli t.v. Her response was this:

Nothing even close to it. On Israeli TV, Arabs are presented as normal people. There is a collection of videos from Palestinian and Israeli TV showing the difference in presentation with a reward for anybody who could show a program from Israeli TV which is as hateful as those from Palestinian TV and vice versa. Nobody came for the reward. There just isn’t.

This is reprehensible, and I’d claim that anyone who thinks this kind of indoctrination is okay is also reprehensible. I need hardly say, for I’ve said it before, that Israel shoulders its share of blame for the failure to achieve peace in the Middle East. But what you can’t say is that Israel use the organs of government to teach children religiously-based hatred and a suicide death cult. This indoctrination just propagates the hatred that makes peace impossible. Remember, too, that Hamas’s charter mandates the complete elimination of Israel.

If this kind of program wsas shown on American t.v., say on children’s shows urging kids to kill Muslims, or Christians, or Jews, or Russians, or anybody else, there would be a huge uproar, and people would demand its cessation. It would be deemed child abuse and the promulgation of unremitting hatred. Imagine if Barney the Purple Dinosaur got little kids to say not only that they wanted to “kill all the Jews,” but that they were eager to do so, replacing other “martyrs”!

So why the silence when these things are inculcated in Muslim children? he double standard, of course. If Islam is largely a “death cult,” it’s this kind of stuff, straight from the Qur’an, that creates it.


121 thoughts on “You’ve got to be carefully taught: Hamas television urges kids to hate and kill Jews

  1. No, no, Islam isn’t a death cult; it’s a religion of peace. Doesn’t everyone know that?

        1. “Jihad bestows pride and glory on you when you become a martyrdom seeker.”

          Another favorite line of the people who defend Islam is that “Jihad” simply means “struggle,” as in the believer’s struggle to be good; supposedly it has nothing to do with “Holy War.” The above video would seem to contradict that.

  2. So awful. Indoctrination of children (or let’s be blunt and honest and call it brain washing) is difficult to overcome when those children become adults. Even if they want to change their minds, it becomes difficult for them because of this abuse.

    This would be considered hate crime in Canada.

    1. Because it’s done to children, perhaps ‘mind-forming’ is more apt than brainwashing. What’s patterned in us first stays longest and deepest.

      1. I agree. “Indoctrination” seems right to me. I first heard “brain-washing” during the Korean War where the brains of American prisoners had to be washed before indoctrination with Communist ideology.

        1. At times I have balked at calling religious indoctrination child abuse. This kind of indoctrination, however, most definitely qualifies in my mind as egregious child abuse.

    1. I’ve noticed that Boko Harma is not hesitant to use the weaponry that Western technology, the result of Western education, has created.

  3. If this kind of stuff were shown on American t.v., say on children’s shows urging kids to kill Muslims, or Christians, or Jews, or Russians, or anybody else, there would be a huge uproar,

    There would be a huge uproar today, but I think we are at most 100-150 years ahead of it. I bet if one looked, one could find US anti-semitic or anti-black children’s literature from the mid-1800s through early 1900s.

    I have two points for bringing this up. First, the cautionary one: yes this behavior is wrong and we should oppose it. But as we oppose it, we should dial back on the self-righteousness, because it could easily be seen as historical hypocrisy. Second, the optimistic one: I think the history of the 20th century west shows that such opinions can be changed, and we should not write off such groups. Rather, we should work to ensure their children grow up in a less-bigoted world than their parents, and in a few generations the problem might be solved.

    So why the silence when the stuff is shown to Muslims? The double standard, of course.

    I’m not so sure. American self-concern seems to adequately explain it: we protest less about the negative behavior of people farther away from our interests than the ones close to our interests. Or, as Homer Simpson put it: “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.”

        1. Or, as a Brazilian apologist responded not long ago to some American protests against Brazil’s barbarity to some of its inconveniently located native people (they were living on top of valuable resources): You (Americans) killed all your Indians and took all their lands and became rich and powerful so why are you complaining to us for doing the same thing?

            1. That is not at all what I’m saying. I’m saying that when we critisize (which we should do), we should be ready, able, and willing to discuss how we have done similar things in the past but that we repudiate them. If we give the impression of a double standard (“its okay for me, but not for thee”), then our criticisms will not carry weight.

      1. Look up classic Looney Toons and Disney Cartoons that aired pre-1970s. You can find Donald Duck reading the mein komf in Nazi clothes and Bugs Bunny walking around with painted “black-face.”

        1. Rather earlier that the 1970s, in fact.

          The DD cartoon, Der Fuehrer’s Face, was anti-Nazi propaganda funded by the US government. DD was having a nightmare about living under the “Nutzi” regime. Not very different from The Great Dictator and certainly not anti-Semitic.

          And the BB cartoon (Any Bonds Today) was, ostensibly, a brief parody of Al Jolson in the blackface. Still offensive by modern standards, but not outside cultural norms for the era.


    1. You devote one scant sentence to saying the behavior is wrong and deserves to be opposed (which is exactly what I’ve done–by exposing it), and the rest chiding us for overreacting, and asking us to “dial back” our emotions. In fact, what could be of more concern to us than the middle east, a possible tinder box that could set off huge international conflagrations? That doesn’t explain why the Palestinians get a pass for stuff like this but the Israelis don’t.

      And how exactly, by “dialing back on our self-rightouesness,” are we going to eliminate stuff like this. By being nicer to the Palestinians and not criticizing this propaganda so harshly? Give me a break!

      As far as “historical hypocrisy” is concerned, that’s irrelevant. The U.S. at least, doesn’t do stuff like this, and what the Palestinians are doing to their kids is flat wrong, irredemably vicious, and immoral. We should fight it tooth and nail, not rein in our emotions because some of our ancestors may have behaved likewise.

      1. In fact, what could be of more concern to us than the middle east

        The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not spread out to violence against Americans on US soil, or pretty much anywhere outside of the region itself. In contrast, Afghanistan’s harboring of groups like Al Qaeda did. So that makes Afghanistan a bigger concern. As tinderboxes go, Israel has not set off a “huge international conflagrations” ever, in sixty years of history involving several smaller wars with neighbors, so why should I think that some great international armed conflict over Israel is just around the corner? Sure it’s possible, but history doesn’t support that possibility as being likely. Even if you consider Iran’s bluster about getting nukes and the possibility of them using them on Israel (probably through a proxy), I think that scenario is much less likely than, say, NK or the India/Pakistan conflict producing some nuke use.

        And how exactly, by “dialing back on our self-rightouesness,” are we going to eliminate stuff like this. By being nicer to the Palestinians and not criticizing this propaganda so harshly?

        We should absolutely criticize it. We should also point out that we think similar behavior is or was wrong when western powers do/did such things in the past, too. Because I think if we don’t add that second bit, our message is going to be undermined by jingoistic fanatic leaders who will rhetorically argue to their followers that the US is just trying to police muslims in ways we don’t police other people. That’s not really a valid argument, IMO, but I think it’s going to be made, I think it’s going to carry some rhetorical weight if we don’t address it, and so I think it should be addressed in our communications. That’s the point of the ‘dial back the self-righteousness’ part – NOT that we should withold criticism, but that we should be willing to criticize ourselves and other allied groups with the same critique, as part of the same conversation, if and when palestinians bring up some ugly incident from our past. Because very likely, those ugly incidents exist.

        As far as “historical hypocrisy” is concerned, that’s irrelevant.

        Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are proclaiming to the world the US position, so everyone knows where we stand on this issue, then you’re right, it is irrelevant. OTOH if you want the Palestinians to actually listen to us, IMO w’d better parse our criticism in a way that doesn’t come off as arrogant ‘do as we say, not as we did’ advice.

        1. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not spread out to violence against Americans on US soil.”

          You don’t think that 9/11 had anything to do with our support of Israel? That wasn’t the only reason behind it, but it was part of it. Remember the live news footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets and ululating? I do.

          1. Of course it’s a justification cited by OBL and others. But I took Jerry’s question to be somewhat narrowly focused on whether the US should be concerned with Palestinian behavior (such as Hamas indoctrination videos). This are horrible things, we should be concerned with them and we should oppose them. Having said that, I do not see them as a threat to US national security in the same ballpark as, say, other groups’ training and indoctrinating people to specifically fight westerners in the west, which was what was going on in Afghanistan in the 90s and probably still goes on at a lower level in multiple countries. IMO (and this is truly just my opinion), Hamas is more analogous to the real IRA or ETA (though more powerful than either of those groups ever became) – dangerous and violent, but focused on their geopolitical locality.

            1. Yeah, just like Hitler and the Nazis were only focused on the geopolitical locality of the Sudetenland. Furthermore, it is a doctrine of almost all Muslim terrorist groups that Israel must cease to exist. Not just the terrorist groups either,look at Iran. If you think this is only a localized middle east problem, then you don’t know your history. All the great conflagrations began as local problems that the wider world thought would never affect them.

              1. Its always possible that Hamas will expand their geopolitical ambitions, but I think your analogy is really speculative, and thus more wrong than right. They’ve been in existence for 24 years now, with no sign of having any interest in doing anything but fighting Israel. Not every bad actor is like the Nazis.

        2. I notice that you are taking an exclusively US-centric position, which usually looks stupid because the internet doesn’t end at the border. “Why should WE care? – WE, WE, US!!”

          You, over there. Somewhere near Alabama.

      2. This “historical hypocrisy” thing (HH) is a perennial argument that comes up in a lot of situations. It’s basically the argument that if you (or your culture/society/nation) have EVER done something bad, you have no business criticizing any other person or group for doing anything similar, or which could be perceived as similar. Now Eric is saying that by “dialing back our self-righteousness” we may be taken more seriously in our attempts to educate those Palestinians who teach their kids to hate Jews. This is because, he says, if we don’t dial back, we leave ourselves open to the HH argument, which, although it is a bad argument, nevertheless will carry some “rhetorical weight” that can deflect the validity of our points. I hope that’s a fair paraphrase.

        It would take more time than I’ve got to fully dissect this argument. But offhand I would suggest that we take the attitude “Let ’em make their lousy argument!” Whether what the Palestinians are doing is justifiable or not has nothing to do with what Americans did to blacks and native Americans. Regardless of what some individuals and groups here are doing even today, the point to be made is that as a country we are committed to eradicating racism and xenophobia, which is what the Palestinians seem to be endorsing by not banning the production of these videos.

        One might argue that they would be better off justifying their activity by saying it is a protest for their lands having been taken from them. But it can be pointed out that their rage is misdirected–it’s not anger at being invaded, but xenophobia. Jews are not just invaders, they are vermin.

        1. I hope that’s a fair paraphrase.


          the point to be made is that as a country we are committed to eradicating racism and xenophobia, which is what the Palestinians seem to be endorsing by not banning the production of these videos.

          I agree. Part of showing that commitment is in critiquing ourselves and our allies when we do similar things or have done so in the past. Such ‘mea culpas’ may have no value at all beyond the symbolic, but as a symbol of our dedication to fair and equal treatment, I think it’s worth making. ALONG WITH the criticisms; I’m not suggesting that we not criticize.

          I am coming somewhat close to Jerry’s 20% rule (‘don’t monopolize a thread’), so I will break for the day on this subject. I will try and respond to critiques and comments on my position if people want me to, but tomorrow, so other posters get their chance to be read and heard.

          1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, Eric, I agree with you. The US has still never been able to completely lose the whole “Ugly American” monicker. In order to keep/gain any respect and/or support in the global arena, we need to emphasize who we were and how we behaved in the past, acknowledge our wrongs and make clear what we have learned from our mistakes and what we’ve done and are still trying to do about them. This will make it easier to win the respect of our allies and the global community and make it harder for these backward groups to try and find any chinks in our ‘armor’ and help discredit any accusations and make any protest of our policies in the past and in the now look and sound as stupid as they do. It is always better to get our own skeletons out of our own closet and rob any accusers of the chance use them against us. It certainly wouldn’t show that we could in any way support, condone or ignore this kind of thing. Any attempts to perpetuate racial, religious or ethnic hatreds into the future is a crime against Humanity.

        2. I don’t think it takes any time or effort at all to dissect the idea of historical hypocrisy: it’s BS. Done.

          I will not be held accountable for, or temper my criticisms because of, things other people at a different point in time did.

          On top of which, the whole idea of guilt by association implied by arguing that past members of your country did something makes no sense because “nation” is a granfalloon. I’m not “An American™” and therefore somehow complicit in the nastiness perpetrated by other “Americans™”. I’m an individual human being, and so were those racist folks who happened to live on the chunk of land called the US.

          1. I will not be held accountable for, or temper my criticisms because of, things other people at a different point in time did.

            So, you will not hold the current BP management accountable for past BP oil spills? We should just wipe the slate clean because its not the same individuals? And Iraq should not expect any US post-war economic assistance because hey, the elected officials who caused the economic destruction are no longer in charge? In many cases (but not all cases), it makes perfectly good sense to hold organizations accountable for things the organization did even when the membership has changed. To treat it, essentially, like a real entity. The US government is an organization. As is Hamas – they should also be held responsible for things Hamas (under different management) did in the past.

            So no, it’s not BS. It may not always be appropriate to hold CEO Alice responsible for what CEO Bob did, but at the same time it may be very appropriate to hold ExampleCorps under Alice responsible for what ExampleCorps did under Bob. To see ExampleCorps as hypocritical and thus not worth listening to when they repremand someone else for behavior they themselves did under Bob.

            I went back and looked at Jerry’s OP and nowhere does he call for official US Government action on this. If he’s just calling for individual, private sector approbation and boycott, then fine. We can ignore the past bad actions of the US because we speakers aren’t those bad actors. My point is really only relevant when you’re talking about official government interactions. But if that’s what you want to talk about – if we citizens are calling for, say, the State Department to try and squash this sort of behavior – then I think its very important that we accompany criticism with a recognition that we haven’t been so pure ourselves.

            1. And when we atheists criticize religion we’re supposed to apologize for the transgressions of atheists past? Really? Should we apologize for the old canards of Pol Pot and Stalin?

              Your tactic is not going to be effective. Do you really think that Hamas is going to be moved by saying, “Well, yes, the U.S. has supported some bad actions of Israel in the past, but those videos are hateful and execrable and need to go”? The tu quoque argument is used simply to avoid having to do anything, and always has.

            2. If the current BP management is an entirely new set of people who’ve demonstrated real commitment to operating safely I would insist that they learn the lessons available to be learned by what the former management did, but I wouldn’t hold them accountable.

              I can learn lessons from mistakes made by other people in the past without being held accountable for those mistakes.

              I hope these arguments don’t result in any animus. You’re one of my favorite commenters here.

          2. Just curious, how much time has to pass before relevant hypocrisy becomes irrelevant “historical hypocrisy”? For example, post-WW II we ragged on the Soviet Union for human rights violations, yet took umbrage at their pointing out how noble Amuricuns treated African-Americans.

            1. I don’t actually think the passage of time all by itself is particularly germane when issuing charges of hypocrisy. The “historical” part just makes a spurious charge even more spurious.

              I think the issue is pretty simple. “Is the accused actually a hypocrite” is all you need to ask. For instance, I am not a hypocrite for condemning slavery, even though I live in a country that was also home to people who owned slaves, neither am I being self-righteous when I condemn it.

        3. Historical hypocrisy is useless as an argument. It is arbitrary. Why not point out that we all used to bash each other over the head with logs when we disagreed and probably taught our offspring to do the same. We are all guilty of that.

          Why not use tube transistors for computers? If you had a company in the late 1950’s you would have been able to build technologies based on tube transistors. What about today? It is silly. Why not make lead based pencils today? Are we going to blame all the people who used them before.

          The only credible arguments come from what we know now and what we hope to anticipate as better moral and technological solutions for tomorrow. History is a wasteland when it comes to arguing against present day child abuse.

          1. I must object to your use of the term ‘tube transistors’. I hope this is your own invention and not taught in some school somewhere.

            The word transistor was invented to describe semiconductor devices because their mechanism was different from vacuum tubes (transfer resistor). It is not generic and cannot be retroactively applied to vacuum tubes. Just use tubes or vacuum tubes in cases like yours above.

            I’m old enough that my first instruction on amplifier design was with tubes, 12AT7s and the like. All my subsequent design work, however, was with transistors and ICs.

              1. Definitely. Describes the function rather than just its appearance or construction. Makes me wonder if the Brits have something equivalent to boob tube, though. Idiot valve?

          2. See my recent post above. I’m not talking about going back to prehistory here, I’m talking about being aware that US actions within the 20th century may color the credibility of our international policy. I think ignoring that is naive.

            Whether you think it’s justified or not, the people whose behavior we are trying to change consider western policy towards the mideast since about the 1940s to be relevant. You can say “that doesn’t count, it wasn’t me” but I think if you do that, any critcism you make will be utterly undermined. It will be ignored. If you want to be listened to, you have to be willing to discuss how and why we are holding them to a standard that Americans (past and present) do not always meet themselves.

            After all, we have Neo-nazi groups and groupls like the KKK active in the US today. I’m not going to web hunt for their children’s literature, I won’t give them the hits. But I would bet money such literature exists. And trying to use political force to suppress such hateful speech by Hamas while defending the right of our own citizens to be just as hateful is pretty hypocritical.

            1. I don’t see any comments here defending neo-Nazis and the KKK in the USA. Nor do I see the government putting those organizations “educational movies” on television channels. You now appear to be just intent on self-justification for your arguments. You have gone beyond being rational in defending your viewpoint inmho.

    2. Such hate literature might possibly have existed in the US or the UK the 19th century, but the point is that it wasn’t mainstream and it wasn’t state sponsored.

      1. Absolutely correct and accurate. It should also be pointed out that the notorious forgery, The Protocols of Zion, which was authored by the Czarist secret service for the purpose of setting up the Jews as scapegoats, is widely distributed in the Muslim world.

      2. You should really educate yourself about “negro” literature that prevailed throughout the 19th century – black slaves were not “freed” until the 1860s. And how laws passed by governments at the time keeping black people as property does not count as “state sponsored” is truly, truly baffling.

        1. Yes, thank you for your suggestion that we educate ourselves up to your level–as if many of us didn’t know that.

          The main question, though, is what on earth does this have to do with the topic at hand? Are you saying that our ancestors are as bad as the Palestinians are now? And if so, so what? We’re supposed to not criticize them because our long-dead predecessors acted badly? Jebus!

    3. I think your point about self-concern may be part of the explanation.

      But “historical hypocrisy” doesn’t make any sense. How could we ever make any criticisms if we were to take that idea seriously? Not only does it come across as a silencing tactic, but it’s just plain wrong. Were there other people living, 150 years ago, on a chunk of land not far from the chunk of land I live on, who were virulently, and quite possibly violently, racist? I’ll bet there were. But I’m not those people. I don’t think it’s hypocritical in the least for me to call the behavior above disgusting.

      1. Agreed; it’s a bad argument. But I also agree with eric: It’s easier to pull the rug out from under that argument by acknowledging and being equally critical of parallel historical wrongs than it is to try to convenience others that it’s a bad argument.


      2. But “historical hypocrisy” doesn’t make any sense. How could we ever make any criticisms if we were to take that idea seriously?

        If you think I’m advocating ‘no criticism because of what we might have done in the past,’ you’ve misread my point completely.

        The point here is that if we want our criticisms taken seriously, we should go into the conversation understanding our own past bad behavior, be willing to discuss it, and either repudiate that behavior (best) or explain why its not relevant (not as good). We need to be able to answer the question “why should we listen to you, when you behaved the same way 50 years ago?” with more than just “because our current posiition is right and yours is wrong” or “because we will crush you.” Neither answer is going to get us listened to.

        Look, let’s use a little Santayana here. Have we learned something from our own past hateful, jingoistic behavior? Do we think we are better off without it, and if so, why? I would like to think the answer to the first two questions is ‘yes.’ Rather than just point fingers and say “evil, EVIL, eeeeeeevil!” how about we go into the conversation armed with answers to the ‘why’ question – come armed with solid historical, ecnomic, and political reasons for why giving up such child indoctrination is good for the palestinians themselves in the long run.

        Gee, what a novel thought – studying our own mistakes and bringing lessons learned from them into our foreign policy, instead of just dismissing any mention of them by others with “those mistakes were not made by me personally, so you should not bring them up.”

        1. Who’s saying we should dismiss mention of other mistakes and not bring them up?

          I just don’t buy that it’s hypocritical to criticize current behavior A without bringing up past behaviors B, C, D… Especially when I am not the one engaged in or supportive of any of those behaviors.

      1. And if Christians made videos urging children to kill Jews [or Muslims, or whomever] and showed them on TV, we would condemn them. Do you know of any comparable Christian shows?

  4. I am sure Scott Atran could explain how religion is not a significant contributor to this kind of behavior.

    Then Reza Aslan could give a profoundly sophisticated explanation of how unsophisticated it is to suppose that religion does significantly contribute to such behavior.

    As far as opposing this kind of behavior, it is very difficult to instigate change from the outside, though technology (internet, phones) are a real force multiplier for doing that.

    1. About Atran, yes, he’s explained to us that is really a love of soccer that is the basis of these cultural hatreds.;-)

  5. What one group might consider historical hypocrisy can also be looked at as cultural growth. We are learning to be better. Like all converts we sometimes get a little full of ourselves but having a past about which we aren’t terribly proud is better than having learned nothing. These hate videos for children are an extreme example of one of things this audience fights against – indoctrination. Whether it is for hate or piety or ideology, the deliberate molding of children before they have a chance to develop critical thinking skills is a generations old form of abuse.

    1. Worth noting, too, I think, that modern descendants of those who engaged in questionable practices tend to criticize their own ancestors as readily as they criticize those who engage in such practices today.

    2. Do you think more headway could be made by leveling criticisms in a different way? Not to say that they should be toned down but to be more deliberate in targeting ideologies of any sort that prevent critical thinking.

      Then again, this sort of thing could just as well backfire if ideologies are targeted and then the religious fundies start claiming that now we’re mocking their religion by calling it an ideology. But at least it would preemptively knock down the red herring they like to throw out there about North Korea, Mao Tse-tung’s China, etc.

  6. These videos are chilling and repulsive. This is a throwback to the Nazi indoctrination of Hitler Youth,but with a religious patina. Every other word is “God (Allah) willing…”. Hitchens was right: religion poisons everything, especially children’s minds. As long as this immoral indoctrination continues, peace in the Middle East will not happen. And this brainwashing also goes on in other Arab countries, where even the hoax of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” gets new life to poison minds.

  7. Sigh. I think that xenophobia and fear of others is widespread among religious groups of all kinds. These examples are more overt than we are used to but the message is the same. It’s so sad to see children taught hatred.

    I have no dog in this fight, and I admit to being very naive regarding the difference between Israel the country, Judaism the religion, and the Jews as a culture. But, it’s difficult not to recognize the establishment of a defacto apartheid in Israel, essentially making the country a racist state.

    Holding the power in this religious/cultural dispute, I think that they rationalize the racism they teach to their own children and so it does not come across so overtly. I know Jewish families in the US who send their children to boot camp in Israel.

    If we could only lose our respective cultural and religious identities for just a generation and start over…..sigh, that’s not how evolution works…no 2.0, just patches over same crude code.

    1. Once again we see the Palestinian videos ignored and the Israelis castigated for unknown “racism that they teach to their own children.”
      Where’s the evidence, particularly because you say you are “very naive” about this issue.

      I’m sorry, but it’s clear you have a dog in this fight, and it’s the Palestinian one. The only difference is that their examples are more “overt”. Find me one thing on Israeli t.v. that even comes close to this promotion of religious hatred.

      Also, Muslims are not a race;they’re a religion.

      1. Whoa! I’m certainly not failing to condemn the videos you posted. But I’m really not about to take sides either.

        I really am naive or confused regarding race, religion, culture or statehood with respect to Judaism or Islam. It seems the distinctions are blurred or filmy and often manipulated so as to help rationalize or defend the actions of one group or another.

        I think that religion “ruins everything” that’s all. I’m just sighing over the senseless hatred these groups feel for each other and then I’m chastised if I don’t take sides?

        I am an outsider. It’s clear that these disputes are not one sided. I thought it was a truism that religious groups of all kinds, especially the tribes of Abraham, carry centuries of baggage — of hatred and animosity towards one another with them. They teach it to their children. It’s something I wish to escape as an atheist.

        I do think that Israel represents a defacto religious and apartheid state. It’s my take on what I have learned, as an outsider, but it’s provisional, not my belief. Simply existing as such is their own contribution to conflict.

        Sorry if I didn’t properly condemn the videos.

        1. Israel is actually a democracy not a theocracy and there are a lot of atheists there. Sometimes people make the mistake in thinking Israel is another side of the same coin as Islam but it isn’t. Israel as a state doesn’t teach this sort of hatred and the fact that they have a large secular population (vs the theocracies or absolute monarchies that many Islamic states) sets them way way a part.

          1. I think I understand what you are saying Diana but it’s difficult to agree. I don’t see where democracy and theocracy are mutually exclusive. It’s why I used the term “de-facto”. In many ways the U.S. is Christian theocracy, what’s written in our Constitution not with standing, or the actual standing of which is at least in flux. I think that it’s important not to confuse the map with the territory.

            Certainly one could not argue that Israel the state is not heavily influenced by the Jewish religion and that it’s government and military are filled with religious Jews? Jewish political leaders constantly refer to the Jewish state and the mission and perseverance of the Jewish people. The religion certainly has it’s own conservative fundamentalists who read their very backward text literally. I don’t think think it at all a stretch to call Israel a religious state, theocracy…call it what you will.

            Finally, the existence of an effective, de-facto government sponsored apartheid in Israel speaks for itself, or at least it should.

            Again, as an outsider, I have a hard time seeing events out of context or cherry picking events to favor or disfavor either side of an insane dispute that I in no way relate to.
            Again, none of this is to in anyway diminish what these people are so overtly teaching their children.

            1. In asserting that there is no difference between a theocracy and a democracy you are dangerously close to making the nirvana fallacy. It seems that if there are religious factions within a democracy, that democracy can be deemed a theocracy when in fact priests or other holy men do not actually govern and no deity is deemed its head of state. It may be a fact that, say the US has a butt load of religious folks in government but when we say “welcome to the theocracy” we’re merely pointing out our worry that such a slip into said government could occur…we don’t actually think there is a theocracy because we know for a fact that citizens participate in civic life through government representatives. Facts matter and “de facto” doesn’t wash that away because the US is not a “de facto” theocracy – not yet and Israel may appear as a Jewish state, but it is still a government that allows participation by its citizens in government through its representatives and it is still pluralistic albeit with a Jewish character.

              Many democracies may not be perfect but democracy doesn’t equal perfection – it is only a mechanism that allows for civic participation; just like science doesn’t equal perfection; it is a mechanism to limit bias and reach truth.

              I have an Indonesian friend who had a hard time understanding corruption in “first world countries”. She couldn’t understand how she could witness unethical behaviour at work when she was in Canada. I had to explain to her that typically such behaviour is not systemic or at least it isn’t accepted if it is and that there are laws to protect people from such things happening but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Because there are criminal acts in Canada, does not mean Canada is a criminal state just like the Jewish character of Israel does not make it a theocracy or the vocal Christian nature of the US does not make it a theocracy.

              1. Thanks for the reply Diana.

                I still think that you are making distinctions without differences. The consequences of the Jewish religion on Israeli policies cannot be denied and will never be thwarted.

                It’s barbaric to hold a people hostage or in apartheid.


                Our christian country fought a bloody civil war over much these same human rights issues. And Christianity was, and is, used as justification and rationalization.

                It seems like if one criticizes Islam for anything then one is “Islamaphobic”, and of course if one criticizes the Jewish religion then one is an “antisemite”.

                To me it’s like groups of people with chips on their shoulders and guns on their hips and long histories of religious grievances and conflicts that we can ill afford in the “modern” world. The Israelis are more frightening to me because they have modern weapons including a nuclear arsenal. And they are just as much religious crazies as their counterparts.

                Here from the Toronto Star, even ex Israeli leaders have characterized Israel as an apartheid state.


          2. If the US or Canada granted nearly automatic citizenship to incoming protestants (but not to non-protestants, who had to follow stricter requirements), I would object. Wouldn’t you?

            1. In my country, Poland, people who can show that they have Polish ancestors, get citizenship without any hassel or waiting for years like all the others who would like to get Polish citizenship. There are many more countries which have similar policy. I do not see any objections to it anywhere. Only in the case of Israel – where it is not religion that matters but whether you have Jewish ancestors. So your example with Protestants is not relevant. If you are an atheist but can show that you have Jewish ancestors, you get citizenship. Given 2000 years without a country it doesn’t seem any worse than all those countries in the world which are giving priority to people connected with this country.

              1. Scotland and Ireland had similar offers (don’t know if they still do) – if you could prove ancestry you could go there. Scotland didn’t give you anything other than that but I believe Ireland gave you land. I made a lot of jokes about this one.

                I believe you can also acquire English citizenship by proving ancestry.

                I myself have dual citizenship in Canada & New Zealand because my mother’s family is from New Zealand.

              2. I think you’re right re Ireland (one of my US colleagues did that). But Scotland or England – either of those countries would be giving you *British* citizenship. I’m not sure how far back ancestry goes – you can certainly register as a British citizen if you were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother.


            2. I don’t think I get your point. My argument my post was to show that having vocal religious groups in your society does not automatically make that society a theocracy and that state sponsored hate is different that various undesirables in that same society who, if caught for their behaviour, are held accountable.

            1. Who are those powers that be though? It’s referred to as a Jewish state but it still isn’t a theocracy.

            2. Why all the heavy weather about a Jewish state when there are 50+ Muslim states in the world?

      2. I guess I don’t like being told what I think either. For the record. I’m not a Muslim or a Jew of any kind, cultural, religious or otherwise. I’m an aging anglo American male that had a Methodist mother and a Catholic dad who early stopped making me go to church altogether after I kept skipping out.

        I’ve done what I can to lose any nasty white male attitudes I carry and I’m glad to be free of any other cultural/religious attachments that so much of the rest of the world’s population seems burdened with. Certainly Muslims, Jews and Christians are the first to identify an outsider as such or even to associate the unaffiliated with their respective opposite enemies. I find veils, and crosses and skullcaps and other religious accoutrements very off-putting. I hesitate to identify myself as an atheist as atheists are universally vilified.

        I can’t take these religious/cultural/racial conflicts out of context and just condemn one side when all are clearly working together to create conflict.

        I love the website Dr. Coyne and I’m a real fan of your writing. I agree with you on this as well. The videos you posted were truly sick. I’m certainly not on the “side” of the persons or the culture or the religion that produce such stuff.

  8. Just once I’d like to see a post like this without someone chiming in with “but Israel/the west/other religions is/are just as bad!” in the comments. You never see the reverse – when someone criticizes Christianity, people don’t usually bring up compulsory veiling, FGM, or suicide bombing as a counterpoint.

    Why is that, I wonder?

    1. I’m sorry Kelton, but my observations weren’t meant to be a “counter-point”.

      Also, when Christianity is criticized, I am often very likely to note how other religions also deserve criticism for the same thing. None of the religions are above reproach.

      Is there something about Judaism that makes it special in this case? I really don’t get it?

      1. I’ll tell you what makes it special: the Palestinians and many other Islamic countries want to exterminate Israel and the Jews. That’s what makes it different to criticising Christianity, or any other religion. No-one wants those religions or their adherents exterminated; not forgetting that destroying Israel and all Jews is only the first step for many muslims, who foresee a worldwide caliphate as the ultimate objective.

        1. Thanks for the reply Jeff. I have to disagree. I think that religious fanatics on all sides hate each other and wish and anticipate each others eventual demise, especially among the religions of Abraham and all their various dialects. If it’s not the Catholics vs the Protestants it’s the Jews vs the Muslims or the Christian vs the Jews or the Protestants vs the Muslims…

          They all mix their politics and policies as a strong function of religious preference. Much of it is based on obscure interpretations of the same set of antique books. Any one of them can and do reach into their holy books and pull out scripture to justify whatever they want. For the Christians, they. see an end of the world where they watch every one who is not christian burn in lakes of fire. Radical christians in the US salivate at the thought of Israel’s potential use of nuclear weapons against Iran as a sign of the end times.

          To an outsider, completely distanced from all of this insanity, it can be a little bewildering. I’m definitely not about to pick favorites among a bunch of crazy people or frame my ethics by way of any of these “cultures”.

          1. Dale, you are participating in the unfortunate trend of pretending like all religions are equally badly behaved. This is not so. Israel does not fire rockets at Palestine from schools and hospitals so that any retaliation will result in terrible casualties, as Hamas does. Israel does not desire the final extermination of all Muslims, as Hamas’s charter explicitly states it desires with respect to the Jews. I agree that the beliefs and practices of Orthodox Jews, conservative Catholics, and evangelical Christians are all odious and harmful, but these do not even compare to the treatment of women, homosexuals, non-Muslims, and especially Jews which we see in most Islamic states and which derive support from the Koran and the Hadith. Most conservative American Christians just want to stop gay people from marrying each other; in most Islamic states being gay is a stonable offence. So is criticizing Islam. Look how bunched up the panties of the religious right are getting in the U.S. It’s precisely because they don’t have the power to silence heathens the way that Islamic states silence all criticism of the faith.

            We do no service to liberal, secular, and feminist Muslims and ex-Muslims fighting for democracy and civil rights in the Muslim world by changing the subject every time someone tries to shine a critical light on Islam, as you are doing. They should be our natural allies, but instead Western liberals have mostly ignored them – or worse, deemed them “Islamophobic”, as in the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali – in an effort to avoid being labeled Islamophobic themselves. And so the left abandons the burden of intellectual honesty on this issue, only for it to be picked up by the crazies at Fox News. It’s a strange world.

            1. Kelton,

              I certainly recognize your argument but you’ve put me in the wrong box. I recognize this box as the one Sam Harris built.

              I’m not willing to take sides and I find culpability with all religions. I don’t have a singular obsession with only the crimes of Islam. I am interested in seeing the whole picture and obviously the context is important. I have a concern for fairness and objectivity in my view.

              Their crimes do not occur in a moral vacuum. They occur in the context of a brutal occupation by a religiously motivated military force and an enforced apartheid. This is all well known. If you don’t know about this I suggest you research it. Jimmy Carter wrote a book on it.

              To ignore this as part of the picture is just to expose your own bias toward Judaism. Their books contain plenty of bad language that lets them support and justify bad behavior. Jewish people are just as crazy as Muslims and Christians. The way I see it, they are all participating in a common global effort to kill us all before they will lose their stupid beliefs.

              In Israel, every young person must participate in the military where they are required to enforce the state sponsored segregation and persecution of a whole population of people.

              They are forced to participate in enforcing an apartheid.

              What are we selecting for here?

              1. Dale,

                It’s not about taking sides – it’s about recognizing the simple truth that not all religions’ followers are equally badly behaved. When we start seeing Christian or Jewish suicide bombers in the Middle East, then your argument will have a leg to stand on. But until then, please don’t pretend to occupy the moral high ground just because you refuse to see the forest for the trees.

              2. That’s ridiculous. I’m not the one seeking the moral high ground and neither am I refusing to see the whole situation. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m also not the one excusing and covering up blatant racism on the part of a chosen people.

                By ignoring the atrocities of one group over another you are clearly taking sides and exposing your own religious loyalties. There is a conspicuous absence of criticism of one religious group over all others despite clear evidence of decades of provocative religiously inspired human rights violations.

                The Jews in Israel don’t need suicide bombers, they have tanks and a religiously inspired military made up of conscripted soldiers. The entire population is made up of one time conscripted soldiers who have been called on to enforce brutal policies.

                What is being selecting for? If this isn’t training your children for future battles against their religious enemies, what is??



              3. Mr. Dale assures us that he is neutral in this conflict, however he repeats the vile Arab propaganda, trying to deflect attention from what was shown in this post. He listened to all the sides of the prosecution case and somehow never managed to listen to the defense.
                Israel is not an apartheid state. All citizens have equal rights, There are laws against discrimination. All Israeli minorities have exactly the same rights as Jewish majority. The slander about apartheid was concocted in USRR in 1960 and eagerly bought by Arab propaganda, repeated now by the likes of Mr. Dale.
                Israel, in its short history, was attacked by Arab armies time and time again. There are 8 millions Israeli citizens now. There are over 300 million Arabs. The only chance to defend this country is an army in which all people serve. One of the greatest achievements of Arab propaganda was to change the frame: from Arab-Israeli conflict in which it was obvious to everybody that Israel was David and Arabs were Goliath they changed it to Palestinian-Israeli conflict and suddenly Israel became the huge, ugly, vile Goliath. It is a sign of a sorry state of some minds that this ploy was bought in the West with such an ease.
                Occupation: Gaza is not under occupation since 2005. Residents of Gaza had chosen Hamas to rule over them. West Bank is divided: 95% of Palestinians are under the rule of Palestinian Authority (with own government, ambassadors, judiciary, education – where children are taught about vile Jews and about the day the whole Palestine will be theirs without any Jews – etc.) Some 5% of Palestinians from the West Bank are really under the Israeli administration. Israel time and time again tried to end this abnormal situation but there were no takers. First Arafat then Abbas refused every time they had a chance to build an own, independent state in Oslo, Camp David and now (not to mention the refusal of all Arab states 1947 and the refusal in the years 1948-1967 when the West Bank and Gaza were in the Arab hands).
                Disgusting and false remarks about “blatant racism” and “chosen people” reveal quite a lot about Mr. Dale,

              4. Dale,

                How can I have a “religious allegiance” when I’m an atheist, and was not even raised in Christianity or Judaism?

  9. It seems the Islamic world is OK with vile propaganda of this type, yet a movie like “Innocence of Muslims” is enough to set off deadly demonstrations in many countries.

    Hypocrisy, wouldn’t you say?

  10. Jerry, I think you are doing a great thing by focusing on the religious roots of this kind of disgusting propaganda but I think you should also focus a bit more on the *political* aspect, meaning, it is political Islam that is often the most poisonous. Ex-muslims like Maryam Namaizie specifically draw attention to this. For example she calls them “Islamists”, i.e., Muslims who like to spread their ideology as a form of governement to other people.

    The political aspect is very important because a lot of these filthy tactics are also political propaganda tools used by many dictators before them. In other words, these Islamists want to wield political power as well as religious influence and they combine and unite known dirty religious and political tricks.

    1. Dogma is dogma. Often politics when they are tyrannical are no different: think of Mao Tse Tsung, Stalin or Hitler. In the case of Islamic countries where many are either outright theocracies, failed democracies or absolute monarchies, religion is incorporated so thoroughly into the state that there really is no difference (think of Saudi religious police).

      1. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a country were there’s an official state religion and senior religious leaders are automatically given a place in government.

        Oh. Wait…


      2. The snag about Islam is that it is both a religion and a legal system. Israel may be a Jewish state, but it has an independent, secular, judiciary.

        1. That’s because Israel is not a theocracy. There are Jewish laws too but Israel doesn’t use them because it’s not a theocracy.

  11. In Islam I don’t see a big difference between religion and politics since the religion mandates the politics, and the politics is largely driven by religious considerations.

    Do read the Roolz, though; I don’t really appreciate being told what I should focus on.

    1. I think too many people fail to realise that Islam is a politico/socio/religious system. Islam permeates the whole life of Islamic systems, things only exist in terms of Islam teachings.

  12. Not that I doubt this happens, but can anyone confirm that the subtitles, chilling as they are, are correct?

    1. MEMRI has an outstanding reputation for accuracy. There is no reason to doubt that any of the subtitles are accurate, unfortunately.

    2. I can vouch for the correctness of the subtitles. Couldn’t have translated them better myself.

  13. I sent this post to my friend in Israel and she said she’d watch the videos tomorrow on the train because she was going to bed and didn’t want to get all upset and not be able to sleep.

  14. Truly repugnant videos. I had a hard time watching.

    As for all this historical hypocrisy silliness, I think about it like this. If Germany stopped a genocide tomorrow, would anyone wag their finger and say, “What about the Holocaust?”

    1. Huh?
      If Hamas stopped the child indoctrination tomorrow, I’d be ectsatic. There’d be no finger wagging. So…what’s your point?

      1. Simply that condemning something terrible like genocide or indoctrination does not need to be followed up with a reminder that country X has done this as well. Though I see above that you already made that point. I agree with what you wrote about being aware of your country’s history, but I don’t think that means you need to read your rap sheet every time you criticize something.

    1. I knew some morally obstuse person would do this: post some evidence of Israeli dislike of Palestinians, and EQUATE THAT WITH DAILY STATE-SPONSORED CHILD ABUSE on Palestinian t.v. Unless you are completely clueless, you must see that your “argument” is lame. It’s as if somebody showed members of the Westboro Baptist Church and then equated that with what the American Government did.
      But I sent this to Malgorazata, who replied,

      In every society there are scoundrels, haters, and criminals. Israel is no different. The difference is that these things are not taught in schools, broadcast on national TV, endorsed by authorities and by main opinion-makers of Israel. On the contrary: these fringe groups are shunned, condemned and often prosecuted, because to promulgate hatred is a crime in Israel. So those commenters with their own ideological agenda who present the fringe movement as if it were norm in order to counter information about how hatred of Jews is permeating the whole political and media establishment in Gaza and West Bank are really insincere (to say the least).

      And you, sir, are insincere. I will leave it at that. I suggest you frequent some site where your kind of dissimulation is the norm.

      1. I completely agree with Malgorazata and I was clumsily trying to make a similar point up thread. There are always malcontents, sociopaths, jerks in society that spread bigoted hate. There is a big difference between that and state sponsored hate.

  15. Inconsistency over time is a good thing when it shows you’ve progressed, improved and learned something. So people need to stop wagging their fingers at “westerners” like it’s a bad thing that we realized slavery, sexism, genocide and a whole list of other atrocities is wrong ,and now want to share our painfully gained insights to the rest of the world. You now, learn from our mistakes, don’t repeat them.
    That’s a sentiment everyone can get behind, surely?
    I strongly agree with the point Jerry made about people in the past not actually being relevant to what we do know. The obsessions some have with these weird essentialistic constructs of “peoples”, “races” and “nations”, and so if you’re born on some particular spot on this rock with a particular language and skin tone, then you automatically carry a baggage of a whole lot of other people, dead or alive.
    Original sin seems to be an intuitive concept for a lot of people; from the endless cycles of revenge, where family members and others associated with the “responsible” party automatically share in needing to take punishment, to the prides and fears we take in how we view if we are contaminated by some form of association with other people, like their actions could be our own, simply because of some relatedness, either literal or abstract like culture, religion or nationality.
    I wouldn’t take pride if I happened to be related to, say Darwin, I, as a foolish sentimental human being would perhaps find joy in it, but I never would dream of trying to use that arbitrary fact as an indicator to how people should view me.
    Judge me by my actions, thoughts and expressions, there’s enough responsibility in one person as it is, without further weight of needing to consider my ancestry, spot on the map, what language I happened to pick up etc.

    1. You now [sic], learn from our mistakes, don’t repeat them.
      That’s a sentiment everyone can get behind, surely?

      I am in complete agreement. I think the disagreement here is in how to best communicate to Hamas that they are making a mistake so that they will stop making it. In my mind, that communication is likely going to include a discussion of historical western mistakes. Even if we don’t think that discussion is relevant to the topic, I think groups like Hamas does, so we have to be prepared to have it. Going in telling them that that no, we aren’t going to discuss 20th century western history because we don’t think it’s relevant – that they should just listen to us when we say what they are doing is wrong, period – is going to get our advice flushed down the toilet.

      Which, if we are being honest, is probably what will happen anyway. We could do everything right in terms of foreign policy and diplomacy and still get ignored. But if we are going to bother to try and influence Hamas, then we should go beyond just telling them what we want them to do, and think about what sort of background or Hamas-driven conversations we need to have with them so that they may actually do it. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a very small price to pay, isn’t it? If a little western garment-rending and mea culpa-ing over past crimes would get them to stop indoctrinating children to be murderers, then my thought is we should just flipping do it already.

      1. “If a little western garment-rending and mea culpa-ing over past crimes would get them to stop indoctrinating children to be murderers, then my thought is we should just flipping do it already.”

        What makes you think that it will?

      2. Why would they stop doing it, when their whole reason for existing is to abolish Israel, kill Jews, and to that end train their children up to continue the work?

  16. Late in posting as cannot post such replies from work computer.

    Cultivating hatred towards Jews is not restricted to kids in Hamas.

    I live in Toronto and close friends with a Muslim colleague. He has a masters degree in Engineering and is of Indian origin. An intelligent engineer, yet pretty biased in his hatred towards Jews. He won’t even take a look at menorah installed in building during Christmas. Recently, I was talking about Seinfeld, and he quickly commented that all four major characters from that show were Jewish – something that I had never bothered to think about while enjoying that show. In addition, even though he is an engineer (and hence has studied Physics), he does not believe in the Big Bang theory.

    And this is not the only exception. Another Muslim friend of mine mentioned that his mosque recommends to shed their effects of Indian/Hindu culture and instead embrace Muslim identity. I am quite appalled at the brainwashing that goes in the Toronto mosques.

  17. “***If this kind of stuff were shown on American t.v., say on children’s shows urging kids to kill Muslims, or Christians, or Jews, or Russians, or anybody else, there would be a huge uproar, and people would demand its cessation.***”

    Which is why we live in America and not the Gaza Strip. There can be no real (intelligent) argument that this is reprehensible, and should be loudly opposed and condemned by every civilized country, or any country at all.

    However, though nothing can condone this, I wounder if it can be even slightly effective. What these children learn in schools and at home must be considered as a sin against the future. However, having a lot of experience with children and watching these clips, I don’t see how they can hold any audience. All they do is talk, and their puppets are stupid-looking. Perhaps The attention span of children varies enough worldwide that my opinion is naive. But I’ve seen bad children’s programming and this is way worse than Teletubbies. I don’t think children would watch for more than a few minuets. I suppose they could be forced, or have absolutely no alternative, but I can’t see it holding their attention long enough to get the message.

    Now, all that aside and turning to the absolutely trivial, I can get a bit OCD and chronic misuse of words irritates me. You cannot call Palestinians anti-Semitic. They are Semites. According to Wikipedia “Today, the word “Semite” may be used to refer to any member of any of a number of peoples of ancient Southwestern Asia descent including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews (Jews), Arabs, and their descendants.” I know that this is ridiculous in the face of global problems, but I get weird about weird things.

    1. Instead of geting irritated it would be better to get acquainted with facts. Untill XIX century German word “Judenhass” was used. The sentiment was popular enough, but Austrian and German intellectuals didn’t feel comfortably with this primitive description. They coined a new, better sounding word (the author was probably one Wilhem Marr) to describe their hatred of Jews: anti-Semitism. It was never meant to encompass Arabs which was explained very carefully by Hitler’s minions to Arabs leaders when they wanted to get them as allies. And many Arab leaders enthusiatically embraced both Hitler and the elegantly renamed Judenhass. Calling oneself with pride “an antisemite” went out of fashion 1945. But it was a word which always meant the same old Jew-hatred.

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