FROM THE EDITOR

Our front-page article on the brainwashing of Arab children by the Palestinian Authority makes for tragic reading. Few words adequately describe the evil of twisting an innocent child's mind with words and images that glorify hatred and death.

But as awful as it sounds, it is not surprising that those who believe in the solution of gun and bomb should convey this conviction to their children. For decades, schools from Damascus to Amman to Cairo have been feeding young Arabs on such diets of destruction against Israel.

Baffling as it is, these realities make seemingly little impression on those who see in the Oslo process the dawning of a "new Middle East". If anything, reports drawing attention to such deep-rooted social ills appear to spur the "pro-peace" camp into more frantically pursuing its unreachable goal.

The name of the Israeli organisation that produced the "Jihad for Kids" documentary is Peace for Generations. Its members believe that peace is not something made overnight with the signing of a document and the shaking of a hand. They know that to achieve real peace requires years of hard work—the planting of tolerant, loving, good-neighbourly values in youngsters' hearts, and their careful nurturing until they bear good fruit.

Whether in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan or Israel, most people, when asked why they favour a peace process, will reply: "We want our children to live in a society free from the terrors of violence and war".

But, in the words of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin: peace begins at home. And while, to this end, a number of "peace centres" have sprung up in Israel where Jewish and Arab children play and learn together, these laudable efforts at relationship-building cannot match the onslaught of PA propaganda on the minds of Arab children in the autonomous areas, or in Israel.

Their expressed longing for peace may appear sincere. But those responsible for educating tomorrow's Palestinian adults are working to ensure that this peace will never come.


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