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Israeli Children Send Messages to Palestine and Lebanon PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Tuesday, 18 July 2006 14:17

Israeli Children Send Messages to Palestine and Lebanon

Message Sent...

Message Received


[the following letter was received by PEJ News in regard to the above photos. - lex]

Dear PEJ,

Let me say first that as a certified trainer in Kingian nonviolence I 
share in your desire for peace and justice. The first steps of 
nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliation are "information 
gathering" and "education". Dr. King and those who continue to teach 
his philosophy understand that these two steps are critically 
important to achieving justice. If you get your facts wrong, you 
can't build a successful movement and there is the dangerous risk of 
your peaceful intentions creating more violence and hatred.

So it is with great respect for you and a desire to promote your 
efforts that I must point out some potentially dangerous 
misinformation on your website. It is the piece on your home page 
right now that shows a photograph of young Israeli girls writing 
messages on bombs that will be dropped in Lebanon. Your site says 
that the messages are addressed to the people of Palestine and 
Lebanon, and the caption you provide says "From Jasralah with love," 
which is what appears to be written on the bomb. I took step one--
information gathering--and searched for, and found these photos and 
others elsewhere on the net. I examined them carefully, and because I 
can read both Hebrew and English, I can see that what the girl has 
written does look like "Jasralah," but it is not. Jasralah is not an 
Israeli name. The same phrase that you see in English is also written 
in Hebrew in other photos of this scene not shown on your site.  What 
it says is "To Nasralah with love," i.e. to Nasralah, the head of 
Hizbollah. Remember that English is not this girl's first language, 
and her handwriting is a little different. Her "N" does look like a 
"J," but look again and I think you will see the very short first 
upstroke of the "N" followed by a big, stylized final stroke. If you 
miss the first upstroke, it does indeed look like a "J". Small images 
on a computer screen are hardly conclusive, and thus there is a lot 
of room for doubt.

Make no mistake, I am deeply disturbed by the fact that Israeli 
parents would permit their young children to send death wishes to 
anyone. Young children are the victims of war, regardless of which 
side of the border they are on. To encourage children to hate is a 
terrible act. But I strongly believe that someone has misinterpreted 
(whether intentionally of not, I don't know) the photo. It does not 
show Jewish children happily wishing death to the Arab children of 
Lebanon, but addressing their agression to the leader of the group 
that is firing missiles into their cities and their homes. Directing 
their anger at the leader of Hizbollah is certainly understandable, 
even while it is a depressing scene. It is a far cry, however, from 
directing at other children like themselves, who they have no reason 
to fear or hate. Placing this photo of the Israeli girls, as you 
have, next to the photo of dead children creates a visual statement 
that blames the Israeli children for the deaths of the Arab children. 
I am sure you would agree that this is an inaccurate and, therefore, 
unacceptable message for your site to communicate.

Again, in the spirit of peace and justice, I ask you to examine the 
photo, consider the message it is sending, and--even if you doubt my 
interpretation--ask yourselves if you know, without a doubt, what is 
written on those bombs and what the intent of the  message is. If you 
do, I trust you will find that this piece was not well researched, 
does not reflect an accurate message, and contributes nothing 
positive to understanding the conflict we are all working to resolve.

Thanks for the consideration I know you will give to this matter!
David Wasser
Rhode Island

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 July 2006 14:17

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