Peace Now, where are you when Palestinian kids like these are being slapped around and mistreated so badly by their parents?
I used to live in the Gush Etzion region a few years’ ago, and once you’ve made a habit of crossing the so called ‘Green Line’ and driving round the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’ on a regular basis, you stop being so jumpy about things like driving to Hevron by yourself.
So I drove over to Kiryat Arba, then drove down into the old city of Hebron itself where all our biblical forebears are buried, and that’s when I realised there was more shocking violence going on in the streets of Hebron.
It was letting out time from the local Palestinian school, and everywhere I looked there were small children being beaten up by other, slightly larger children. One particularly shocking act of violence really caught my attention, as I turned into the parking lot right next to the Mearat HaMachpela: A small Palestinian boy who couldn’t have been more than two years old was being violently slapped in the face by a girl I took to be his older sister.
She looked like she was 7 or 8, and boy, was she pummelling this kid for all she was worth. The small boy burst into tears, fell to the ground and refused to budge. His older sister was prepared for this: she grabbed him by his hair, and literally pulled him up by his bangs until he was standing again - and then resumed slapping him in the face.
Now, I’d love to tell you this is unusual in Palestinian society, but the truth is, I’ve seen more Arab children get slapped around by their parents (usually their mothers…) than I can count. I often see Palestinian women on the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem slapping their children about and shouting curses at them.
When you go to the Dead Sea, you also see Palestinian men forcibly holding the heads of their small offspring under the poisonous water ‘for fun’, even though that’s illegal and can get them chucked out (and not to mention, can get their kid hospitalised, besides, because swallowing water from the Dead Sea is really bad for you.)
Sure, I’ve also sometimes seen visibly caring, gentle and loving Palestinian parents, but believe me, that’s such a rare sight I watch them fascinated, trying to figure out why these Arab parents appear to be so different from most of their peers.
Are you wondering how all this is connected to terrorism, the Middle East ‘Peace’ Process and what’s really going on in the world? Sure you are!
Here’s the deal: Israel will never, ever, have peace with the Palestinians as long as the Palestinians continue to abuse their children so badly, they all grow up to be terrorist psychopaths.
In 15 years’ time, when that little Palestinian boy has grown into a violent, homicidal young man who tries to stab, shoot or hurt Jews (and particularly Israeli soldiers), you’ll be able to trace the seeds of the problem straight back to all the slaps in the face, hair-pulling and emotional abuse and neglect he got at the hands of his family members. If his own family treats him like an animal, what hope is there of him growing up with more refined human sensibilities?
What I want to know, is where is Peace Now when all these little Palestinian kids are being slapped around and abused like this? Where’s the outrage from ‘Yesh Gvul’? Where’s the lawsuits being brought against these abusive Palestinian parents by B’Tselem? Where’s the UN condemnation of the cruelty and violence being openly displayed on Hebron’s streets every single day, when school gets out?
(Those are rhetorical questions…)
In the meantime, the so-called ‘cycle of violence’ will continue, but let’s be clear where it’s starting: In Palestinian homes where physical and emotional abuse and neglect of small children is not only tolerated, it’s proudly encouraged.