Palestinian Moms: A Heartbreaking Obstacle to Peace

Palestinian Mariam Farhat aka: "mother of martyrs" raised four children to kill Jews. 3 died in their efforts, 1 is in an Israeli prison.

            Life-sustaining at its core, a mother’s love for her child is an emotion unlike anything else in the world – and the reason why every day is Mother’s Day. In any functional society, a mother’s guidance and love are essential. Their lessons about right and wrong shape our own values.

            For the overwhelming majority of the world’s societies, the mother/child relationship is a force for good. But in the Middle East, particularly amongst Palestinians, the famous words of Golda Meir tell a different reality – one that presents the greatest obstacle to Middle East peace.

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

These words, uttered 60 years ago in front of the Washington Press Club, are just as true today as they were in 1957.

            These are the words of a Palestinian mother whose child’s life was saved in an Israeli hospital: “We feel that life is nothing. Life isn’t worth a thing.”  Instead of rejoicing that her son would live, she voiced her hope that he would go on to die as a shahid (Islamic martyr) for the sake of annihilating Jews.  “That’s why we have suicide bombers. They’re not afraid to die. It’s natural.”

            Sadly, this is only one of numerous examples of Palestinian society creating a social environment that leads children down the path of suicide terrorism. To that end, the Palestinian Authority has actively encouraged Palestinian mothers to celebrate when their children die as shahids in their attempt to commit genocide against Israeli Jews.

According to this disturbing ideology promulgated by the PA through television and newspapers, categorizing these dead terrorists as shahids accords them the highest honor a Muslim can achieve. Therefore, mothers should rejoice as they send their children off to die. PA President Mahmoud Abbas himself has been instrumental in Palestinian society’s honoring of mothers of terrorists, such as Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of four terrorists who are serving life sentences. Abbas invited Hmeid to an event in his office, and the PA governor of Ramallah visited her home. Hmeid was nicknamed “Khansa of Palestine,” a reference to a woman in the earliest period of Islam who rejoiced when all four of her sons were killed in battle as martyrs for Islam. For Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, this woman is the quintessential female role model.

            For this reason, it was simply a boldfaced lie when Abbas said during his recent meeting with President Trump in the White House: “We [Palestinians] are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” In September 2015, Abbas stated that he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” Abbas has encouraged acts of terrorism on numerous occasions, hosting and financially supporting the families of murderers killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.

            In May 2013, Abbas awarded Palestinian terrorist Nayef Hawatmeh the “Star of Honor”  “in recognition of his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people”:  planning the 1974 Ma’alot massacre, where 22 schoolchildren were executed.

            Even more striking is the contempt that Palestinian society has for grieving Israeli mothers. On April 20, Hamas’ military wing released a Hebrew-language music video that taunts the parents of two Israeli soldiers (Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin) presumed killed in action during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. The video claimed that the men were actually alive and being held captive in Gaza.

            Mother, Mother I’m here. Why are they saying that I’m dead?” goes one of the lines of the chorus. Throughout the video, pictures of the two Israelis appear next to their mothers and fathers. Though Israel has determined that Shaul and Goldin were killed in action, Hamas never actually admitted that they were dead.

            Indoctrinating children to hate and not coexist with Israel is the clearest indication that the so-called “two-state solution” is dead. Too many Palestinian mothers would much rather see their children die than live in peace alongside their Jewish neighbors.

Bradley Martin is a Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center news and public policy group and Deputy Editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

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