Rarely does a picture speak volumes about so many different topics.
- This is the schooling that Palestinian parents and teachers have been imparting for decades. Children educated to solve problems with sub-machine guns are not likely to have a penchant for peaceful co-existence. For some time, Israelis have been protesting to a deaf European Union that European funds earmarked for school-books are actually purchasing the tools of Palestinian terrorist indoctrination. But there is no more effective tool than personal example. Hoisting a child onto daddy's shoulders at a Hamas rally, handing him the family sub-machine gun and urging him to listen-up to war mongering speeches are certain to produce a far more eager fighter than the most vicious text-books.
- The rally this child attended took place in the midst of bloody clashes between Fatah and Hamas militia that have claimed 16 lives and injured 120 in ten days. This is apparently an accepted way for Palestinians to settle scores with their kinsmen. Does it make any sense then to expect them to talk through their differences with Israelis, their decades-old sworn enemies, at any time in the near future?
- The sub-machine gun in the photo shouts authenticity. The size, the detail, the materials apparently used, all indicate that the AP caption is a bald-faced lie. A lie spun to protect the Palestinians from the criticism that an honest caption would have elicited. Training child soldiers is unequivocally considered child abuse is by Western standards, that is, unless the child is a Palestinian. What you do then, if you're an "unbiased" news service, is tip-toe around the abuse to protect Muslim sensitivities. Dishonest captions of this sort are no less outrageous than the rash of Photoshop doctoring that made headlines during the recent war in Lebanon.
- Israel is being blamed for creating a humanitarian crisis with the economic blockade it imposed following the election of the Hamas government in February of this year. Why are there boundless dollars available to purchase expensive ammunition such as the sophisticated piece pictured here but none to be found for PA government salaries or food? Couldn't the West condition delivery of its humanitarian aid to Gaza on this: that Palestinian parents first trade their weapons in for food, clothing, medicines, toys – the sort of supplies that this ten year old and his friends really need? Only then will Israel's blockade be fully lifted to admit a free flow of Western aid.