October 31, 2004

Killing Joos and Americans

I don't know whether to weep or to eat my gun when I read things like this:

A talking animal on a Palestinian children's television show has advocated starting a massacre with AK-47 firearms.

The violent suggestion came in response to a question from a child moderator on the program, which runs on official Palestinian TV, reported Palestinian Media Watch.

The recently aired episode was dedicated to the importance of trees. The moderator asked "Tarabisho," a talking chick, what he would do if someone, specifically a "little boy," were to chop down his tree. In his squeaky little voice, Tarabisho answered that he would shoot the little boy with an AK-47 automatic rifle, create a massacre and make a riot.

The following is the full text of the translated dialogue between the child moderator and Tarabisho:

Girl: If a boy comes in front of your house where a tree is planted, and cuts it down, what would you do?

Talking chick: I have two trees in front of my house.

Girl: If a little boy cuts them down, what will you do to him?

Talking chick: What I'll do to him? I'll fight him and make a big riot. I'll call the whole world and make a riot. I'll bring AK-47s and the whole world. I'll commit a massacre in front of the house.

Palestinian Media Watch, which features a video of the exchange, reported the moderator twice checked her notes while asking the questions, suggesting this was not a spontaneous discussion but was a deliberate educational message planned by the writers and producers of the show.

The program aired shortly after the Israeli army leveled many of the trees used by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza to hide rocket launchers.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Palestinian Authority television produced a "Sesame Street"-like children's program called the "Children's Club" – complete with puppet shows, songs, Mickey Mouse and other characters – focused on inculcating intense hatred of Jews and a passion for engaging in and celebrating violence against them in a perpetual "jihad" until the day the Israeli flags come down from above "Palestinian land" and the Palestinian flag is raised.

In one song on the "Children's Club," very young children are shown singing songs about wanting to become "suicide warriors" and to take up "a machine gun" to direct "violence, anger, anger, anger" against Israelis.

During the show, which featured children aged 4-10, one young boy sings, "When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber." Afterward, other children stand to call for "Jihad! Holy war to the end against the Zionist enemy."

It always makes me wonder how guys like Jeff and Laurence can joke about the sick, murderous nature of Palestinian society. How are you able to make light of the fact that people want you dead? I find myself railing at them each for a moment every now and then until I remember that I'm now in the same situation myself, and I've only really been aware of it for three years.

I'm just not yet accustomed to the fact that there are a lot of people out there who want to kill me because I'm from this country. And nothing else would matter to them.

A lot of aware Jews out there have lived with this their entire lives—at least on a theoretical level—and are therefore coping better than I am.

(Also, Laurence and Jeff are funnier people from the get-go.)

The riff started with Protein Wisdom, who provided the link to this rather horrific little bit of news.

Posted by Attila at October 31, 2004 04:22 AM
Comments

This may sound like a non sequitur, but I assure you it isn't.

The survival advantage of humankind comes from the group. We have evolved and inherited an incredible and unique range of mechanisms to constantly reinforce
and reiterate our belonging to our group. Music, pictorial art, story telling, clothing fashions, dance, and many others; all of these crazy human affectations are manifestations of a single mechanism that we have - that of bonding to the other people within our group AS a group.

It's flip side is that there is a radius for this bonding response and an opposite reaction to those who are perceived as outside of that radius. Those who are outside of the group are "other" and are naturally feared and hated. It's built in. We often label this force "tribalism," but the term doesn't allow for the full scope of behaviors that people manifest under its influence. It also implies that only primitive people possess it. Joseph Conrad answered that one to my satisfaction.

The mechanisms that trigger the sense of belonging to the group and of enmity toward those who do not belong to the group are basic emotions, and are easily heightened and aroused. Since our very survival as a species is ultimatley bound up with them they are very, VERY powerful.

As technology evolves, it gives us a mechanical advantage (pun intended) over our ancestors in every sphere of human activity - making things, growing and harvesting, inflicting harm in battle, and; for the purpose of this diatribe; communicating. That amplification of effect has obvious physical consequences all around us that we can all identify. What is not given nearly the attention it deserves is the exact means by which this amplification taps into the most basic human drives and what the results might be.

In the US we have learned to sell our products by tapping into the very most basic drives that people have. We use sex, temperature, appetite, and fear. We also use both halves of the group drive to sell clothing, attitudes, candidates, and policies.
The key is that these are BASIC drives; lowest common denominator triggers. Rest assured that the rest of the world has been taking lessons from everybody from Proctor and Gamble to Josef Goebbels to tap this incredibly powerful force and turn it to their own purposes.

In it's most powerful form, it is the force that allowed a man a Gettysburg or the Somme to walk with his fellows into certain death rather than lose his place in the group. It is the force that worked within a group of religious fanatics that got them to decide to die together by flying airplanes into the WTC. As you have just pointed out, it is a force that now is being nurtured in small Palestinian children for the purpose of jihad.

One of the common topics that has been running through the blog has been the virulent polarization of Democrats and Republicansduring this election. This polarization is occuring within the confines of a society to which we all belong and love, and yet I would swear to you that many of the people I meet actually HATE members of the opposing politcal camp more immediately and passionately at this moment than they do Al Quaeda. The parties have learned to tap into this thing that is built into us all, and because it is effective to do so they have abandoned all restraint and opened Pandora's box. Once these forces are let loose in a mass culture, they don't subside easily or predictably.

The the techniques being used in the Middle East to create suicide bombers and mujahadeen are in evidence right here and now in our own land. Whenever any one of us notices that a feeling is becoming more influential than our reason, it is time to ask what is triggering it. Then at least we have given ourselves a window to choose how we will conduct ourselves. That is more than those little children in Palestine have.

Posted by: douglas brown at October 31, 2004 07:26 AM


I think if you don't make light of it every now and then you'll go mad. It's rather like the gallows humour that my parents' generation exhibited during the Blitz. It's a safety valve.

This is not, however, to say that I don't want every single Islamofascist and Paleostinian self-guided munition to become messily dead, and right quick.

Posted by: David Gillies at October 31, 2004 07:29 AM


Thanks, Douglas. I think you're right. I hope we're able to bind up the wounds of the present time as we once did with the conflicts of the 60s, and the equally passionate ones in the 80s (back when that crazy Ronald Reagan was about to destroy the world).

I'm hoping our American society is resiliant enough to get over this period of intense conflict (the near Balkanization we're seeing). Certainly, American politics has gotten pretty bare-knuckled in the past without the larger culture going up in flames.

And yet I worry.

And, yes, David--anyone who's teaching little kids that killing is a happy, joyous thing should be yanked away and harvest, immediately, the fruit of that teaching by someone who is big and well-armed enough to make the lesson "stick." It's child abuse, and it helps to imprison the Palestinians in their destructive, self-destructive culture for years/decades to come.

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 31, 2004 02:56 PM


Douglas,
Excellent analysis. BUT... There's also an equal and opposite tendency running through some of the human race that causes a good portion of it to have a fascination with 'the other'. I suspect this one probably developed through inbreeding/outbreeding, since inbreeding tends to weaken the race.
Many of us have inherited both tendencies and can balance them to an extent. Others tend to go way to one side or the other. Another of our problems is with the extreme xenophilic tendency, who seem to assume that anyone who is different is automatically better than those who are not.

Posted by: Kathy K at October 31, 2004 03:37 PM


I've heard this referred to by biologists as "disassorted mating." I think it saves us from all kinds of ills.

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 31, 2004 06:34 PM




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