We send our children to Summer camp to have fun and make new friends. For me, camp was probably the most enjoyable part of growing up, and I trust that the same is true for many of the children of our congregation.
But very different than the camp I attended are those that exist in the Gaza Strip. We have learned that the Hamas terror organization is again running camps where children learn how to carry out acts of terror against civilians while engraining them with hatred for Israel and its people. And the same kind of “camps” can be found on the West Bank where a number of camps have been named after terrorists.
Instead of teaching Palestinian children the building blocks for life, these programs are preaching that violence and terror are legitimate, and that those who are responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians should be their ultimate role models.
Imagine what these children could be learning instead. Wouldn’t their lives be better and richer if their leaders were serious about seeking peace with Israel? To teach hatred to a young child is to contaminate their minds as they come to glorify a culture of death.
So sad that we live in a world that knows such wickedness. So sad that young children are brainwashed to not only hate Israel, but to believe that murdering innocent people is the way that one brings glory to oneself and ingratiates one to Allah.
Ours is a culture that cherishes life and the pursuit of peace. Theirs is a culture that seems to celebrate death, as streets and parks are named in honor of those who are seen as holy martyrs.
I wish something much better for these Palestinian children.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom and would love to see you at our “Shabbat Under the Stars” service this evening.
Rabbi David Greenberg