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UNICEF's ghoulish tricks

On Halloween, children across North America will collect millions of dollars for UNICEF. That money, in turn, will do diverse deeds around the developing world, everything from feeding malnourished infants to teaching that free enterprise kills children to inspiring teens in the Middle East to become suicide bombers.
UNICEF, like the little tykes that collect pennies for it each Halloween, is growing up. Once an apolitical do-gooder that shied away from controversy, UNICEF has matured to become a canny propagandist on hot-button issues. Parents who embrace UNICEF’s political agenda can send their kids door-to-door this Halloween as little ambassadors for causes they hold dear.

The Mother-of-All-Kids’ causes, however, must be UNICEF’s summer camps for suicide bombers. UNICEF supports more than 200 camps for Palestinian kids, most of them administered by Palestinian Authority bodies – such as the Ministry of Youth and Education – that are responsible for indoctrinating Palestinian youth into the culture of martyrdom. In the town of Kalkilya, one UNICEF-funded camp is named after Wafa Idris, the first female suicide bomber and a heroine to Palestinian children. Her Jerusalem suicide killed one person and wounded more than 150. In Nablus, another UNICEF-funded summer camp, Shahids of Chattin, honours suicide bombers and other martyrs. As reported in the Palestinian press and translated by organizations such as Palestinian Media Watch, these one and two-week camps have martyrdom themes: Campers visit the families of suicide bombers, hear lectures and sing songs that glorify suicide bombers, and participate in discussions about the bombers. UNICEF’s generosity in making the camps possible is typically acknowledged at the camps’ closing ceremonies and also reported in the Palestinian press. Four-colour camp posters, coupling UNICEF with messages of militarism, are commonplace.
By rights, UNICEF should have a large role to play in the Palestinian territories. The world expects UNICEF to protect innocent children from manipulation by those who hold power over them. In other countries, UNICEF fights courageously against local prejudices that, for example, perpetuates female circumcision or enlists child soldiers. In the Palestinian territories – the only society in the world that dresses its toddlers as suicide bombers, glories in the deaths of its children and formally begins the indoctrination of its children in kindergarten – UNICEF feeds the local prejudice and facilitates a greater victimization of children.
Some parents doubtless agree with UNICEF’s programs and knowingly have their children go trick or treating on UNICEF’s behalf. Others might object to conscripting their children in hateful acts, but rationalize that UNICEF does much good work along with the bad. Others, however, might like free enterprise, might like Americans and might want to leave the funding of summer camps for suicide bombers to Hamas.

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