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A Lust for Death

Today is Yom Kippur and Jews everywhere are fasting and praying for a healthy, happy new year. In Jewish tradition, it is the day God decrees who will live and who will die.
In stark and sickening contrast to the Jewish plea for life is the relatively new but increasingly vociferous cry for death resounding among Palestinians.
The appeal for life is universal - the most basic human instinct. The mass yearning for death, especially when it's accompanied by the goal of murdering as many people as possible, reflects a society that is unimaginably depraved.
Palestinians who have perverted Islam find it strange that most people in the world cherish life.
"We are not afraid to die and do not love life," the chairman of the Islamic University of Gaza's history department said on Palestinian Authority television (PATV) two years ago.
The tragedy is that the cult of death is not being promulgated by just one crackpot, but by Palestinian leaders of all stripes.
The message that murder-suicide is a religious obligation has suffused Palestinian society to such an extent that it will take a generation to erase.
And that's only if the civilized world is able to convince the Palestinians to make peace with Israelis instead of glorifying bloodshed.
Peacemakers have a long road ahead. Last week, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that two Palestinian Authority religious leaders openly called for the genocide of Jews.
The PMW is a privately funded group that monitors and translates virtually everything broadcast or published by the Palestinian Authority. It highlights the contradictions between the image the Palestinians present to the world in English and the messages they spread to their own people in Arabic.
Barbara Crook, PMW's North American representative, was in Edmonton this week to speak to the Jewish community about the PA's chilling obsession with murder and death.
It's necessary to promote peace efforts, such as the summer camp that brought together Israeli and Palestinian teens in Ottawa recently, Crook said.
But acknowledging the "darker side" of the conflict is also crucial, she added.
"I believe that all the peace-building and the common ground and the bridge-building activities are very important," she said in an interview.
"But we have to be aware of (PA-promoted hatred) because that's the only way the problem's going to be dealt with from all sides."
Last summer, when the so-called road map for peace was being pushed, the PA broadcast a seven-minute peace video - once.
In comparison, said Crook, Palestinian leaders have been inciting their people to kill Jews for years.
In English, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is quick to condemn the murder of Israelis. In Arabic, however, he praises kids bent on murder-suicide.
"Is it not the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a (martyr)? We are proud of them," Arafat said on PATV in 2002.
The indoctrination of children to seek death for Allah is particularly insidious, said Crook, noting that PA music videos disseminate the repugnant idea that killing and dying for Allah is better than making peace.
Crook showed a video clip of an 11-year-old girl being interviewed on PATV.
"What is better, peace and full rights for the Palestinian people, or Shahada (death)?" asks the host.
"Shahada," answers the girl.
Shocked? Don't be. "Ask for death" is the message the PA has been conveying to its children for years.
A lust for death - not despair - is driving Palestinian young people to commit terrorism. And the blame lies entirely with the Palestinian leadership.
Confronted with this grim scenario we're facing an uphill battle, but continuing to expose the PA's ideology of hate and celebration of death is a step in the right direction.
Cutting off foreign aid linked to terror is also necessary.
Is Canadian money funnelled through the United Nations going to support Palestinian summer camps and soccer tournaments named after suicide bombers?
"I don't yet know the answer to that," said Crook. Perhaps it's time Canadians found out.

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