Media double standards towards two elementary school students
By KIM PETERSEN*
For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,
By his permissive will, through heav'n and earth.
-- John Milton, Paradise Lost
"If the British had treated the Jews of Palestine in the manner of the Israeli repression over the years, there would have been an uproar in England and throughout the world."
-- Noam Chomsky
HALIFAX (25 March 2005) -- IN THE WORLD of imperialism, hypocrisy abounds. The corporate media cover imperial pronouncements calling on the invited Syrian forces to end their occupation of Lebanon (a country that treacherously came into existence because of a broken promise by France and Britain to its Arab allies in World War I) while ignoring the fact that the US is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan among others, and Zionists are occupying Palestine (also known as Israel), Syrian territory, and Lebanese territory. Simultaneously, Iran is being berated by nuclear-armed US and Israel for pursuing a uranium-enrichment program.
The double standard extends to the world of elementary school students. An essay written in Arabic by an elementary school student in Ottawa has raised the hackles of the Canadian media and Jewish establishment.
Given that the European-settler society has through genocide and ethnic cleansing usurped all of Turtle Island (North America) from its Original Peoples and has heralded and propagandized this feat through its media, the reaction reeks of extreme hypocrisy. This is compounded by the fact that on 23 March, the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) urged Jewish community leaders to reassess what Canad.t in Hebrew schools based on a letter written by a nine-year-old girl. The letter was published in the Kingston Whig Standard on 17 March:
I learned at my Hebrew school that Israel doesn't want to fight. It only wants to protect itself. Jews have been trying to protect themselves in the land for 3,000 years.
The war in Israel has been going on since Israel became a state in 1948. The reason there's war is because when the British divided the state, the Palestinians wanted more, and invaded Israel, wanting to push the Israelis into the sea.
The Palestinians lost the war and now have the West Bank. Israel doesn't have a "war leader," but it has leaders who want peace.
CIC national president Mohamed Elmasry considered, "Much could be accomplished by teaching the children of our communities fair and accountable historical facts. If young Canadian Jews and Muslims knew about each other's faith and history fairly and accurately, we could build a broader basis for dialogue instead of conflict."
A Google search reveals that there has so far been corporate media silence on the girl's letter. This contrasts with the immediate denunciation of the essay by the boy of Palestinian background.
CBC Radio featured the boy's essay on its Thank God It's Friday program. The Israeli ambassador to Canada was given a forum to denounce the essay and a contrite Muslim representative was dutifully present to fend off the belligerent host Anthony Germain.
The province of Ontario's Education Minister Gerard Kennedy, as reported by the CBC, "said the incident proves the province needs more control over what goes on in private schools." He agreed to launch an investigation.
Two teachers at the Abraar Islamic School have been suspended while an internal investigation is carried out to determine whether the essay constitutes incitement of hatred against Jews. One teacher assisted in the title page's artwork featuring a burning Star of David, machine-gun, and Palestinian flag atop the Dome of the Rock -- a mosque in Jerusalem.
The teacher wrote on the title page. "God bless you, your efforts are good. The story of the hero Ahmed and the hero Salah is still alive. The end will be soon when God unites us all in Jerusalem to pray there."
An Ottawa Citizen article focused on isolated sections of the essay that depicted violence against Jews: 
Without thinking, Ahmed took his M16 machine-gun and threw the bombs, and he showered the Jews; this resulted in the killing of the soldiers.
Salah said: "You killed them all."
Ahmed answered: "Praise be to God."
The fantasy heroes are quoted at the end of the story saying: "We promise God and the heroes of Al-Aksa that we will continue the path, we will continue in spite of the difficulties and the hardships until the victory or the martyrdom, we will not surrender; we will fight for the sake of God until the end."
The school principal Aisha Sherazi, who does not speak or read Arabic stated, "Encouraging or inciting hatred is strictly prohibited at our school. We will take all measures to investigate this matter and ensure that it does not reoccur."
When one reads the story, it is evident that it is filled with violence. But the violence is not wanton. It is in response to the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004. Then Canadian Foreign Minister Bob Graham denounced this act of Zionist terrorism as "simply unacceptable," but he couched this remark by affirming "Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorism" -- a right that is never extended to Palestine and its citizens by Canadian government officials. 
The story's protagonists are fighting to free Palestine from Zionists, but at times the youth's essay regrettably and wrongly uses the all-inclusive term "Jews."
The essay is about violence waged by both sides. It describes a Zionist ambush and the bulldozing of Palestinian homes. The boy exculpates the protagonists' violence: "Salah came back and said in pain: 'The commandos killed our families; we will take vengeance.'"
The UN sanctioned the theft of much of Palestine in 1948. Israel has since encroached further into Arab territory. It ignores UN Security Council resolutions and international law in maintaining its illegal and morally reprehensible occupations. When the media selectively ignore the history and the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people, they fail to address the causes of Palestinian violence -- a violence which an occupied people have a legitimate right to wage. This hypocrisy only serves to perpetuate the injustice and preserve the evil of imperialism.
Kim Petersen is a writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) Juliet O'Neill, "Islamic school suspends teachers over student's hate-filled tale," Canada.com, 24 March 2005. The article's title is severely leading as is the title run by CBC News: Teachers suspended for praising anti-Jewish essay," 24 March 2005. http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/03/24/islamicschool-050324.html Canada.com does include the entire essay and title page for readers to evaluate for themselves on its website.
(2) Kim Petersen, "The Etiology of Hate," Dissident Voice, 10 April 2004. http://www.dissidentvoice.org/April2004/Petersen0410.htm To merely report the violence in Palestine is misleading. Understanding can only be achieved by investigating the causes of the conflict.
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