Some of these disturbing images of Israeli children being put through military-style training displays at Efrat, an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied West Bank, have been circulating widely online and were published in Haaretz and other media.A repeated theme of pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian propaganda is to circulate images of Palestinian children taking part in such militarized displays in order to advance the belief that Palestinian culture is inherently violent and “teaches children hate” and that therefore Israeli violence is a justified defensive response.But these pictures are remarkable because they reveal the extent to which Israeli culture has been militarized and how Israeli children are not immune to this – a key theme in Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath.There is no doubt that both Israeli and Palestinian children have been subjected to this kind of brutalization by adults. It is horrifying whenever children are given guns and encouraged to imagine themselves as killers.Such activities are arguably in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that member countries “shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces.”
Southern Poverty Law Center
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