.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Thanks for the advice, Hitler!" (updated)

From Palestinian Media Watch:

The Palestinian Authority funds a monthly educational magazine for children called Zayzafuna. The magazine is made up of material written by the magazine's staff and also includes essays and poems written by children. Accordingly, Zayzafuna both represents the values of the educators and serves as a window into the minds of the participating Palestinian children. The magazine is published with the sponsorship of the PLO's Palestinian National Committee for Education, Culture and Sciences.

Most of the content in Zayzafuna is positive and educational. It promotes family values, encourages children to read and to participate in building a modern, democratic society. However, these positive messages are directed at Palestinian society, Muslims, Christians and Druze. When it comes to portraying Israel and Jews, Zayzafuna changes its tone and includes items glorifying Jihad against Israel and praising Martyrdom death for Allah, and the Martyrs themselves.

The most extreme expression of demonization of Jews is the inclusion of an essay submitted by a teenage girl in which Hitler is presented as a positive figure to be admired because he killed Jews in order to benefit the world.

The girl in her dream asks Hitler: "You're the one who killed the Jews?" Hitler responds: "Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world." Like the other hate messages, this appears in a story with positive messages by other admired figures, including a Muslim Nobel Prize recipient and a math scholar.

One hot day, I was very tired after a hard day... and suddenly I saw four white doors in front of me. I opened them in no particular order.
I opened the first door and saw a beautiful place full of f lowers. I was surprised to see a man there. I asked him, 'Who are you?'
He said, 'I am Al-Khwarizmi.' [Ninth century Persian mathematician who lived in Baghdad, known for his contribution to the development of algebra.]
I said: 'You're the one who invented mathematics and arithmetic?' He said: 'Yes. What's your situation like today?'
I said: 'The Arabs and Muslims are in a deep sleep; they can't do anything. They have moved away from all the sciences.'
He [Al-Khwarizmi] said: 'Yes, I know that. The day will come when the Arabs will return to their glory. And you - you have a great duty, which is to take an interest in the Islamic sciences and to protect them from being forgotten.'
I said, 'I promise,' and left the door.

I turned to the next door; there Hitler awaited me. I said, 'You're the one who killed the Jews?'
He [Hitler] said: 'Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.'
I said [to Hitler]: 'Thanks for the advice.'


Then I turned to the third door, and met Naguib Mahfouz [Nobel Prize- winning Egyptian author], who was the one who knew best the value of time and how to use it.
He said: 'People's pastime, these days, has become killing time and wasting it, as though they are punishing themselves. So strive to use your time in the best way.'

At the fourth door I meet Saladin Al-Ayoubi [Muslim leader who defeated the Christian crusaders and conquered Jerusalem in the twelfth century]. He said: 'I am Saladin.'
I said: 'You were the one who liberated Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa [Mosque].' He answered: 'Yes.'
I said: 'Return, oh Saladin, for Jerusalem and Palestine cry out and no one answers.'
He [Saladin] said: 'I know, but every time has its men, and the right man to liberate Jerusalem is still to come.'

And before I could finish my dream, the alarm clock rang and I woke up. It was seven in
the morning, and I needed to go to school early, because I had promised Naguib Mahfouz that I would use time well.
The magazine can be seen here; the essay is on page 19.

This page of photos sent in by readers of the magazine will give you an idea of how old their intended audience is:


(h/t Harry's Place)

UPDATE: UNESCO funded the magazine for a while. It started funding it a few months after this article was published. Newer issues no longer have the logo.