Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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flippers and snorkelJenin, June 28 - Educators in the Palestinian Authority school system and in the parallel institutions run by the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees voiced concern this week over the impending two-month summer break from formal studies, during which the hard work they invested inculcating in the children vengeful animosity toward Jews might dissipate.

With the school year reaching its formal completion this Friday, teachers and other staff members at schools across the Palestinian Territories expressed anxiety over how successful they had been at instilling lasting Jew-hate in their students during the last ten months. Summer camps will provide some of the same treatment to the children during July and August in informal settings, but the educators can only hope the hard work they have put into growing the next generation of stabbers, bombers, vehicular homicide perpetrators, hijackers, and inciters to murder does not go to waste once their young charges leave behind the school walls for the summer.

"I know summer camp can provide some of that content, but I still worry," admitted Jenin sixth-grade teacher Sobbi Bor. "When the kids move up to seventh grade in September, will they retain the same level of murderous ill will, or will their new teachers have to go over some of the ground I was supposed to cover, just to get them up to speed? It's a real worry of mine - basically, was I good enough? Am I good enough?"

For veteran Palestinian educators, the feelings are all too familiar. "Man, not a year goes by that I don't dread the summer for this reason," concurred Mustafa Massikr, who teaches fourth grade in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. "It doesn't get any easier. My mind fills up with visions of the children losing what I've tried to teach them, and actually starting to see Jews as human, or at least deserving of compassion or respect. Only through mindfulness training have I managed to overcome those nightmares and push forward."

He added that he had yet to be disappointed in any of his classes. "I'm happy to say the nightmare has never come true," he boasted, but with relief visible on his face. "I mean, it's possible there were former students who may have gone astray like that, but you never find out about those cases directly. Their colleagues or neighbors always make sure to kill them off for collaborating, but there are enough personal vendettas or 'family honor' killings disguised as vigilante justice for 'collaborators' that you can never be sure, and I'm OK with that."



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