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Palestinian television again airs clip encouraging children to become martyrs

Dinsdag, Juli 4, 2006

By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz, July 4, 2006.

This week, Palestinian television reprised, after a three-year absence, a clip
featuring Palestinian child Mohammed a-Dura, calling to other children to join
him in a shaheed heaven for children.

The dramatic heart-wrenching footage of a-Dura, shot dead in crossfire
in a clash between Israeli and Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip in the
beginning of the intifada in September 2000, was broadcast around the world.

“Palestinian Media Watch” reported on the television clip on Saturday, and
announced, “The Palestinian Authority is once again airing video clips designed
to influence the behavior of young children and to make them seek deaths as
shaheeds.” “The clip, which caused much controversy when it first aired, was
taken off the air in the fall of 2003, after Palestinian Media Watch director
Itamar Marcus, presented the clip at a U.S. Senate hearing. Following the
hearing, senators slammed the clip and criticized it as “horrifying abuse of
children.”

In the clip, a child portraying a-Dura is peacefully playing in heaven, and calls to
other children, “follow me.” The popular singer Aida performs the song in the
clip, which describes how the earth longs for the deaths of children, saying,
“How pleasant is the smell of the earth whose thirst is quenched by blood
pouring out of young bodies.”

Another clip that aired this week after a long absence depicts a young girl
witnessing her mother’s murder and then singing about how she misses her
mother. She sings, “If you can’t come to me, I can come to you.”

Palestinian Media Watch reported that the 2000-2003 Palestinian television
campaign to recruit young children was so effective, that 70 to 80 percent of
Palestinian children during that time wanted to die as shaheeds (martyrs),
according to three separate polls.

Marcus fears that the “sudden and surprising reprisal of the a-Dura clip, calling
upon children to join him in a playground in shaheed children’s heaven, may be
only the first of many steps in a wide campaign designed to recruit children for
the cause.”

The main lyrics of the clip are as follows:

“How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs,

how sweet is the fragrance of the earth,

its thirst quenched by the gush of blood

flowing from the youthful body.”

Caption: “And so he went…”

Choir: “Goodbye to the boy Muhammad” (2x)

Aida (popular woman soloist):

“Goodbye, goodbye.”…

Aida: How sweet is the fragrance of the earth,

Its thirst quenched by the gush of blood

flowing from the youthful body.

Choir: Goodbye, goodbye.

Aida: Goodbye, goodbye…

Choir: O father, ‘til we meet (2x)

Aida (woman soloist):

‘til we meet, my father, ‘til we meet!

I shall go with no fear, no tears,

How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!

I shall go to my place in heaven,

How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!

Choir: How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!

Aida: O my father, ‘til we meet (2x)

Choir: O my father, ‘til we meet …

Goodbye to the child, Muhammad

Aida: O the children of the world say

Choir: Goodbye to the child, Muhammad!

Aida: ‘til we meet, O Muhammad

Choir: ‘til we meet, O Muhammad

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