Sunday, November 2, 2014

When the terrorists say children are their main concern

Not for the first time, we are left to wonder aloud why UNICEF, Save the Children, Amnesty, Terre des Hommes, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and so many other well-funded, high-profile public interest organizations are taking so little interest in this unfolding tragedy. It's happening right under their noses.

Palestinian Arab child photographed at Hamas
"victory" event
in Nablus, August 29, 2014
[Image Source: 
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
02 November '14..

Universal Children's Day takes place on November 20, less than three weeks from today.

The annual event was initiated by the UN General Assembly in 1954 as a way of encouraging states to "to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children" and similar blah blah. But also "to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children" which is a worthy and concrete goal.

Even the most cursory look at things that are done to children in many parts of the world serves to persuade of the need to take their welfare very seriously. Think of the millions of children cheated of education and forced into child labour, slavery, prostitution and pornography. And then there's the recruitment and training of child soldiers, a matter that has occupied us here on this blog often.

The UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1958 and then the Convention on the Rights of the Child exactly 31 years later, on November 20, 1989. That convention is going to be 25 years old later this month. Pretty soon now the formalities, the issue of new postage stamps and theme posters and similar actions by civil servants are going to render the occasion even more meaningless than it probably is already. So allow us please to share a handful of observations about children in the Palestinian Arab world.

First some notes from a brief analysis triggered by the wave of violence that is currently on view here in Jerusalem from where we produce this blog. The Israeli Arab journalist and analyst, Khaled Abu Toameh ["Palestinians:Stop the Children's Intifada!", October 29, 2014] writes:


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