Israeli customs inspectors recently found and confiscated 4,000 dolls dressed as Palestinians and holding rocks. These were for children and part of a Palestinian Authority (which runs the West Bank) media campaign which, for the last several years, has been urging children to grow up to fight Israel and, if they are “brave enough” become suicide bombers. The dolls were made in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). This sort of thing is nothing new. A decade ago a shipment of souvenir statutes of the burning twin towers got through to Gaza where they were sold to those seeking a reminder of this great Arab victory.
While the Palestinians in the West Bank required two decades of propaganda before accepting the idea that their kids should become suicide bombers, people throughout the region have long gone along with the idea that non-Moslems deserve to die. Thus in 2001 people throughout the Arab world cheered as pictures of the burning towers appeared on their TV sets on September 11. Here was an Arab accomplishment and many Arabs were quite proud. The sad fact is that there have been very few Arab accomplishments in the past century or so. Currently, the 340 million citizens of the Arab league countries, with a population nearly ten times that of the state of California, has an economy (GDP) about the same size as California’s. Even with all the oil wealth, the majority of the worlds known oil deposits in fact, the Arab world has fallen behind every other region in the world, except black Africa, in economic growth and development. Israel, with a population of eight million, produces more scientific papers each year than 340 million Arabs. Greece, with a population of ten million, translates more foreign language books each year than 340 million Arabs. Ignoring new, or foreign, ideas, has long been an Arab custom. But now many more Arabs are beginning to see it as a bad idea. Meanwhile the Palestinian government urges kids to commit suicide.