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WATCH: Hamas, far-right Jews prepare their children for holy war

“Our children are ready!” 

The Temple Institute, an ultra-nationalist Jewish organization that is obsessed with rebuilding Solomon’s Temple exactly on the spot where the Dome of the Rock is located today in Jerusalem’s Old City, released the video below just in time for Tish’a b’Av (the Ninth of Av according to the Jewish calendar). On this day, Jews traditionally spend the day fasting and mourning the destruction of the ancient temple – as well as a long list of other tragedies that are alleged to have befallen the Jewish people on that day. Or they gather to greet Mitt Romney at the Western Wall.

When I was in Grade 5 our religious studies teacher had us create a model of the ancient temple out of popsicle sticks and cloth remnants, following the very precise instructions in Leviticus.  I recall our teacher telling that us the temple would be rebuilt when the messiah arrived – someday. Yes, he tarried, but we were admonished never to lose faith in his ultimate arrival.

The talented brother and sister in this video seem to want to pre-empt the messiah. They startle their father into dropping his copy of the Jerusalem Post when he sees the remarkably accurate model of the temple they managed to create out of sand in the time it took him to read a single article about the civil war in Syria. As the sun sets over the sea, he leads his two children away and the camera pans out to allow the viewer a wide-angle view of the spectacular sand temple.

“Our children are ready too!”

Not to be outdone, Hamas created a video of its own. In the Hamas version, below, a loving father takes his two children to the beach in Gaza. Like the Jewish children at the beach just a half-hour’s drive up the coast – assuming no checkpoints or walls, of course – the children are an adorable brother and sister who frolic fully clothed at the beach, for some reason eschewing bathing suits despite the summer heat.

After he pauses briefly to pray, the Gazan father watches fondly as his children construct a replica of the Dome of the Rock out of sand. The father tears a piece off his newspaper, writes something on the slip of paper, attaches it to a matchstick and plants it on the dome of the mosque. As the sun sets over the Med he leads his children away by the hand and the camera gives us a close up of the flag so that we can see what’s written on it: “There is no god but God.”

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    1. Wow, some people take sandcastle building competitions really seriously.
      (the Jewish kids will probably win than one though. that might be a problem.)

      Reply to Comment
    2. Harel

      “Like the Jewish children at the beach just a half-hour’s drive up the coast – assuming no checkpoints or walls”

      There is not a single israeli wall or checkpoint in gaza strip.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Um, Harel, have you seen the wall around Gaza? Been to Kerem Shalom or Erez Checkpoint recently? Gazans can’t travel to Israeli beaches. There’s a wall stopping them.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Lisa writes:

      “Not to be outdone, Hamas created a video of its own.”

      The video is on the YouTube page belonging to Saber Alian, and there are linked Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts belonging to the same person(a). Nothing says Hamas from what I could find, but I don’t read Arabic. The person represented in these social media profiles appears to be a young man in Gaza who is a young professional or student and maybe an artist, too.

      On what basis are you connecting his work to Hamas?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Sinjim

      I’m confused by the headline, which sets the tone of this article.
      As you explain, the Temple Institute’s goal is to demolish the Haram al Sharif and build a replica of the Temple based on biblical specifications. They put out a commercial implying that this will happen soon and the children (i.e. the Jewish people’s) are ready to do it.
      In response, Hamas posts a little over 2 min video on youtube mimicking and mocking the structure of TI’s announcement. Did they threaten to destroy Jewish holy structures, as TI does by declaring their intention to build the Temple on top of the Haram? All I see in the video is Hamas putting out a taunting response to a rather outrageous video, essentially telling TI, “You’re not so tough.” How is a commercial aimed at an English speaking audience preparing Palestinian children for holy war?
      We can reasonably disagree about whether Hamas should have stooped to the low level of publicly responding to an ultra-nationalist and xenophobic Zionist organization, but that doesn’t mean there’s an equivalence here. Let’s not forget that it is the Muslim presence in Jerusalem that is threatened by Israel’s actions. The Jewish presence is protected and safeguarded by the state.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Philos

      Well, this is all rather silly. All I know for a fact is that I wouldn’t recommend swimming in the polluted waters of the Israeli and Gaza shorelines.
      I saw a few satellite images of the pollution mapped out using infrared cameras (polluted water gives off a different wavelength than clean, or cleaner, water). For the purposes of the images cleaner water is bluer in color and polluted water is greener in color. Most of the water along the shore is green, and by Gaza, Tel-Aviv-Ashkelon-Ashdod-Netenya and Haifa it is florescent green. I haven’t been able to swim in the water since.
      The moral of the story? The children might be ready but don’t let them swim in the sea. 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    7. Palestinian

      So if Hamas didnt release their video ,this article wouldnt have been published.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Rorr

      Gazans can’t travel to Israali beaches because thye are a MAJOR security threat to Jewish kids, not to mention other living things.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Violet Crumble

      Hi Lisa. I posted this at Democratic Underground and got responses attacking you because they thought you were talking about checkpoints and walls in Gaza between where the children live and the beach. I thought it was obvious that you were talking about the trip between the Gazan beach and the Israeli one being half an hour if the wall between Gaza and Israel wasn’t there, but some people are a bit confused…


      Reply to Comment
    10. Sinjim – I’m commenting on child exploitation, religious fanaticism and seriously childish propaganda videos.

      Reply to Comment
    11. berl

      To be attacked by idiots is usually a great pleasure for an author

      Reply to Comment
    12. Sinjim

      Lisa — Like I said reasonable people can disagree about whether it was a wise move to respond to the Zionists, but there is no comparison between the message in the original video and the response. Also could you respond to Benjamin Doherty’s question please? I think it’s important to establish whether this was a response from Hamas as party or just someone who lives in Gaza.
      Palestinian — good point.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Again, the point of this post is to comment on child exploitation by nationalistic ideologues. No-one gets a free pass on that in my view. This post is not about whether there should be a temple or a mosque on a pile of rocks in Jerusalem. I couldn’t care less in principle. The only reason it matters is that a lot of people think that pile of rocks is worth killing over.

      Reply to Comment
    14. I agree with Lisa, let the children out of the adult’s war games. The Zionist clip was an invitation for satire. Too bad Hamas has no sense of humor.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Aaron

      “Palestinian” – best comment I’ve seen at this site in a long time.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Palestinian – If Hamas hadn’t released their video, I would not have *noticed* the Temple freaks’ video.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Sinjim

      Lisa — I mean, it’s great that you just think nothing of demeaning the Haram as nothing more than a pile of rocks. A lot of other people probably share your enlightened beliefs. Problem is, the benighted natives of Palestine assign a great deal of national and religious importance to that site.
      Palestinians generally get upset when Zionists once again threaten to demolish another one of the signifiers of their presence. A handful of them (you have provided exactly zero evidence that they represent Hamas) did a video mocking the original.
      I don’t see that as an exploitation of children. In fact as a Palestinian, and a non-Muslim one at that, I found the video to be a positive message, exclaiming that we exist and are not going anywhere — no matter the threats. Surely you’re aware of the concept of sumoud.
      There is nothing shameful or wrong in affirming your identity and presence in your homeland in the face of eliminationists.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Sinjim – If you really need to defend either one of those idiotic, childish videos, then go for it.I feel the same way about the Western Wall.

      Reply to Comment
    19. klang

      I think that there are checkpoints also between the beaches of Tijuana. Mexico, and San Diego, USA. Must be those evil Israelis again

      Reply to Comment
    20. Sinjim

      I happen to think that if the makers of this video (which you still haven’t proven are Hamas btw) were going to respond to this Zionist threat at all, they should’ve come up with something more clever and more snarky to drive the point home.
      But that is entirely different from saying the two videos are equivalent. They are not and I’ve explained how this is so for multiple reasons.
      As for how you feel about the Western Wall, more power to you. You are a Jewish person, so I have no standing to tell you how to feel about Jewish holy sites. However, you aren’t a Muslim, and for you to refer to one of the most holy sites in the religion as a “pile of rocks” is at minimum demeaning, imho.

      Reply to Comment
    21. annie

      i am very confused how hamas has anything to do with this video.

      Reply to Comment
    22. No but seriously

      I’ve been waiting to see a clarification from Lisa Goldman as to how she deduced that the second video was created by Hamas. Her refusal to answer the question makes me wonder if she just made it up.

      Can +972 clarify, since the author refuses to do so?

      Reply to Comment
    23. Palestinian

      Lisa , I bet If Sinjim and A’aron hadn’t liked my comment, you would not have *noticed* it ,just like the videos.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Handala

      The Palestinian response doesn’t promote the destruction of anything…you fail to highlight this ESSENTIAL difference in your article but mislead readers in comparing and equating the oppressor with the oppressed!

      Palestinian – Your comments are spot on! Bas ma3lesh, give Lisa a break i think she’s trying hard although not there yet…

      Reply to Comment
    25. Amir.BK

      Yes it is peculiar that Lisa equivocates the videos, especially since one is a response to the other and an intentional parody. The Messianic Jewish video calls for the destruction of the mosque, the response video is more of a warning and a reminder that the mosque is sufficiently holy for certain people. There difference is vast, those who wish to wage a holy war should not be surprised that their would be enemies are preparing their defenses.

      Reply to Comment
    26. AYLA

      the Gaza response is beautiful and brilliant. As for the rebuilding of the 3rd temple video–if only it weren’t literally about rebuilding the temple (let alone over one of the holiest Muslim sites), and about something more figurative. In my circles, rabbis and congregates talk on Tisha Ba’av not about the destruction of the temple or any other jewish plights, but about what we need to do to rebuild what is broken in ourselves. I wouldn’t mind if everyone were preparing themselves to be worthy of a Messiah. I just learned that according the to Qu’aran, the Messiah who will come is Jesus, and anyone of any religion who follows him will enter Heaven. It seems from my friend who taught me this that this happens whether we’re prepared or not, which is a shame. Meanwhile, although the bad news is that hundreds of muslims had to line up at the Qalandia checkpoint to pray in Jerusalem last friday, the good news is that Israel actually kept some Jews from praying in certain places in the Old City on Tisha Ba’av in order to make tension less likely while there were so many muslims in the city for Ramadan. I wish we would highlight the grace more often; it does exist, and we need the hope. The children are ready.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Adam

      “Yes it is peculiar that Lisa equivocates the videos, especially since one is a response to the other and an intentional parody. The Messianic Jewish video calls for the destruction of the mosque, the response video is more of a warning and a reminder that the mosque is sufficiently holy for certain people. There difference is vast, those who wish to wage a holy war should not be surprised that their would be enemies are preparing their defenses.”

      Well, considering how extreme the discourse can be on both sides of the Israel/Palestine divide, I welcome a small dose of balance. The two videos are mirror images of each other. I don’t think it matters that the second one was made in response to the first: both show how both sides are driven by religious fundamentalisms. I think it’s disingenuous to claim that the Muslim fundamentalists among the Palestinian population aren’t any less committed to waging a holy war than fundamentalist Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Handala

      What if the Aqsa Mosque is the 3rd temple? Abraham and Moses are as much prophets of Islam as they are Jewish ones…in fact the Quran says they are Muslim.

      All Christians and Jews are Muslims as well, anyone who believe in God and a Day of Judgement is Muslim as per the definition in the Quran.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Lauren

      Like wildlife marking their territory. The religious fanatics make the wars….let them fight it and leaave the rest of us out of it. We can get Sarah Palin and Romney to lead the Western Christian wackos.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Richard Witty

      Thanks for the post Lisa.

      Children do not deserve to suffer, neither suffering the assault of gunfire, bombs, rockets, angry words.

      They do not deserve to suffer the suppression of their compassion that inevitably comes with any indoctrination.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Palestinian

      Handala , ana ma ba7ib 2l istihbal

      Reply to Comment
    32. AMIR.BK

      Handala: Abraham is not considered a prophet in Judaism rather one of the patriarchs, in anyway it is not true that Islam considers Jews and Christians to be ‘proper muslims’ as neither follow the second half of the shahada (…and Muhammad is His messanger) and most Christians are also guilty of Shirk (“God begat no sons” and “God is one”) so, in short, while it is true that Islam views the Mosque as the third temple (given that the first temple is referred to in the Quran as Solomon’s Mosque this shouldn’t really be surprising) however that doesn’t really say anything as Islam and Judaism do not really share compatible historic narratives and Christianity does not concern itself with the temple mount.
      Adam: From where I’m standing it looks like the ‘extremist fundamentalists’ in Israel are not so extremist and their opinions are considered somewhat mainstream these days, more-over, they are very influential politically. In the case of the video and ‘a response’ I do think they cannot be equivocated as one calls for destruction while the other for preservation, tearing down the mosque is a catalyst for war, letting it be has no such consequence.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Handala

      Amir.Bk – thanks for the clarification regarding Abraham’s position in Judaism. As for the rest, i use to share your view until i read a more progressive and inclusive interpretation.

      Whenever “muslimeen” is mentioned in the Quran there’s a reference to Allah alone (without Muhamed) so the second part of the shahada is not conditional to be a Muslim but applies to Mo2mineen (i.e. the followers/believers in Muhammed’s message) whereas the first part is sufficient to be Muslim.

      I encourage you to check out http://www.shahrour.org

      Reply to Comment
    34. AYLA

      in the Facebook comment section, Roee Rottenberg (of 972) said he hoped someone would make a 3rd video as a response to them both. In mine, there would be all kinds of children connected to this land (sorry if it’s a bit Benaton (sp?)), and they would build all kinds of shrines / temples / churches / ice cream parlors, and then the tide would come and wash them away, and they’d be left on the beach as the tide came in and out with a blank slate of a beach, and the words: our children are ready. A bit cheesy? perhaps. but I’d like to see it. Not out of disrespect for anyone’s connections to holy sites nor the importance of their preservation, but to speak to something deeper and higher — The Divine to which we all ostensibly pray in / at those sites — through which everything is connected and love(d). What video would you like to see? Does it serve all the children?

      Reply to Comment
    35. Doreen Said

      All I have to say is that these videos are scary. It worries me to see these disturbing videos.

      Reply to Comment
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