Palestinian Islamic Jihad Camp. Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90.

Are Children Born Terrorists or Are They Trained to Become One?

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Camp. Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90.

At UNRWA summer camps, learning to kill Jews and supporting terrorism is an activity like swimming and arts and crafts.

The Times of Israel reported that United Nations staff teach young Palestinian children that

“Jews are the wolf” and “with God’s help and our own strength we will wage war. And with education and jihad we will return to our homes!”

Likewise it reported on a young camper who was recorded in the documentary Camp Jihad that, “the summer camp teaches us that we have to liberate Palestine.”

A little girl expressed her eagerness to “not forget my promise to take back my land.”

By creating a culture of incitement and violence, the UNRWA has advanced the opposite of its mission while also exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The question remains: will these children become terrorists because they are taught to hate and kill? Don’t they have free will?

Isn’t there an innate consciousness in each child that enables him/her to know the difference between right and wrong behavior?

Some advocate that “no child is born a terrorist; they are taught to become one.” Likewise, The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested that “the taste for violence emerges from a deep-seated culture of hate, nurtured by Palestinian leaders over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers, TV channels, and social media.”

To be sure, Gaza summer camps mold children into soldiers, creating violence as a way of life. Personal growth activities are part of military training, as are life skills needed to perpetuate an armed struggle. Campers are taught to idolize terrorists and that martyrdom is the highest honor.

But just because a child is taught something does not necessarily translate to the child genuinely believing it. Perhaps they claim to believe, motivated by fear or peer pressure.

But a culture of terror doesn’t always create terrorists. Children, like all human beings, innately know the difference between right and wrong. They know that murder is wrong. They know that anger and hatred is wrong. They know that lying and stealing is wrong. They may have impressionable minds but they still have the comprehension level to say no, to refuse to obey, even if that means facing punishment and/or chastisement.

Although children may be forced into this lifestyle, it is not a forgone conclusion to believe that they will blindly follow this path. They might actually rise up to fight against it, recognizing that perpetuating violence hasn’t helped their families or communities at all.

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Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

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