Photo Credit: Flash 90
'Nakba of the Palestinian Authority child'

by Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A poem in the Palestinian youth magazine Zayzafuna teaches children that throwing rocks at Jews is something mandated by Muhammad, Islam’s prophet. The funders of the magazine include the Palestinian Authority.

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The following lines were part of the poem printed in the magazine’s October issue together with the image above of a child throwing rocks:

“O children of my country, sing to the occupied homeland so it will be liberated…
Sing by the order of Prophet [Muhammad]
that we carry a rock
That we will throw at the people of the Gharqad [tree]”
[Zayzafuna, October 2017]

That Jews are the intended target is clear from the reference to the Gharqad tree – “the tree of the Jews.” According to Muslim tradition Jews will try to hide behind the Gharqad tree when the Muslims come to kill them on Judgment Day*.

The Palestinian Media Watch has documented problematic content in the magazine before. One story, allegedly a dream by a young Arab girl, glorified Hitler and presented his killing of Jews as a positive accomplishment for the benefit of humanity. Another issue of Zayzafuna published sayings that it attributed to Hitler.

Zayzafuna is a PLO magazine for children partially funded by the Palestinian Authority.

The magazine, which includes material written by both the magazine’s staff and child readers, represents the values of the educators on the magazine’s staff. It also serves as a window into the minds of the Palestinian Authority children submitting material to the magazine.

Zayzafuna’s website no longer exists but stated (in May 2016) that the magazine’s advisory board is comprised of PA officials and educators, including Jihad Zakarneh, PA Deputy Minister of Education, and Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, Head of the Media Department at the PA Ministry of Education. Zayzafuna included a note on its third page acknowledging the PA Ministry of Culture for its financial support of the printing of the magazine.

In May 2011, the Deputy Chairman of the Zayzafuna organization Abd Al-Karim Ziyada explained on PA TV that the PA gives “a monthly payment of NIS 10,000 ($2,700) to cover the magazine’s [costs].” [Official PA TV, May 9 and 13, 2011]

The following is the full version of the poem in the youth magazine: A poem by Syrian poet Sulaiman Al-Issa

“The children of my country”
“O children of my country, sing to the occupied homeland so
it will be liberated
Sing for a wide space that will inspire the revolutionaries
and the revolution
In the field so they will strike roots
Sing to the sun so it will send light for freedom
Sing to the moon so we will remain awake at night
Together with those who love my country
On summer nights
Inspiring those who love Allah
To hold the morning prayers
Together with those who come to the mosque
Sing by the order of Prophet [Muhammad]
that we carry a rock
That we will throw at the people of the Gharqad [tree] (i.e.,
the Jews, who according to Muslim tradition will try to hide
behind the Gharqad tree when the Muslims kill them on
Judgement Day;*)”
[Zayzafuna, October 2017]

*The story of a stone or tree beckoning a Muslim to kill a Jew appears in numerous Islamic texts. One example is the following Hadith from the Sahih Muslim book of Hadith: “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon Him) as saying: ‘The last hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them until the Jews hide behind a stone or a tree, and the stone or a tree will say: “Muslim, or servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him”; but the Gharqad tree will not say [this], for it is the tree of the Jews.'”

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