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Thursday, 2 August 2012


A video made by a Jewish right wing extreme institution that calls for the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque; one of the most sacred holy places for Muslims world wide located in the Jerusalem, and urges to rebuild the Jewish Temple that were destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE after the Jewish revolt against the Romans. The short video has gotten a large reaction by Muslims, Palestinians and as well as the Egyptian newly elected “Muslim Brotherhood” president Mursi. The video by the institution called “ The Temple Institution” shows a Jewish father with his two kids playing at the beach, while the father – wearing a Jewish Kippah hat usually worn by Orthodox Jews- reading a newspaper with titles about Syria, the kids were building something using the sand on the beach. Once the kids finished their building, they dragged their father to show him what they were doing; the father walks towards their work. Standing there astonished, he drops the newspaper- in a slow motion- and the paper hits the ground open with a photo of President Mursi’. Some waves during the sunset, and there comes the moment “ A big sand Jewish Temple”. The video ends with “ The Children are ready”.

Not long after this video was on youtube, the Palestinians responded with another video. A Muslim father- kind of long beard- with his two kids on the beach in Gaza, the father is reading a newspaper in Arabic with a big photo of the same Egyptian president with the title “ Mursi: The Egyptian Revolution President”. The Muslim father prays, and after he finished he got a small paper which he wrote on it- “لا إله  إلا الله” he takes the small paper, walks towards the beach and his children and stuck that paper on top of  “ Al-Aqsa Sand Mosque” his children made. As the same dramatic first Jewish Video, the Muslim version of the video ends up with some waves and the sunset, with the sentence “ Our Children are ready TOO. This video was done by a Palestinian youth initiative called “ Khatwa Youth Foundation” located in Gaza.

My first response to those videos, I am not a father yet, but when I am ready to be one; No, my Children won’t be ready. My children will not be ready to engage in this religious insanity, my future children will not be ready to hate, they wont be ready to get in that cycle of violence led by extreme religious views on both sides. Yes, I will raise my children to love their country; yes I will plant in them the values of justice, faith and resistance to the occupation with the most supreme and creative ways possible. My children will be hopeful, they will have dreams of a better future, they wont believe in such a thing called fate, nor be led by those hypocrites that use religion and politics to enlarge their wealth.

Good try using innocence- represented by children- in the two videos, as well as romance- represented with the beach and the sunset. No sir, none of you will manipulate me with such fake romance. When I think of children I see hope, I dream of a better future, I do not think of children as a way to spread a message of destruction and conflict. When I think of children, I think of them being part of the resolution of the bloody conflict we have been living under for the last 68 years. I really do despise those- on both parts- hurling the most precious of all-our Children- as subjects in ones agenda; children are not and will not be the fuel of the conflict and war.

On the other hand, I personally don’t give a heck about the newly elected Egyptian president and I don’t really see where he fits in those two videos, but rather see it as a political game that both parts used to enrich their religious-political views. I am a West Banker Palestinian that dreams of diving deep under the Mediterranean sea of Gaza, I do dream of seeing my children building sand castles, but I do not wish to be reading a newspaper filled with religious and political miseries, I rather will be swimming with my children, and most importantly taking photos of them and capturing happy moments of their childhood. Oh and by the way, where are the mothers in those two videos??!! Why are those two parts ignoring the presence of women? Just wondering, maybe this tells you something else too.

I am not writing this because I don’t belong to either group religion, I am not being critical of them both religion beliefs, but I am writing this just to express my frustration and disappointment of using religion to justify conflict. It is not a religion conflict, or maybe it is?? I am getting confused here to be honest. I wish that no body will make a third video response and build the Church of Nativity or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on sand, if this ever happens I am packing and I am out of here.

Until the moment that I decided to write about this, the Israeli/Jewish video have more than 310,000 views with more than 103 comments, like :
“The children ARE ready!
What a great day when it becomes a reality. May it be speedily in our days!”,
“Don’t talk ! Build !”
“Before building anything on the Temple Mount, the construction site must be cleared from existing structures. Let the bulldozers roll!”
“We Want Mashiach NOW!!
“Israel the only land of hope and glory for the entire world”
“I can not stop watching it. Hope to see the real temple in Jerusalem soon.”
“Jerusalem- the heart and capital of the Jewish people forever. Long live Israel! Long live Jerusalem! “
“This is the Future”

Where as on the Palestinian/Muslim made video there are only 413 views and six comments, one of them was removed and another was flagged as spam. They comments translated from Arabic says “

“Even if I don’t agree with the Egyptian new president Mursi, but this is a very nice video and I don’t have doubts for a second that a day will come and we will have victory over the Jewish Infidels”
“ very nice video, but I don’t like the Mursi part, because we elected him forcibly”.
“Its not right”
“Very nice video”

Just a wake up call, and a message to those behind the two videos; Wake up, your children deserves better than this.

Enjoy some of my photography with kids ..

Elias Halabi
Bethlehem, Palestine.

To watch the videos I am writing about, please follow those links.
For more information about the videos please follow the links below.

“The Temple Institution video”

“The- Khatwa Youth Foundation video”

Videos in the news

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