While claiming to be a human rights organization that advocates for the rights of Palestinian children, DCI-P:
Promotes the participation of Palestinian children in violence
Condones the PA brainwashing of the Palestinian children
Has invented a false narrative to condemn Israel while all the time ignoring the widespread Palestinian abuse of their own children
Defense for Children International (DCI) is an internationally recognized, non-governmental organization (NGO) that engages in child advocacy. According to its website, the vision of the organization is “that children, as human beings, are able to pursue a life in which they can enjoy their human rights with dignity, in a just and responsible society.”
Among other sources, DCI is funded by the European Union reports NGO Monitor.
The “Palestine” section of DCI (DCI-P) is not only betraying the vision of its international umbrella organization but more outrageously, it is betraying the children on whose behalf they are meant to be advocating.
Promoting participation in violence
While it is clearly not in the best interest of any child to participate in the commission of criminal offences, it is certainly not in the best interest of any child to participate in acts of terror.
But for DCI-P, this universal reality seems to be irrelevant. Instead of advocating that the Palestinian children be removed entirely from the equation of participating in acts of terror, DCI-P’s Accountability Program Director, Ayed Abu Qteish, condoned and romanticized Palestinian children’s involvement in terror. According to Abu Qteish, it is the “children’s right” to participate in a “non-violent march” even if the child throws rocks at Israeli security officials or Israeli civilians.
“All the cases of Palestinian children being killed – It is the children’s right to participate in non-violent marches, and it is their right to articulate and express their opinion… When the Palestinian children participate in a march or demonstration or throw a rock, the most important aspect is the symbolic aspect of this issue. The symbolism in that we are rejecting and resisting this occupation.”
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Nov. 21, 2020]
Throwing rocks at Israeli security officials and certainly at Israeli civilians can and should never be categorized as a “non-violent” act. Rather it should be seen for exactly what it is – violence par excellence! Children who participate in such acts of violence are endangering both themselves and others, with potentially lethal consequences.
It is children such as these, who threw stones at the car of Adva Biton and her daughter, 3-year-old Adelle as they travelled on a highway. One of the stones thrown by the five Palestinian kids who participated in the attack hit Adva in the head, causing her to lose control. While Adva was seriously injured, Adelle’s injuries left her with permanent brain damage until she eventually died of her injuries at age four.
When Abu Qteish, as an official representative of DCI-P, condones and even romanticizes rock throwing describing it as a “right” of the Palestinian children, he is fundamentally betraying both the Palestinian children and the potential Israeli victims of the violence.
Just days after Abu Qteish promoted the participation of Palestinian children in violent demonstrations, Palestinian teenager Ali Ayman Saleh Abu Alia was killed while participating in such a demonstration. Describing the event, the IDF spokesman said:
“During violent demonstrations that took place last Friday [Dec. 4, 2020] in the proximity of the al-Mu’ayir village and Malek village in the area of the “Binyamin” regional division, tens of rioters threw stones at IDF and Border Guard forces. They also tried to roll boulders and burning tires from hilltops that dominate the “Alon” road endangering the lives of those traveling on the road. The security forces prevented the blocking of the road and responded with means for the dispersal of demonstrations and firing of a “Ruger”. The claim about Palestinians injured and killed are known to the IDF and following the incident an investigation of the IDF Military Police has been opened, which when it ends its finding will be transferred to the IDF Military Advocate.”
[IDF Official Twitter account, Dec. 6, 2020]
While DCI-P were happy to promote the participation of the Palestinian children in violent demonstrations, they were similarly quick to use the tragic death of Abu Alia as another opportunity to condemn Israel.
As noted by the IDF spokesman, the exact circumstances of Abu Alia’s death are still under investigation. However, already now, it is possible to conclude, that if organizations like DCI-P did not promote the participation of Palestinian kids in violent demonstrations, but rather advocated on their behalf to also stop the PA from promoting the participation of children in violence, then deaths such as that Abu Alia could most likely have been avoided.
Condoning the brainwashing of children
Having condoned the participation of the Palestinian children in the acts of terror, it should come as no surprise that Abu Qteish also condones the brainwashing of the Palestinian children to believe that Israeli cities are part of “Palestine”.
In order to justify its demand to flood Israel with millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees” the Palestinian Authority continuously promotes the notion that Israeli cities are part of “Palestine”. The messaging is present in every walk of life, including in the PA curriculum. On a daily basis, the PA curriculum and textbooks ignore Israel’s existence, brainwashing the kids to believe that the entire area from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea is “Palestine”. Needless to say, they never mention that an independent, sovereign country baring the name “Palestine” never existed or that the entire area the PA calls “Palestine”, including Israel, Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank) was designated by the international community as the homeland for the Jewish people.
Historical fact aside, for DCI-P and Abu Qteish, it is perfectly reasonable that the PA brainwash the Palestinian children into believing in the false reality. As Abu Qteish explained:
“The Israeli attack [on our curricula] said that in the Palestinians’ curricula there are [lessons on] Islamic battles that took place- that encourage resistance.
And this is [indeed] the role of the curriculum: The Palestinian children need to know that Palestine is not only Ramallah and Bethlehem. They need to know that Palestine is Haifa and Acre (i.e., Israeli cities) and that there is a historical oppression that is being imposed on the Palestinian children.”
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Nov. 21, 2020]
Betraying his duty to advocate for the rights of children, this false statement by Abu Qteish, is indicative of the false narratives he adopts.
First and foremost, the complaints made against the PA curriculum do not focus on “Islamic battles that took place”.
Rather, the complaints focus on the sections of the PA textbooks that “profoundly poison” the minds of the Palestinian children, as then Senator Hilary Clinton said at a press conference with PMW. The most recent complaints against the PA curriculum are focused on the section of the school books that teach the children to admire and emulate terrorists such as Dalal Mughrabi, who murdered 37 Israelis including 12 children. Similarly, the complaints also noted the fact that Palestinian children are taught about Newton’s Second Law of Motion by showing a picture of a masked Palestinian using a slingshot to propel a rock at Israeli forces (PA 7th Grade Life Sciences schoolbook, p. 77). In their entirety, the complaints focused on the fact that the PA indoctrinates Palestinian children to hate Jews and Israel; to aspire to the destruction of Israel; brainwashes the Palestinian children to admire murderers; weaponizes the Palestinian children and promotes their participation in violence and how the PA pays substantial financial rewards to the child terrorists.
Secondly, Abu Qteish adopts and justifies spreading the falsehood that Israeli cities are in “Palestine” and that there is some kind of “historical oppression” of the children.
Does DCIP have terror connections?
A comprehensive report issued in 2019 by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs (Terrorists in Suits – The Ties Between NGOs promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations) noted extensive connections between DCI-P and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally designated terror organization. Just recently, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that DCI-P refused to accept an EU funding condition that required the NGO recipients to commit that no EU aid would be passed through the NGO to EU designated terror organizations.
Inventing a false narrative to condemn Israel and ignoring the widespread Palestinian abuse of their own children
For a decade, DCI-P has unjustifiably been accusing Israel of breaching the rights of Palestinian minors who are arrested on suspicion of committing terror attacks. In 2017, DCI-P launched a campaign in the US and in Canada under the title “No Way to Treat a Child.” Members of Congress such as Betty McCullom and Mark Pocan often quote DCI-P findings and reports that constantly condemn Israel. DCI-P is also a member of the UNICEF Palestine “working group” that is also used as a means to unjustifiably condemn Israel.
But the DCI-P betrayal of the Palestinian children runs deeper than promoting their participation in terror, condoning the brainwashing of the children and initiating false campaigns.
A recent survey published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (Preliminary Results of the Violence Survey in the Palestinian Society 2019) shows that Palestinian children are the objects of considerable physical and psychological abuse.
According to the study:
- 25% of Palestinian children aged 12-17 experienced a form of violence in school.
- 17% of Palestinian children aged 12-17 experienced physical violence from a teacher.
- 15% of Palestinian children aged 12-17 experienced psychological violence from a teacher.
- 68% of the Palestinian boys and 62% of the Palestinian girls aged 0 – 11 experienced physical violence.
- 79% of the Palestinian boys and 74% of the Palestinian girls aged 0 – 11 experienced psychological violence.
- 26% of the Palestinian boys and 18% of the Palestinian girls aged 0 – 11 experienced severe physical violence.
Instead of spending vast amounts of time, energy and funding, in cahoots with internationally designated terror organizations, inventing a false narrative that condemns Israel, maybe DCI-P should spend more time addressing the internal Palestinian widespread child abuse.
By promoting the participation of Palestinian children in violent acts of terror, by condoning the brainwashing of the Palestinian children, by maintaining links to internationally designated terror organizations and by ignoring the widespread child abuse in the PA, DCI-P is fundamentally betraying the Palestinian children and the vision of Defense for Children International. Reports issued by DCI-P should be immediately discounted for fundamental bias and DCI-P should be immediately expelled from any UNICEF working group.
The following is a longer excerpt of the interview with Abu Qteish:
Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on UN World Children’s Day, hosting Defense for Children International Palestine’s Accountability Program Director Ayed Abu Qteish
Abu Qteish: “Basically the occupation, regardless of the Palestinian children’s motives- there are methods to control and humiliate. [The occupation] wants to humiliate the Palestinian children. All the cases of Palestinian children being killed – it is the children’s right to participate in non-violent marches, and it is their right to articulate and express their opinion. The natural situation in the shadow of the occupation’s existence is that there will be resistance to the occupation by all sectors of the society, including children…
When the Palestinian children participate in a march or demonstration or throw a rock, the most important aspect is the symbolic aspect of this issue. In other words: The symbolism in that we are rejecting and resisting this occupation.
On this basis Israel is attempting to kill this symbolism, to kill the image that exists in the minds of the Palestinian children. They want to occupy the Palestinian children’s consciousness.
Throughout history, the most dangerous tool in the hands of the colonialist was [control over] the mind of the occupied people. And a situation in which the Palestinians and Palestinian children accept this reality is an unnatural situation. In other words, for the Palestinian children the natural situation is, for example-
During the survey by the committees [established following] the agreements of the report on Palestine that was submitted to many international organizations, the Israeli attack said that in the Palestinians’ curricula there are [lessons on] Islamic battles that took place- that encourage resistance.
And this is the role of the curriculum: That the Palestinian children need to know that Palestine is not only Ramallah and Bethlehem. They need to know that Palestine is Haifa and Acre (i.e., Israeli cities) and that there is a historical oppression that is being imposed on the Palestinian children. In effect, the education and the curricula in all places in the world need to call for change and resistance, and this role in the Palestinian curricula needs to be many times more so…
Regarding the detained children, all the acts and proceedings of the detentions are designed to assault the psychological condition of the Palestinian children or of the Palestinians in general, even the adults… In addition, there are detentions of children under the age of 12, considering that the age of partial [criminal] liability in Israel, whether in civil law or according to the military’s orders, is 12. They cannot try the child in front of the court unless he is at least 12, but in many cases… a child of the age of 7 or 8 is detained, and the experience of detention, even if it is for a period of a few minutes or a few hours… has short-term and long-term psychological effects.
We have documented a number of blows that are connected to the employment of the Palestinian children in the [Jordan] Valley, and especially in the settlements in the [Jordan] Valley. The work conditions, and the fields of work- in other words, in the fields of agriculture the children are exposed to the pesticides that are forbidden for use, and even if they are permitted for use it is forbidden for children to be exposed to them.
In addition, the living conditions of the children – considering that many children work and live in the same area – the living conditions of the children are very severe. The problem with this issue is that there is no legal protection for the children who work in these settlements, not from the Palestinian law given that the Palestinians cannot reach them, and not from the Israeli law because most of the workforce is not regulated and is done through contractors, and the contractors- there is a situation of enslavement for the children who work in these places.”
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Nov. 21, 2020]
The wounded boy in the video is then 13-year-old terrorist Ahmad Manasrah who together with his then 15-year-old cousin Hassan Manasrah stabbed Yossef Ben Shalom (21) in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood in northeastern Jerusalem, and then repeatedly stabbed Naor Ben Ezra (13) who was riding his bike on Oct. 12, 2015. Both victims were seriously injured. Hassan Manasrah was killed while fleeing the scene, and Ahmad Manasrah was shot by Israeli police, arrested, and hospitalized. Ahmad Manasrah is serving 9.5 years in prison for two counts of attempted murder, after his original 12-year sentence was shortened by the Israeli Supreme Court on Aug. 10, 2017, which claimed he had “gone a long way in his rehabilitation.”