Children are born without prejudice, without hatred, without religion, without dogma. In their initial and then formative years they look to their parents and the environment around them to shape their opinions, knowledge, aspirations, fears and loves.
There are nearly no children being born in Gaza able to live a normal life, a life like the one that’s enjoyed by almost all of the Israeli children the other side of the wall.
The children of Gaza are born into a world that only knows pain and fear.
Without understanding what’s going on, they watch the grief on the faces of their parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, as older children, younger children, babies, and grown-ups are snuffed out in terrible circumstances that are far beyond any explanation to the child.
The child that should be surrounded by love, laughter, cuddles, hugs, fluffy toys, and sweet treats, as they would be in Israel or any other wealthy and developed nation, is instead surrounded by fear, tears, trembling clutches, brick dust, dirt, virtually no food and drink, and death.
And all this just a wall away from a people whose children get all they should get.
From time to time, without understanding why or what’s going on, the child of Gaza will witness the bombs dropping, the white hot phosphorus pouring from the skies, the pain, anguish, and horror as their siblings and loved ones lay in the rubble dying and snipers shoot dead anybody trying to help them.
This is the experience of the average child in Gaza.
It is impossible for them to grow-up without anger, fear and hatred of those who keep hurting their family, their school pals, their neighbours.
Today’s Gazan child is born into a living hell. Very soon they can’t help but hate the oppressors, the murderers, the Israelis who historically take anything good from the Gazans, including their dignity and their humanity.
A child born into this today will experience no healing, no sense of justice, no sense of anything beyond the despair and futility of life as a son or daughter born into the world’s biggest concentration camp, policed by a wicked and cruel wealthy nation who are taught from birth that those beyond the wall are vermin that need to be contained.
A child born into this today will grow-up to be angry and to want to fight back against the oppressors that have caused so much hurt, to be content to ‘martyr’ themselves in process.
A child born into this today could grow-up to be at peace if only the occupying oppressors stopped hurting the Palestinians, and treated them as equals rather than a herd of cattle.