Source: Yedioth Ahronoth, May 7, 2002

Israeli reservists serving in the Tulkarm area during Operation Defensive Shield were stunned when they opened gifts sent by school children from central Israel. Many of the students wrote them letters in which they encouraged them to disregard the rules and regulations and to kill as many Arabs as possible. Dozens of the letters were sent, mostly from children in the 7th through 10th grades who attend national religious schools.

One reservist said he was eager to open the letter, but he was stunned when he started to read it. "I pray for you that you return home safely, and kill at least ten for me," wrote the pupil. "Screw the rules and spray them. By the way-a good Arab is a dead Arab." Other letters were even more heated. "Let the Palestinians, may God blacken their name, burn in Hell. Punch holes in them with your M-16 and bomb them," wrote one of the teens. Another wrote, "I have a special request for you-kill as many Arabs as you can." In another letter, a pupil wished the soldier success in his mission and added, "Say, isn't it fun to shoot an Arab? Here's a slogan: a good Arab is a dead Arab. A top notch Arab is a buried Arab."

Most of the letters contained similar statements. Some of the teenagers, who are supposed to be drafted in another two years, said they regretted not being able to take part in the "action" now. The reservist who opened the first letter mentioned above gathered all the letters and sent them to the Jewish Action Center. "I read the letters and couldn't believe my eyes," he said. "We keep talking about the hateful incitement of the Palestinian educational system towards Israel, and suddenly it happens here with us, beneath everyone's nose. This issue simply frightens me and has to set off alarms in our educational system."

The director of the public department at the Jewish Action Center sent a letter to the Education Minister demanding she investigate the situation and curb "trends towards radicalization." The ministry said it will investigate.



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