In the two and one-half weeks since three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped, the government of Israel dispatched hundreds in search parties to find the boys, called “Operation Brothers’ Keeper.” The citizens of the country, and Jews and civilized people around the world, hoped and prayed for the boys’ safe return. The reactions were emblematic of Israel’s culture: to actively pursue – by physical and metaphysical means – a better future. A future that includes life and peace for its entire people.
The reaction from Israel’s Arab neighbors was also emblematic of their culture. Hamas spokesman Khaled Mashaal said “If it turns out the kidnapping really happened, I welcome it.” The mother of one of the men accused of the kidnapping, Amer Abu Aysha, said that “If he truly did it – I’ll be proud of him till my final day.”
Those sentiments of hatred can be found throughout the Arab and Muslim Middle East in their national anthems. Country after country have songs calling for death, vendetta and martyrdom, as seen in the video below. These are not army marching songs, but the values that are instilled in the people every day before soccer matches and graduations. Here is a small sample:
“We will drink from death” – Iraq
“Palestine is my vendetta and the land of withstanding” – Palestinian Authority
“A life of dignity and a death of glory” – Tunisia
“On our dead we build glory” – Algeria
“May God take my life” – Turkey
“We are your sacrifices” – Libya
“Remember through my joy, each martyr” – Yemen
These aspirations stand in sharp contrast to the national anthem of the Jewish State of Israel, a democracy in the middle of the Middle East. Israel’s anthem is called “Hatikva”, which means “The Hope”.