On 6 May, Israelis celebrated their “independence day,” which they mark according to the Jewish lunar calendar.
Traditionally Israeli Jews hold public celebrations and picnics, especially in “national parks” typically built over the ruins of ethnically cleansed and destroyed Palestinian villages.
Many of the Israeli festivities are celebrations of the so-called “Israel Defence Forces,” better known to Palestinians as the army that occupies them, arrests and kills their children with impunity and helps settlers to steal their land.
Some of these disturbing images of Israeli children being put through military-style training displays at Efrat, an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied West Bank, have been circulating widely online and were published in Haaretz and other media.
A repeated theme of pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian propaganda is to circulate images ofPalestinian children taking part in such militarized displays in order to advance the belief that Palestinian culture is inherently violent and “teaches children hate” and that therefore Israeli violence is a justified defensive response.
But these pictures are remarkable because they reveal the extent to which Israeli culture has been militarized and how Israeli children are not immune to this – a key theme in Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath.