Recognizing difference is learned, not innate - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Dr..M. Cohen
    • 23.06.13 | 07:17 (IDT)

    Decades ago, when I lived in Arad when the town was first being built, I saw from the window of my apartment half a dozen little children throwing rocks at a tied-up donkey that belonged to an Arab construction worker. The "ringleader" of the gang was the oldest little girl, who couldn't have been more than 4 or 5, the others were even younger.When I went downstairs to make them stop, the little girl looked at me, puzzled, and explained, "Aval hu Aravi! (He's an Arab)." "He's not an Arab, he's not a Jew, he's a donkey," I replied in Hebrew. "Stop hurting him!" The children ran off. I am sure these children all understood the difference between people and animals, but the notion that even animals have ethnicity that makes them deserving of violence, is, I think, uniquely Israeli, overriding even the curiosity and compassion most young children have for animals. A song from the musical "South Pacific" said": "You have got to be taught to hate and fear. Day after day, year after year. It has got to be drummed in your dear little ear. You have got to be carefully taught. You have got to be taught before it's too late. Before you are six, or seven or eight. To hate all the people your relative hate. You have got to be carefully taught." And children in Israel are.

    from the article: Are we born racist? A new Israeli study has some surprising answers
    First published 10:55 08.06.13 | Last updated 10:55 08.06.13
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