If he had been raised in a Nazi home and was a member of the "Hitler Jungend" we would understand how little boys and girls are prepared to do such a thing. Their Nazi parents and neighbors would have celebrated his becoming an adult.
When Hafez Assad ruled Syria he took pages from the Nazi " how to rule" handbook.
I saw on television how rows of Syrian boys and girls, leading dogs they raised from pups march up to a platform where their leaders sat. They then demonstrated their loyalty to the regime and the cause by plunging a dagger into their beloved canine companions. These children were now ready for bigger and greater tasks. They would be children no longer.
Their families and society celebrated their "coming of age".
Syria is not the only Arab country where this takes place.
This past Shabbat a thirteen-year-old Arab waited in hiding for Jews to pass by.
When the targets appeared he shot at them from the back. A father and son were hit. The son is fighting for his life in an emergency room.
The boy's family and all of Arab Jerusalem erupted in celebration of the child hero and the dead Jews. It is a common scene in Jerusalem. The same wild celebrants will return to their jobs and university benches in west Jerusalem the next day. They may even smile at their Jewish colleagues.
The boy is a resident of Jerusalem where his family and neighbors live in the peace, freedom, and opportunity that the Jewish state affords. These blessings are not to be found in any Arab country and they no it better than anyone else. No matter what, the Jews are hated. This hate is fomented from the earliest age; in the home, school, neighborhood, media, mosque, politicians - everywhere, just like in Nazi Germany.
Just as the rational Jews of Germany desperately sought a logical explanation for the hate of their neighbors, similar Jews in Israel never lose hope of finally finding that elusive rationale for the "grievances" of their Arab neighbors.
More land? More money? Preferential treatment in employment and education? Supreme court judges? Tried that.
Our bewildered Jews are still seeking that one magic formula that will satisfy them and end the Jew blood lust.
Actually, it was tried in 1993 when the "Oslo" accords brought our worst enemy to our doorstep and showered them with gifts.
Result? Jewish blood began to flow like rivers.
Didn't work - not yet.
There are some who will never lose hope of finding that one bribe that will convince them to stop killing us.
As Dr. Yossi Belin one of the architects of Oslo said in response to a criticism of the failed Oslo gamble:, "I just can not live in a world where there is no hope."
There is a song about his Utopia...let us paraphrase:
One day thirteen old Arab children will stop killing us.
Shalom Pollackis a tour guide and author of "Jews, Israelis and Arabs" who can be reached at [email protected]