Father’s Day with Hamas terrorists

By Jonathan Feldstein

It’s not every day that I read headlines at home in Israel and think of classic American folk-rock songs. In fact, it’s never happened before. Until recently.

As I was reading a particularly gruesome news item related to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and savage massacre of 1,200 people – and kidnapping of more than 250 others (of whom 120 remain in captivity) – the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (CSNY) song, “Teach your Children” came to mind. The song reached number 16 in 1970. As much as I never connected an American folk-rock song with headlines in Israel, I probably never thought about the song’s lyrics either. It’s a song about passing on values from one generation to the next, emphasizing the importance of teaching children well, to help them grow into their best selves, to create a better future individually, as a legacy from one generation to the next.

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“Teach Your Children” echoed as I read the text of an article, “IDF airs interrogation clips of terrorist father and son confessing to rape on Oct. 7.”

Among the thousands of Palestinian Arab terrorists who committed inhuman acts, slaughtering, maiming, torturing, raping and sexually mutilating thousands of Israelis, Ahmad Radi did anything but teach his child well. Breaching Israel’s border in an orgy of hate and destruction, he shamelessly brought his son Abdallah to participate in the murderous rampage. While more than 1,000 Hamas terrorists were killed in Israel on and in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacres, the father and son were captured. In separate interrogations, Ahmad and Abdallah confessed to murder and rape. In fact, they raped the same woman before (father) Ahmad executed her.

Ahmad (left) and his son Abdallah Radi confessing to murder and rape
Ahmad (left) and his son Abdallah Radi confessing to murder and rape

If Ahmad only had an ear for classic folk rock and not jihadi hate, he’d maybe have set a positive example, rather than transmitting to Abdalah the evil genocidal hatred he embodies, and has clearly imbued in his son.

CSNY sang, “You must have a code that you can live by / Teach your children well / And feed them on your dreams.” Clearly Ahmad, thousands of terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre, and the tens of thousands of Hamas leaders and their brigades, along with hundreds of thousands who support and enable them, have chosen their “code” to live by. Rather than feeding them on the dreams of building and doing something positive, their vision and goals are exclusively to destroy Israel, to slaughter Jews.

The lyrics continue, “The one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.” Basically, CSNY are saying that a father’s legacy lives on through his children. Unfortunately, generations of Palestinian Arabs have transmitted a legacy of geocidal hate, fueled by extremist Islam founded in the Muslim Brotherhood of which Hamas is an ideological child, and funded and supported by the Islamic republic regime in Iran.

Sadly, for most Gazans this Father’s Day will be marked by living in accordance with an immoral code which they celebrate and worship, even according to their own internal polls. They surely do not represent the song’s message that the past is the past, and it’s time to move forward. They raise their children from as young as 3 and 4 to worship jihad, and practice genocidal anti-Semitism. The inhuman acts of killing and maiming others supplant any aspiration to build a future for themselves, or to pass on good values.

This makes the rhetorical and often hollow question/accusation to Israel about having a plan for the day after to be more than ridiculous, because the hatred and evil are so deeply entrenched.

By comparison, in traditional Judaism a father’s responsibility is to teach his child a profession, and how to swim: things to enable them to live well, make a living, and protect themselves. Not to kill others.

CSNY’s chorus implores parents to move beyond the struggles of the previous generation (“the father’s hell that did slowly go by”), and the importance of nurturing children’s dreams so they can live fulfilling lives.

The second verse addresses the children, and challenges them to be empathetic towards their elders, recognizing that they may have lived through tough times. It also tells young people to use their energy and idealism to change the world for the better, before it’s too late. Sometimes that means pivoting away from a parent’s past and inability to move beyond that. It means that parents have a responsibility to imbue their children with good values, but also that children have the responsibility to choose the correct path, regardless of what they inherit from their parents.

“Teach Your Children” is a call to action for passing on life lessons, compassion, and hope to future generations. It’s an important Father’s Day anthem. Hamas and their ideological siblings from Hezbollah, the Houthis, westerners hijacking private campuses and public spaces, and the ayatollahs of Iran, do the opposite. They offer no hope for the future, only hate that also dooms them. This Father’s Day, it’s important to reflect on our personal values as parents, rejecting the evil of extremist genocidal Islam, and making sure that we impart that to the next generation, loud and clear.

This horrific story of the father and son, Ahmed and Abdullah, reminds me of another less-hopeful classic American folk-rock song, Harry Chapin’s 1974 hit, “Cats in the Cradle.” After a life of neglecting his son by having “lots to do,” the father realizes his neglect has come back to him, singing woefully, “My boy is just like me.”

This is the model by which Hamas and the Islamic terrorists live. It’s up to them, the fathers and mothers, to teach their children well, to have an active presence, to show them right from wrong, and to correct them when they go astray. It’s never a father’s role to teach a child to massacre, rape, sexually mutilate and murder, not for any reason.

Rather than worshiping an evil ideology and a god who they say celebrates that, maybe they’d to well with a little 1960s classic folk-rock to change their future.

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