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West Bank Stone Throwers Aren’t Heroes

The following post appeared under the nytimes.com comments section on 8/6/13.

August 6, 2013

The New York Times

To the Editor: 

This story underplays the potentially provocative and dangerous consequences of hurling rocks at passing vehicles and armed soldiers. 

Many Palestinian residents of Beit Ommar excuse those actions as a relatively harmless form of child’s play at resistance against Israel. The reality is much different.

Stone throwing is a highly violent form of protest. Drivers confronted by flying rocks have little or no time to react, and many innocent Israelis motorists have been injured and some killed by a hail of stones or just one striking a windshield. Yet the story makes only passing mention of this danger, with a single paragraph quoting the perspective of an Israeli driver. I wish the article had provided a more insight into the daily dangers Palestinian stone throwers pose to Israeli drivers and other civilians.

The story paints an almost romantic picture of young Palestinian rock throwers, portraying their violence as justified by regional politics and driven by boredom. 

These are not acceptable reasons for an activity which results in numerous injuries and deaths. 

At a moment when Israeli and Palestinian leaders are resuming efforts to end the conflict, more Palestinians should emulate the example of Beit Ommar’s former mayor and encourage children to focus on building a future and avoiding acts of violence.

Sincerely,

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director 

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