Vice News, rocks, and everything in between

A few weeks ago, Vice News correspondent Harriet Salem came out with an article titled “Viral Video of Women Fighting Israeli Soldier Spotlights Harsh Treatment of Stone Throwers”. While I am not a follower or regular reader of Salem’s articles, I do respect her freedom of speech and right to self-expression. However, I do feel the need to explain something that might have evaded her knowledge prior to her writing that article.

Since the first Indifada (uprising in Arabic), at least 14 people have died as a result of rock throwing, 3 of them Palestinian who were mistaken for Jews (horrible, I know). The art of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing has been worked on and perfected by Palestinian rioters since the beginning of 1987 after the Oslo treaty. For some odd reason, Palestinian youth decided that if they weren’t going to kill IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians by means of shooting of exploding, they might as well revert to someone that can be found anywhere in the world, rocks. Now, someone like Salem might come ahead and claim “hey! Rocks aren’t lethal! They’re a legitimate method of resistance used by Palestinian freedom fighters!” Well Miss Salem, I am sorry to inform you but you are DEAD wrong. Since the times of King David, we have seen many instances in which rocks were used to kill people.

Our first example is, and you probably guessed it by now, KING DAVID! King David set off on his epic mission to kill Goliath who according multiple sources looked like 10 Rob Gronkowski’s combined, add a little HGH and PED’s and we got us a Barry Bonds, A-rod hybrid who is an absolute monster. So there he goes, little David, armed only with a slingshot, to face the biggest scariest of them all. I don’t need to remind you of the outcome (hint: Goliath died), but this is the first example of rocks killing people.

Flash forward to 1989, an IDF soldier by the name of Binyamin Meisner may he RIP, was walking through the Kasba (market) of Nablus keeping the peace. Suddenly out of nowhere, a Palestinian “activist” (I’m saying activists because obviously this is an activist type of thing to do) by the name of Samir Na’neesh dropped a cement block on this soldiers head from a rooftop. Now, according to Miss Salem, this action should have only resulted in a non-violent outcome, but for some reason, the simple laws of physics and gravity seemed to disagree. The poor soldier died almost instantly, crushed by the rock that was only supposed to make him aware of the Palestinian suffering and misery.

I suspect that by now you are noticing some sort of pattern in my take on using rocks as a peaceful method of resistance and making your presence known, but don’t let my assumptions get in the way of your mindset. Let me get even deeper and more personal.

Imagine you are driving home at night, your infant child is in the back seat, the radio is playing another way too overplayed song by Taylor Swift, the highway is somewhat empty and you’re cruising along. Suddenly, out of nowhere, A POSSUM! You swerve, you try to avoid to the poor animal and somehow manage to do so, but alas. You we’re driving 75 MPH, and according to the laws of physics and sir Isaac Newton that’s not really allowed. Now your car is flipped over on the side of the road, wheels still spinning and smoke is coming out of the front of the car. Another drivers passing by notices the accident and quickly rushes over, but instead of calling for help and helping you, he steals your wallet and disappears. Of course, you have no idea this is happening, because tragically you and your child are dead.

Sadly, this story is very true. On September 23, 2011, Asher Palmer, only 25 years old, a student in an engineering college in Jerusalem, was driving to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Arba to meet his pregnant wife. Along with him in the car was his 1 year old infant son, Yonatan. A few minutes after leaving their home, as they made their way to see their wife and mother, a barrage of rocks met them. These rocks, seemingly harmless and only a “method of resistance”, ended what was meant to be a beautiful life of a peaceful young family. A Palestinian driver who witnessed the attack not only didn’t call for help, but stole Asher’s wallet and personal weapon, and left him and his son’s body still warm in their seats. The perpetrator of the attack was a Palestinian policeman by the name of Waal Al-Arga. A policeman sworn to protect the public, not murder them in cold blood.

On March 14, 2013, Adelle Bitton, only 2 years old was driving home with her mom and 2 friends when a group of Palestinian rioters plummeted rocks at a bus driving in front of them. As the bus driver stopped trying to avoid the attack, Adelle was not that lucky, and her mom’s car veered off the road into the ditch. As a result of the attack, Adelle was critically injured and was in this condition for two years, until this year, when she passed away.

So I ask you Miss Salem, what do you consider harsh treatment of rock throwers? I have no idea if you have children, but I am most certain that if someone threw a rock at your car trying to kill you, you would demand that the matter be handled immediately. The laws in the US and Israel clearly state that someone coming at you with an intent to murder you is not just another “peace activist”. If someone ran at me with any object, hate filling their eyes and face covered to seal their identity, I would most certainly stand my ground and defend myself.

Those children in the Palestinian Authority are taught nothing but hatred and animosity towards Israel, and that is a shame. Schoolbooks funded by the UN are filled with caricatures depicting the murder of Jews, and the kids respond accordingly. What prompts a 10 year old to declare that when he grows up he want to die a martyr? Hate. If influential people like Miss Salem took the time to accurately educate and learn about the issue at hand, I wouldn’t have to write this almost satirical post explaining why terrorists trying to kill innocent people are dealt with a harsh hand.

About the Author
Avi Thomas grew up in Israel and Memphis, TN. After graduating he went on to serve in the IDF both as a Air Force flight cadet and special forces medic in the Maglan unit. He now am studies Political Science at Florida Atlantic University in Boca. He is an Emmerson fellow for Stand With Us and is very involved in Israel advocacy on campus.