Opinion
A Palestinian stone-thrower takes cover behind a street pole during clashes with Israeli police in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad A Palestinian stone-thrower takes cover behind a street pole during clashes with Israeli police in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad  

Sticks And Stones Do Break My Bones

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Alex VanNess
Manager of Public Information, Center for Security Policy
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      Alex VanNess

      Alex VanNess is the Manager of Public Information for the Center for Security Policy. Prior to coming to the Center, Mr. VanNess worked as an Intern for Congressman Doug Lamborn and then later as a member of staff for Congressman Tom McClintock of California. Alex holds a degree in Political Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, and has pursued the study of Jewish Law and Philosophy at Shor Yoshuv Rabbinical College in New York.

Hamas has decided to perpetrate a third Intifada after the Israeli Defense Force conducted an extensive house-to-house search in Hebron, to find three Israeli teens that they kidnapped and murdered.

Rockets are now raining down on Israeli cities and violence is pouring through the streets of Jerusalem as Palestinians riot and throw rocks at Israelis. In response, Israel has launched Operation Protective Edge and is preparing to launch ground operations in Gaza.

Raised to iconic levels, throwing baseball-sized rocks at Israelis is a national sport for Palestinians. Having been described as a birthright and duty, Palestinians see stone throwing as emblematic of their resistance of Israel and encourage the youth to throw stones at Israeli. The one thing people neglect is, rocks kill people.

Palestinian activists often describe rock throwing with a general disregard for its hazards. They often justify the rock throwing by saying Jews don’t belong in the land and that the West Bank should be Judenrein (Jew-clean). Additional justifications tend to revolve around the argument that the land was stolen from the Palestinians, which completely, and erroneously, negates the history of Arab belligerence against Israel.

Despite Palestinian rock throwers being seen by the international community as ‘unarmed civilians,’ rocks are deadly weapons meant for one purpose: To injure, maim and kill. Over the years there have been countless incidents of Palestinian rock throwing against Jews resulting in the injury and deaths of many innocent Israeli adults and children.

Instead of rebuking such heinous acts from its citizens, Palestinian authorities have reward violence against Israel and Jews by naming schools, hospitals, and streets after the murderers. A recent Palestinian opinion poll, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy shows that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians opposes any goal other than the elimination the State of Israel.

Additionally, Israel finds itself in a sticky wicket because they are typically seen as the aggressor when responding to these deadly rock attacks. Media officials and photographers do nothing as Palestinian kids and teens pelt Jews with rocks. International journalists actually stand with the Palestinians and videotape them as they pelt cars with Israeli license plates. Cars like the one carrying Adele Biton, a 3 year-old who suffered traumatic brain injury after a rock flew through the cars windshield and struck her on the head, causing the car to crash into the back of a truck.

When Israeli soldiers detain the Palestinian perpetrators of these crimes – some of whom are young children — journalists will photograph the detaining and scream at the Israelis, saying they are innocent children. This type of media manipulation is all too common with journalists who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and looking to influence public opinion. This journalist bias is so common it’s referred to as “Pallywood.”