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The myth of mere rocks against rifles
Here is what a typical Palestinian attack looks like. Thousands (no exaggeration) of Palestinians, mostly young men and children, begin to storm an Israeli outpost which protects an Israeli village or the road bordering Palestinian territory (NOT occupied by Israel) with Israel proper. I have never heard the question asked as to why we need such protection if we have a peace agreement and a partner for peace. Behind this mob, hiding behind buildings and other cover are both Palestinian police and civilians with automatic weapons who fire on the outpost.
The soldiers can either ignore these "mere rock throwers" until they physically overrun their outpost and attack what is beyond (unarmed Israelis) or selectively fire to try to stop the surging crowd from reaching the village they are protecting. As the world decries the 80+Palestinian deaths, no one stops to ask how many would actually be dead if Israeli forces were actually doing what they are accused of - shooting indiscriminately into these crowds with their automatic weapons. Literally hundreds or thousands of Palestinians would be dead by now if that were the case. And, instead of stopping the violence, the Palestinian diplomats now sing their one-note tune demanding an international inquiry into the violence, as if this will be a solution to anything no matter what is discovered.
Yes, tanks and helicopter gunships have been moved in to the worst areas. But they have been used as tactical scare tactics not as offensive weapons. Simply imagine how many would be dead if the fire power in these weapons had been used.
So, rock throwers are not mere nuisances. These masses of attackers represent a true threat to both the soldiers in their outposts as well as the Israeli citizens that live behind these outposts. Are more Palestinians being killed and injured than Israelis? Of course. They are out in the open while the Israeli troops are trapped within bunker-type buildings. The Israelis are not leaving these outposts to give chase as they well could. They are defending their positions. All media reports I have seen paint this as Israeli aggression.
Are children being killed? Indeed. I ask you, what kind of parent allows, and in many cases encourages, their child to go to the front lines of what is basically a war to throw stones at armed troops?? ! This is NOT civil disobedience or demonstration. This is mass mob rioting with all the dangers that entails. The Palestinians send their children to be slaughtered and then cynically use this against us in the court of world opinion. The reporters know this but are quick to blame us for the outcome. (I hope you all saw and read about the false front page NY Times/AP photo "showing" an Israeli soldier about to attack a bleeding Palestinian boy which turned out to be an Israeli soldier trying to protect a bleeding American yeshiva student who had been pulled out of a taxi, stoned and stabbed, from further attack. The press assumption: if a youth is bleeding, it must be the outcome of Israeli aggression).
The myth of Israeli presence as a provocation
The Palestinians have come to their borders with us and not vice versa. There has been no unprovoked Israeli insurgence into Palestinian territory. Wherever there is an Israeli presence - as approved by the Oslo agreements- it is to protect Israeli citizens who are constantly under threat of attack by our "peace partners". The Israeli outposts, well outside the independent Palestinian towns and villages, did not suddenly move towards those towns and villages and magically become objects of provocation. The Palestinians left their homes in masses and attacked these sites. Their diplomats ask us to remove our troops from these areas of "provocation" in order to gain land by violence that they did not gain by negotiation. If we allow that, where does it end?
Still, with all that, Israel yesterday agreed to hand control of a Jewish religious site in Nablus (Joseph's tomb) over to the Palestinian police in order that there would be absolutely no "provocative" Israeli presence anywhere near the Palestinian town. A few days before, in an unprecedented act of sheer hatred, the Palestinian police refused to allow Israelis to evacuate a severely wounded border policeman who had been shot in the neck by Palestinian rioters. Negotiations went on for 4 hours to no avail and the policeman died. In the meantime, Israel smuggled doctors dressed as Arab residents into Nablus to try to save the life of the son of the Nablus governor. He was airlifted to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Did you see this in your news?
In an agreement worked out by both sides, the Palestinians promised to protect this holy site as the Israelis withdrew. During the withdrawal, one Israeli border policeman was killed and several seriously wounded. After the withdrawal, the Palestinian masses stormed the tomb, pulled out Jewish religious articles, prayer books and the like and burned them, set fire to the inside of the tomb, and destroyed as much of the tomb itself that they could, stone by stone. These are acts by people who, according to Saeb Erakat and Hannan Ashrawi, just wanted Jewish presence out of their town but bear no hatred towards Jews or Israelis. They just want peace.
In all the years of conflict, not a single mosque, whether occupied and used or not, has been touched by Israeli authorities or civilians. This is the behavior of people who propose to have control over a city holy to 3 religions and to protect the holy sites of all. This horrible act yesterday said more to Israeli Jews about the Palestinians true feeling towards the Jews than almost any other act during the current violence. Attacking army outposts represents a totally different statement than that made by destroying Jewish holy artifacts and sites. To us, it represents the true face of modern Islam.
The myth of one-sided effects of violence
As I speak, I can only exit my village in one direction, the roads being closed off in the other 2 directions by burning tires and rock and Molotov cocktail throwers. Last week, my car was stoned and molotoved while exiting an archaeological site near my home and far from Arab towns, This is inside Israel proper where we are expected to trust our Israeli Arab citizens and try not to believe that there is fifth column within our midst. Throughout the country many main roads have been sealed off by either Palestinian or Israeli Arab riots. There are Jewish towns and villages where food and supplies must be airlifted in because there is no open roadway in or out of the villages. These are homes in Israel proper, not in yet to be negotiated territory. Have they mentioned this in your news? Is our government simply supposed to ignore this and abandon its citizens to whatever fate may await them at the hands of the mobs? Would an American (or French) government allow its citizens to be slaughtered by a mob of armed rioters? (By the way, Le Monde finally came out yesterday and publicly decried Chirac's emphatic and public support of the recent Palestinian actions).
Perhaps the most telling interview I heard was on the BBC with a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. When asked if Arafat truly had the power to stop the mob violence, he said that it probably could not be done without exerting fatal force on the rioters. I was amazed when the logical follow-up question was not asked: "Then how do you expect the Israeli forces to stop this violence without using fatal force?" That question has never been probed in any media report I have seen. It is the duty of any government to protect its citizens from violence. Just what are we supposed to do here? Even a thousand soldiers in a row cannot stop a mass of thousands of rioters with rocks and automatic weapons.
An example of "only" throwing rocks:
A baby, Killed by a rock|
Yehuda Shoham, 5 months
Yehuda Shoham, five months old, from the community of Shilo, died on June 11, 2000, of wounds he sustained a week earlier when a Palestinian hurled a rock at the family car, in which he sat with his father Benny and mother Bat-Sheva, near Shilo. The father eulogized his baby son: �Pure soul. All he did was laugh and smile at everyone. A babe who harmed no one.�
Infant stoning victim dies of wounds
Mother holds his hand...
("Stones'?) Street Clashes Now Deliberate Warfare
Arab Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict