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May 15, 2015 11:39 am

Kids Who Try to Kill With Rocks, and the Media That Ignores Them

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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A Palestinian boy throws a stone at Israel's security fence. Photo: Justin McIntosh.

JNS.orgMy eye was drawn this week to one of those little news items that appear in the Israeli media, but never make it into the American press. I call them the near-misses: the bomb that was discovered just before it went off, the bullet that struck just inches from its intended target. No casualties? That apparently dictates that the news is not fit to print.

This time it was a shower of rocks that were hurled at an Israeli automobile on the afternoon of May 8. Chen Borochov made the mistake of driving through an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem known as A-Tur. He wasn’t provoking anybody. He was just driving home. His crime was that the color of his license plate identified him as an Israeli.

And that was enough for Borochov’s assailants to launch a violent ambush. One of the huge rocks smashed through the right side of his car’s front windshield. “If someone had been [sitting] next to me, he would have certainly died or remained a vegetable for the rest of his lifetime,” Borochov later remarked.

Some Americans—Thomas Friedman of the New York Times comes to mind—seem to have trouble recognizing that rocks can kill. But Arab terrorists and their Israeli victims understand that fact very well. The terrorists know it—that’s why they do it. And the Israelis know it because they have to bury the victims. At least 14 Israelis have been murdered by Arab rock-throwers since the 1980s.

The Arabs who attacked Borochov’s car weren’t trying to scratch or dent it. They were trying to stone him to death, the same way killers in the Middle East have been executing their victims for innumerable centuries.

But what drew my eye to this news report in particular was Borochov’s description of the attackers. He saw them clearly; they were just a few feet from his car, and it was broad daylight. They were, he said, “three 11 to 12 year-old children, wearing school bags.”

Just last week, the New York Times published a major news article about the Israeli authorities arresting two Arab rock-throwers who were 12 and 7 years old, respectively. The newspaper seemed more concerned that Israel was detaining and supposedly traumatizing young children, than by the fact that young children were trying to commit murder.

We in the United States don’t believe in letting violent offenders off the hook just because they are young. I have written previously about the case of three drunken teenagers who threw rocks at cars on the Capital Beltway in Washington, DC, in 1990. Thirty drivers or passengers were wounded, including a girl who suffered irreversible brain damage. The attackers were convicted of “assault with intent to murder” and each sentenced to 40 years in prison. An editorial in the Washington Post at the time correctly asked, “What’s the difference between assault with a deadly weapon—a shooting—and assault with rocks that hit cars at potentially lethal speeds?”

Kids who throw rocks because they’re drunk are bad enough. Kids who throw rocks because they are being politically and religiously indoctrinated to hate Jews are far more dangerous. How can this be changed? The Obama administration’s peace-processors need to focus less on issues such as settlements and borders, and more the on issue of getting ordinary Palestinians to stop trying to kill Israelis. Step number one would be demanding that the Palestinian Authority uses its schools and news media to send a message to Palestinian parents: teach your children that throwing rocks is wrong. Is that too much to ask?

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is chairman of the Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship Fund,

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  • I often find myself telling critics of Israel – a 10 year old with a (rock, bomb) can kill you as easy as an adult!
    Muslims dont value life! Israel does!

  • Pinchas Baram

    the little bastards should be arrested and sent to a not-nice juvenile facility and their parents should be slapped with a very heavy fine to be paid within a week, otherwise they (parents) are automatically jailed for 3 months, without appeal.

  • art

    One of the requirements of Oslo, Wye et al was for the pa to “normalize” relations with Israel, stop incitement, and denounce terrorism. The pa has not only failed to meet their obligations they have intentionally, knowingly and with malice aforethought taught Jew hatred, boycotted Israel, incited,sponsored and rewarded terrorism. Clinton looked the other way and nom Obama actually encourages attacks on Jews

  • Israel must be steadfast in protecting its rights and its people
    Many nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory.
    No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had ejected about a million Jewish people and their children from their countries, confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and Real estate. Many of the Jews ejected from Arab countries died while their forced departure from Arab countries, due to hardship, famine and starvation. 650,00 Jewish people and their children of these expelled Jewish people and their children were resettled in Greater Israel. The Land the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people 120,440 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles, which is over 5-6 times the size of Israel, and its value today is the trillions of dollars.
    The Jewish people and their children during the over 2,000 years living in Arab countries have suffered Pogroms, Libel claims, beheadings, beatings, false imprisonment and extreme hardship as a second class citizens. They had their businesses and homes pillaged, their wives and daughters raped, sold them as slaves, their houses of worship pillaged and burned, forced conversion to Islam.

    Today over half of Israel’s population are Jews expelled from Arab countries and their children and grandchildren.

    The Audacity of the Arab countries in demanding territory from the Jewish people in Palestine after they ejected over a million Jewish people and their children who have lived in Arab land for over 2,000 years and after they confiscated all their assets and Real estate 5-6 times the size of Israel (120,440 sq. km. – 75,000 sq. mi.), valued in the trillions of dollars.
    Now the Arab nations are demanding more land and more compensation.
    The Arab countries have chased the million Jews and their children and now the want to chase them away again, from their own historical land.

    Israel must respond with extreme force to any violent demonstration and terror. Israel’s population must have peace and tranquility without intimidation by anyone.
    The Jewish people have suffered enough in the Diaspora for the past 2,500 years. It is time for the Jewish people to live as free people in their own land without violence and terror.
    It is time to consider that the only alternative is a population transfer of the Arab-Palestinians to the territories the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people and settle this dispute once and for all. Many Arab leaders had suggested these solutions over the years.
    YJ Draiman