Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stone Throwing is Not A Form of Protest

Michael Freund has written:

...when a Palestinian picks up a stone and throws it at an Israeli vehicle, he is not expressing outrage or protesting against some perceived wrongdoing. He is making a conscious decision to grab hold of a potentially deadly object and send it hurtling through the air in order to cause bodily harm.
This is not about a group of kids tossing pebbles on the water at the beach. It is a group of thugs trying to terrorize people and intimidate them from making safe use of the roads. And it must be stopped.

But if other countries can act severely towards those who throw stones, even almost innocently, why is Israel "blamed" for being harsh?

Consider this:

A British man is facing a prison sentence after Italian police accused his son of vandalising a cathedral.  Seven-year-old Simon Rowe allegedly broke off pieces of stone from the Renaissance Duomo in Florence then threw them into the piazza below. He was arrested and kept in police custody for more than two hours with his father, Jonathan.  On returning to England, Mr Rowe, a 38-year- old nurse, was contacted by the Italian authorities who told him charges would be dropped if he paid a £100 fine and £250 in legal fees.  But he has refused to pay and has been told he must return to Florence to answer charges as the legal guardian of his son, who is under the age of criminal responsibility.

Turkey is also strict:

Turkey’s Supreme Court ruled that the 2005 anti-terror law could now be applied to children in the 15 – 18 age group. [or not] From then on they can be tried in Heavy Penal Courts which are authorised to try cases of organised crime, terrorism and state security.

In 2006, the Supreme Court also changed its interpretation of the anti-terror law: whenever somebody is involved in a demonstration, carries a flag or does any other kind of propaganda for an illegal organisation, he or she is considered to be part of this organisation and defined as a ‘terrorist’...

...On Oct. 2, government spokesperson Cemil Çiçek proposed three amendments to the law which are now being discussed in parliament.
Articles which allow the punishing of children by equating throwing stones with armed resistance, increased penalties under anti-terror laws or convicting children for being related to a member of a banned organisation are not being debated.

In Washington, DC, bus service could be withheld if neighbohood residents continue to throw stones at buses.

And a decade ago, there was this incident:

A German prosecutor announced Tuesday that he is seeking murder charges against three U.S. teenagers after they reportedly confessed to hurling large rocks from a highway overpass in a dangerous game that killed two drivers and injured five passengers.

In a troubling incident that could undermine relations between American troops and their German hosts, the youths--all children of U.S. Army soldiers--told police investigators in Darmstadt that they had been lobbing stones as big as soccer balls from the pedestrian bridge for weeks before the deadly strikes Sunday night.

Israel, on non-nationalist stone throwing:

Zero tolerance for stone-throwing: Three residents of the northern village of Bir al-Machsur, just off Highway 79, were sentences to lengthy jail terms Tuesday after being convicted of stoning cars. 
Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon ruled that the court "must not be lenient on such offenses," and ordered sentences raging from 15 to 21 months.

According to the indictment, Ibrahim Gadir (24), Rami Hujirat (23) and a minor who cannot be named stoned cars along Highway 79, damaging at least two of them.   A plea bargain struck between the Haifa District Prosecution and the defense had the tree plead guilty to malicious endangerment – a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Indeed, in the context, stone throwersd are terrorists, acting with intent to injury or kill.

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