For the past couple of weeks, there have been disturbing reports of organized gangs of Arab children and youths throwing rocks at cars moving on the roads in the north of the country. Lest there be any doubt in anyone’s mind, I am talking about Israel within the Green Line (the pre-Six Day War border) and I am talking about Israeli Arab children – Israeli citizens. I cannot help but recall that one of the first Israeli casualties at the start of the Second Intifada, was an Israeli driver killed when a rock was hurled at his car from the Jisr e-Zarka bridge in the north of Israel, between Ma’agan Michael and Caesarea. This evening, it was reported on the news that the Police caught a number of Israeli Arab children from that same area, who had been hurling rocks at passing Israeli cars.
When asked why they had been hurling rocks, these children, aged between seven and ten (which is to say, below the legal age of criminal responsibility) replied: "Because we had no bullets." Oh, and when I said they were organized, I meant well-organized, and by adults.
From one thing to another. I recently came across a a video-clip on YouTube, which was chilling in its obscenity. We have already become used to Palestinian children as young as two, dressing up (or being dressed up by their parents) as suicide bombers, the way Jewish children dress up on Purim as Queen Esther or as Spiderman, so it was no surprise to hear two eleven-year old girls eulogising the beauty of Shahada (holy martyrdom) or expressing their earnest desire to become martyrs for Islam (i.e. suicide bombers), but what was truly horrifying was their answer to the question "What is better, Peace and full rights for the Palestinian People, or Shahada?" No prizes for guessing that they chose martydom.