Wednesday, July 17, 2019 -
Print Edition

Rocks and rockets

After hearing many upsetting reactions to what was perceived as an anti-Israel article by Jodi Rudoren in The New York Times, I read the article myself. It is titled “In a West Bank culture of conflict, boys Wield the Weapon at Hand.”

I went in looking for the anti-Israel angle people were upset by. And to be sure, I found it immediately. The article is about the culture of violence in the Arab village of Beit Ommar. It describes the Arab youth and their stonethrowing ways at Israeli passing cars. Except for one vague quote from an Israeli, Israel’s voice is mute in the piece.

Even worse, the author trivializes the seriousness of stonethrowing by glibly referring to this Arab pastime as “the futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little,” and paints the IDF as somewhat unfair in its arrests of these threatening youths throwing rocks (just imagine what would be the fate of stonethrowers in Egypt or Syria).

The article is accompanied by a photo of four uniformed IDF soldiers at the narrow threshold of an Arab home, as a little Arab boy hides behind the dress of his scarf clad mother.

So yes, I saw what could be upsetting about the article in terms of its anti-Israel bias. The tone of the piece was almost a glorification of stonethrowing, something most of us would condemn, be it the sadly mainstream culture of Arab youth doing the stonethrowing or the marginal, Israeli youth who have recently emerged doing the same.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our new online e-Edition.

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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