Generally speaking, “Israel” is a bad word in the Middle East. Ever since the nation’s Statehood in May, 1948 anti-Israel sentiment has been the dominating factor that has persuaded Middle-eastern politics. This is nothing new. Additionally, a new disturbing rise of Anti-Semitism goes seemingly unexcused around the world. In Europe, the mainline media sources barely even cover instances where Jews and synagogues are attacked almost without notice. I suppose the reality of a strained relationship between Israel and the United States, despite the political rhetoric to the contrary (for actions speak louder than words), is one further example how Israel must be feeling more and more alone in a region where the so-called Arab Spring has sparked more resolve to drive Israel into the sea. With “Mr. Muslim Brotherhood” Morsi gaining dictatorial control of Egypt to the south (no, Muslim democracy is not the same thing as US democracy, despite how it is presented by our ignorant news media), and with Assad killing his own people to the north (now over 60,000 have lost their lives in this civil war), and with the Palestinian leadership headed by Mahmoud Abbas and His Fatah Party battling control with Hamas who is entrenched in Gaza (will they form a united force in the future remains to be seen), clearly Israel remains the only source of true democracy and peace.
While I personally know many Palestinian Arabs are warm, friendly and who, unlike their leaders, long for a simple and peaceful relationship with Israel (making for entirely safe and enjoyable travel for tourists, by the way), there are a minority of Palestinians who know nothing other than hatred. Sadly, there is a rising population of a younger generation of Palestinians who have been taught an altered version of middle eastern history grounded in lies and falsehoods. Even the map of the region given to young Palestinian school kids do not even list or reference “Israel” in any way, but only a land owned and ruled exclusively by “Palestine.” Any association of ancient Israel with the Bible is omitted. Such distortion of history, both ancient and modern, is tragic.
I offer all of this “personal perspective” as a background for how typically a clash between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. While instances of stone throwing has been prominent in the past, particularly during the Intifada in the early 2000s, it still occasionally happens. When these unfortunate situations arise, the world almost always interprets these instances with the Israelis being the bully while poor Palestinian kids being the victims. The media unfairly exploits such encounters to the world, even though they know that many times instances are staged. I still remember my friend telling me that many of the past stone-throwing opportunties only happened if they knew CNN was going to be to record it. (i.e. stone-throwing set at 3 p.m. at the corner of these two streets… be there!”).
How sad it is that most of the ignorant TV viewers believe everything they see as real. It results in false conclusions, and a continuation of an anti-Israeli bias broadcasted around the world.
The following video is an example of how the game work. Watch it here: Stone-throwing Ambush Video. (it’s only 2 and a half minutes long).
I have to say that video clips such as this one is unfortunate on two fronts. First, how sad it is that Palestinian children are used by their parents to stage such events. While many of the children in this particular video share the same agenda as their parents, how awfully sad that they grow up in such a hate-filed environment. Second, how unfortunate it is for Israel citizens to be on the receiving end of such hatred. Never knowing when they are going to be caught in the middle of an event like this, it must make life very difficult.
For sure, I don’t want to paint a picture for you to cause you to think this kind of tragedy happens all over Israel all of the time. It doesn’t. I could show you picture after picture of Jews and Arabs getting along, sharing coffee together, even helping each other. When I lead my tours to Israel, we never come across instances like this. They are few and far between.
But when they happen to take place, and you see the news reports, please know that you are only seeing part of the picture. And most likely in our day and age of an abundance of anti-Israel reporting, you are going to see and hear about it from a biased perspective.
Only when hearts and lives turn to Christ as the ultimate peace-maker will we see lasting peace in their region. Then the stone-throwing will stop, and peace will dominate!