Rocks can kill. So can rubber-coated bullets.

Rocks can kill. So can rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and tear gas itself. So can checkpoints.
Amira Hass wrote an article in Haaretz explaining, and possibly defending, the throwing of rocks by Palestinians at Israelis.
The IDF responded with a statement by their spokesman that rocks can and do kill people.
That is a true statement. I can’t argue with it. Although if you are really setting out to kill someone, there are much better options, like guns, and bombs. One the other hand, if you know that rocks have killed people, and you continue to throw rocks at people, then you made a choice to do something that risks killing people, no matter what your intentions really were.
It’s not a bad start that the IDF recognizes that engaging in tactics that sometimes injure and kill people is wrong, but it’s fairly meaningless unless it is applied more broadly. The IDF also engages in tactics, often called “riot control” that have a history of killing people. That may not be their intention, but they are continuing to use tactics that have killed people.
Things like “justice” and “human rights” only mean something if you apply them beyond the narrow scope of your own interests.

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2 thoughts on “Rocks can kill. So can rubber-coated bullets.

  1. Why is it only the IDF’s responsibility to recognize whats wrong and correct it? Why dont the Palestinians who throw rocks at civilians with the intent of harming them have a responsibility to change their actions? Your post seems to be aimed only at the Israelis.

    1. Hi David,
      It is most definitely everyone’s responsibility to recognize what’s wrong, and correct it- that’s called learning 🙂
      The way I look at this, when one person throws a rock, or fires a tear gas canister, and hits another person, then there are two people whose perspectives matter. One is the person who threw/fired the object, the other is the victim. We often debate the intentions of the first person to evaluate the act, but I think it’s crucial not to forget about the experience of the victim, who is just as injured (or dead) if someone had deliberately tried to kill them, as if someone had not meant to kill them, but still had engaged in behavior that is known to sometimes kill people. I’m a medical student, and its the doctors/nurses/medics that get to try to clean up the mess that is left of human beings when the throwers of rocks and shooters of rubber-coated bullets get done with it.
      I was comparing the IDF’s behavior with that of the Palestinian rock-throwers that the IDF was criticizing, and pointing out similarities. I’m not sure where you got that I was only criticizing Israel. Could you clarify that?
      If it seems my post is aimed at Israel, it’s probably because I’m Jewish and living in Israel, so I do feel more connected to the Israeli perspective.

      best,
      sarah

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