Two starkly different views of yesterday’s events. In England, the Guardian reports that on a day of “violent protest” in the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and wounded two Palestinian boys, 16 and 13.
Two Palestinian teenagers shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers have become the latest totems in a wave of violent protest across the Palestinian territories.
The Israeli army has confirmed that live ammunition was used in Monday’s clashes with Palestinian protesters and that two were shot with 0.22 calibre bullets – ammunition known to cause fatalities.
The Guardian reports that Udi Sirkhan, 16, was hit in the head by a bullet as he walked home from work near Bethlehem, and was undergoing surgery aimed at saving his life.
But here is last night’s report on NPR from Larry Abramson about the clashes in the West Bank, with a very different emphasis. Not a word about Israeli attacks on Palestinians:
ABRAMSON: Palestinian authorities say this is popular resistance, a grassroots movement to bring about the release of prisoners at Ofer and other facilities. But one young man named Yousef says he has something else in mind. Why do you come here?
YOUSEF: To kill some Israeli people.
ABRAMSON: You want to kill some Israelis?
ABRAMSON: That plays against the official script of the current demonstrations.
Abramson two or three times lectured Palestinians against resorting to violence, for instance because it will destabilize the economy:
Will these protests stay focused on the prisoners, or will they spill over into the roster of grievances that led to the first and the second intifadas? Thousands died in those uprisings, which lasted for years and shut down the Palestinian economy.
Shouldn’t he be lecturing the Israelis, who have delivered more violence against Palestinians than vice versa?
And what does Abramson mean by a “roster of grievances”? It sounds like the Palestinians are complainers. Have those grievances been addressed in the 25 years since the First Intifada? Yesterday Bradley Burston wrote in Haaretz that the occupation is like slavery, a view I have often expressed (4 million slaves then, 4 million now). Well John Brown said that slavery could only be eliminated by “verry much” bloodshed; and Brown actually directed events, and that is how slavery ended, with a devastating war. I am against John Brown’s violence. But if grievous wrongs are not addressed, they will surely lead to violence.