Palestinian Stone Attacks and Double Standards

Only when it is used against Israelis is stoning not seen as a violation of human rights.

When it comes to Israel there’s a perpetual double-standard that exists. And indeed today there seems to be a debate about whether stone-throwing is violent and can be deadly. In Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates execution by stoning is a legal punishment.

Wikipedia defines stoning as “a method of execution in which an organized group throws stones or rocks at the person they wish to execute. Although it takes many different forms, stoning has been used throughout history and in many religious and cultural traditions as a kind of community justice or capital punishment.” Stones kill and are indeed dangerous and violent.

In the past, Amnesty International has called upon countries not to abuse human rights by renouncing the use of stoning as a punishment.  Even a Public Relations pro who works in spin wouldn’t possibly debate the fact that stoning is a violent, potentially deadly crime.

Indeed, there are so many examples: In March, headlines in Kashmir, India blared that police charged four people with murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for throwing rocks at cars. There is a massive man-hunt in place to find two other stone-throwers who have not yet been captured.

In a 2010 video that circulated online widely in northwest Pakistan, a woman was stoned to death by Taliban members.  Her crime was being seen out with a man, and State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the brutal stoning of a woman in Orakzai, Pakistan. … The vicious attack … is a chilling example of the cowardly disregard violent extremists have for human life.”

“The stoning of this couple is a heinous crime. The Taliban and other insurgent groups are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

An international women’s rights’ organization, “The Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign,” was launched in 2007 in Istanbul and they state that “Stoning is a grave and serious violation of International Human Rights Law. Stoning breeches the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights (1966).” In that same year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said, “Stoning is in clear violation of international law.” A young mother found guilty of adultery in Sudan was sentenced to death by stoning and there was an outcry from human rights organizations. At the time, Amnesty International said: “Stoning is a method of execution designed to increase the suffering of the victim, which means it is an extreme and cruel form of torture.”

America is clear about rocks. American border patrol police are on the record as saying they “considers rock-throwing to be deadly force which sometimes demands the same in response.”  And rest assured, anyone who disagrees should throw rocks at their local police station – will anyone be amazed when they are shot?

Day after day, stoning occurs in Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs are emblazoned with title “non-violent protestors.” Yet, these are indeed very violent attacks, and stone throwers are violent terrorists. As Israeli Cabinet member Naftali Bennett said, “Rocks kill… Some people take rock throwing lightly, and prevent action against them. Rock throwers are trying to murder and they need to be treated accordingly.”

Worldwide, stoning is dangerous and human-rights organizations denounce stone-throwing.  They should do precisely the same when stones are directed at Jews in Israel.

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