The right to throw stones – and the need to say so: Amira Hass

Amira Hass at the International Women’s Media Foundation 2009 to receive her Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo by AP. See links at foot.

WATCH: Israeli journalist discusses her article defending Palestinian stone-throwing

By Mairav Zonszein, +972
April 12, 2013

Amira Hass, who drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in Haaretz last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article. I have embedded the interview below, which is in two parts, and highly recommend watching it.

Hass speaks so directly and cooly about the situation as she sees it – saying plainly that Israel has become a foreign ruler in this place and cannot expect to survive this way. You can understand from her answers that she is portraying what she has been witness to as a reporter in the occupied Palestinian territories for 20 years.

Here are some choice quotes from her interview I want to highlight:

Any hegemonic group, sees its hegemony, and the violence it uses, as self-evident, as a natural thing. And we do everything possible to protect this hegemony.

I don’t like the term non-violent because it puts the onus on the occupied rather than on the occupier.

Answering the question about the significance of Kerry’s visit to the region, she said

negotiation becomes an end to itself, and not a means to reach independence…U.S. policy is to keep the status quo going.

We maintain our hegemony with the use of almost unlimited institutional power against the Palestinians…Palestinians have tried many ways, diplomatic ways and others to resist Israeli domination and it has not suceeded. Stone throwing is a message, and the Israelis don’t listen to it. Twenty-five years ago in the first Intifada, Israelis did listen – they did understand it’s a message – not in order to kill or hit somebody but to tell, you are unwelcome visitors in our midst.

The two parts of Amira Hass’s interview on the Democracy Now TV channel can be reached by clicking on the headline above.

Yesha council files police complaint against Haaretz, Amira Hass

Umbrella body of municipal councils in Judea and Samaria Yesha Council says Hass op-ed, which claims “stone-throwing is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule,” legitimizes acts of terror against Jews and incites violence.

By Yori Yalon, Edna Adato and Israel Hayom Staff
April 04, 2013

The Yesha Council has filed a police complaint against Haaretz newspaper and journalist Amira Hass over an opinion piece which it said incites violence.

The op-ed was published following Tuesday’s conviction of Waal al-Arja, a former officer in the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, in the 2011 murders of 30-year-old Asher Palmer and his 1-year-old son Yonatan.

Palmer was killed after Arja and another man, Ali Saada, threw a large rock at his car as it was traveling on Route 60. As a result, Palmer lost control of the vehicle, which overturned, landing on the side of the road. Both he and his son were killed on impact.

Arja was convicted of two counts of murder in the Palmer case and 22 counts of attempted murder over a series of stone-throwing incidents on Route 60 in Judea and Samaria. His sentence is pending.

Hass’ opinion piece, titled “The inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing,” said: “Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance.”

The Yesha Council, which is an umbrella organization of municipal councils in Judea and Samaria, claimed in its police complaint that Hass’ piece was “singing the praises of stone-throwing and legitimizing such actions.”

“The piece totally disregards the fact that throwing stones is an illegal act that places Israeli lives at risk, and that such acts have caused grave injuries and death,” the council said.

The complaint cited the Palmers’ murder as well as a mid-March incident in which Adva Biton and her three young daughters were wounded after stones hurled at their car on a Samaria road caused it to collide with an oncoming truck. Two-year-old Adele Biton sustained a severe head injury and is still fighting for her life.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel was also vexed by Hass’ opinion piece and filed a petition with Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein urging him to launch an investigation against Haaretz, its editor Aluf Benn and Hass, for inciting violence.

The forum’s legal counsel, attorney Hila Cohen, wrote in the petition that Hass’ “grave statements constitute incitement to violence and encouraging murderous acts of terror.”

Haaretz was unavailable for comment.

Notes and links
The two parts of Amira Hass’s interview on the Democracy Now TV channel can be reached by clicking on the top headline.
Palestinian schools should teach forms of resistance Amira Hass, April 03, 2013
For the International Women’s Media Foundation 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award to Amira Hass, see International Women’s Media Foundation Honors Israeli Journalist

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