• AntiWar.com by Uri Avnery
They congregate in the marketplace, boys of 15, 16 years, take stones and throw them at our soldiers, who are armed to the teeth. The soldiers shoot, sometimes over their heads, sometimes straight at them. Every day there are wounded, every few days there are dead.
What for? They do not have the slightest chance of changing the policy of the Israeli occupation. Only very rarely do the boys hit a soldier and cause him a slight injury.
Yet they go on. Why?
A friend of mine sent me an article by a respected Palestinian. He described his first demonstration, many years ago.
The way he tells it, he was 15 years old, living in a village under occupation, hating Israeli soldiers. With a group of friends of the same age, he went to the center of his village, where a line of soldiers was waiting for them.
Each of the demonstrators picked up a stone – no lack of stones in an Arab village – and threw it at the soldiers. The stones fell far short, causing no harm.
But – and here the adult man grew ecstatic – what a wonderful feeling! For the first time in his life the boy felt that he was hitting back! He was no longer a despised, helpless Palestinian! He was upholding the dignity of his people! The old leaders may be subservient! Not he, not his friends!
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