Ronn TorossianThe author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
For anyone growing up in the Bronx in the 1970’s, and 1980’s, graffiti were visible every single day. And while the Middle East is a very different neighborhood, there’s nowhere in the world where graffiti artists – and vandals – can be deemed terrorists.
Which leads me to ask why all the media brouhaha about supposed price-tag attacks by “Jewish settlers?” Graffiti and vandalism do not equate to terrorism.
The US State Department 2013 anti-terrorism report which focuses on "extremist Israeli settlers" is completely un-balanced, and biased. Jews are not allowed in nearly every single Arab country – and the real extremists are Jewish youth who write graffiti on walls?
Rock-throwing Palestinian Arabs are referred to as “non-violent”, Arab youth gather to throw Molotov cocktails – and graffiti is a UN Crime?
Surely, the majority of Israeli Jews would wish, pray and hope that the Arabs “terrorism” consisted of vandalism and graffiti, apalling as it is – rather than the violence they perpetuate daily. This is simply upside down morality.
The report says "Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely unprosecuted [sic] according to UN and NGO sources.” How many graffiti artists have been prosecuted in the US? Do police forces generally hunt down vandals in American cities daily?
In Judea & Samaria, the authorities are concerned, as they should be, with vandalism and recklessness – but matters of human safety naturally come first. Undoubtedly, the Palestinian Arabs who throw rocks at Jews driving cars - and are rarely apprehended - are much more dangerous than those writing graffiti on walls.
The State Department report also cited "399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage" and deemed them "violent extremists." Assuming that these acts were not those of Arabs or leftists masquerading as Jewish settlers, the entire spectrum of Israeli elected officials condemns acts of violence against innocent Palestinian Arabs.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Arab leadership continues to refuse to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish State.
These price-tag attacks are not murder – it is vandalism and sometimes destruction of property. It is absolutely wrong, absolutely despicable – and the Israeli government is right to prosecute these over-zealous youth, if that is who they turn out to be – but they are not killers.
They can call it whatever else they want – but price-tag graffiti is not terrorism.
The problem in the Middle East is not over-zealous Israelis with spray cans of graffiti, who are angered at the political situation. It is Arabs with bombs and guns committed to mass murder.