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Dear Palestinians, play with fidget spinners, not rocks Open in fullscreen

Diana Alghoul

Dear Palestinians, play with fidget spinners, not rocks

Fidget spinners are taking the world by craze [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 May, 2017

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The inventor of the fidget spinner, Catherine Hettinger claims she invented it during the 1980s when the Palestinian intifada was at its peak, as a distraction for Palestinian kids.
We’ve all seen fidget spinners by now. They’re taking the streets, schools and even offices by storm with children, and now even adults having one in their hands. 

While it seems as though it is a new invention that hit supermarket and toy store shelves by craze, it was actually invented in the 1980s. It was also invented for children; specifically, Palestinian children.

The inventor of the fidget spinner, Catherine Hettinger, decided to talk about what inspired her to invent the fidget spinner with CNN Money.

She told them that she had invented it during the 1980s when the Palestinian intifada was at its peak, as a distraction for Palestinian kids.

Apparently, according to Hettinger, inventing a fidget spinner would distract children Palestinian children, who were, and still are living and breathing an occupation, from wanting to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers.

She believed that this toy would soothe their anxieties on whether their houses would be demolished, whether they or their parents would be detained without trial, or even whether they would face aggression from armed Israeli soldiers.

Honestly, it shouldn't be a surprise, because surely if there was real awareness as to what feeds the occupation and what feeds the frustration that provokes violent retaliation, the occupation would have ended decades ago.

Be it in the 80s during the intifada, or in 2017 when settlements in the West Bank are rapidly growing, the rhetoric behind Hettinger's allegedly genius invention cannot be excused.

This is not to say Palestinians are struck with offence at this gesture; it is actually the least of their concerns. 

When houses are being demolished, children are being burnt to death by settlers, and nearly 2 million people in Gaza risk living in an uninhabitable environment by 2020, there are more urgent matters than a person inventing a gadget out of ignorance to worry about.

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