Not Fake News: The Spinner Was Invented To Stop Palestinian Kids From Throwing Rocks

Anyone with kids – heck, anyone in the vicinity of kids – will recognize this contraption.

It is the latest viral toy, The Spinner (Although it does look a heck of lot like the rotating cutters of a Philishave).

And believe it or not, it was supposed to bring about peace in the Middle East.

Catherine Hettinger, a 63-year-old American who invented Spinner, the toy that captivated the hearts of children around the world, said the idea of making the toy was actually born in Israel with the goal of creating peace between Israel and the Palestinians. In a conversation with the British Guardian, she said that in the 1980s she visited her sister in Israel, when one day she saw Palestinian youths throwing stones at policemen and bystanders. At that moment she began to think of an invention that would engage the Palestinian children, and that instead of going wild they would play with it. Her initial idea was to produce a soft stone that they could throw and get out their frustration, but in the end she gave up. Catherine went back home to Orlando, where her energetic 7-year-old daughter was waiting for her, and then came up the idea that’s now conquering the world: She invented the Spinner.

The Spinner is a small toy in the shape of a rounded triangle. When you hold the center, you can rotate it. Many children like to compete with one another for who can spin his Spinner for the longest time. The toy also provides children with busy work for their own hands, like the Yo-Yo that was a hit in the past.

“Originally I wanted to find a way to help promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Katherine said. “Then I wanted to find something to distract my daughter because I was sick and could not collect her toys or play with her much. I started making toys out of newspaper and tape…she would play with it and each time we would change the shape, it calmed her and preoccupied her. Together we designed the spinner,” she added. “I do not understand why 20 years later it’s suddenly such a hit, but I’m glad kids enjoy it.”

For all of her good intentions, Catherine’s invention was never going to bring about peace. The issue is not about palestinian children “getting out their frustration.” It is about them being indoctrinated to hate Jews and love the idea of martyrdom. The only “spin” working on the palestinian children is the propaganda they are fed.

Having said that, Hamas favorite Nahoul the Bee almost invented the spinner himself once – out of a cat.

Update: For those who still think this is fake – Time reports the same thing.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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