The Palestinian Lioness and the Slap Heard Round the World

Ahed Tamimi

[ Ed. note – Below is a compilation of articles that have been posted in the last 24 hours or so on the arrest of Ahed Tamimi along now with other members of her family.

Ahed was arrested in the  pre-dawn hours of Monday morning after slapping an Israeli soldier in the face. The slap heard round the world took place as soldiers were attempting to enter the Tamimi family home and shortly after Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin had been shot in the head with a rubber coated steel bullet. According to one of the reports below, from The Intercept, the cousin is now in a “medically-induced coma” following surgery in which doctors “removed the bullet from the boy’s skull.”

Naftali Bennett, Israeli minister of education, reportedly has called for Ahed to be imprisoned for life.

The articles below include news reports as well as commentaries. ]


Fight Like a Girl, Fight Like Ahed Tamimi

By Romy Haber

The Palestinian theater holds many stories, including the gruesome fairy tale of Ahed Tamimi, the teenager who is not afraid of slapping IDF soldiers to protect her freedom and family. She may have to pay the price.

A child will often prefer to play and stay away from politics, and parents, most of the time, want their kids to be safe. But it’s not the case in the Tamimi family. Ahed, the Palestinian lioness chose to be a political activist, to spend her time fighting for her rights and country, she was only 9 years old when she started getting involved in protests, and now she is an icon of the demonstrations held in Nabi Saleh.

“We cannot teach our children silence; they must fight for their freedom.” Said Bilal Tamimi, her uncle.

Ahed Tamimi is not the only courageous Palestinian to fight and protest, her fame began in 2012 when a video of her ,yelling at soldiers twice her size when they arrested her older brother ,went viral. It led to her winning the “Handala Courage Award”. And the curly haired teenager kept on fighting to resist occupation until she became a dangerous threat to Israel.

Continued here


How a Palestinian Girl from an Occupied Village Emasculated the Israeli Army

By Yossi Gurvitz
Ahed Tamimi exposed the brittleness of the IDFs’ supporters’ masculinity – and the true purpose of hasbara

Last Friday, as part of the ongoing operations of the Israeli military dictatorship in support of the settlers, an IDF gunman fired a rubber-coated bullet into the head of Muhammad Tamimi, aged 15, in the Palestinian village of Nabi Salah. The village has been holding a years-long struggle against the attempt of settlers, backed by the gunmen of the IDF, to overtake a water spring, and as a result it suffers an unusually oppressive regime.

The Israeli media did not pay any attention to an Israeli jackboot firing a bullet at the head of 15 years old. As everyone knows, daily events are not news. Nothing to report.

What happened afterwards, however, was extensively covered. Two gunmen appeared in the courtyard of the Tamimi family house (the Israeli media generally omitted the last detail). There they found themselves faced with a stubborn Palestinian girl, ‘Ahed Tamimi. Tamimi has a long record of fearlessly opposing the jackboots. The Israeli media likes to call these incidents “provocations”: As in the old American South, the provocation is not the general white persecution, but the very presence of a downtrodden person who dares to publicly oppose his persecutors. This is considered as acting “out of bounds.”

The established order is that the gunmen may shoot Tamimi’s relative in the head, and then invade her house. But facing the gunmen – that’s the provocation, as far most Israelis are concerned.

The video of Tamimi slapping IDF gunmen was taken on Friday, reached the Israeli media on Monday, and caused the supporters of the IDF to let out a long and mournful scream. The army’s pride was lying on the road, and a Palestinian girl threw it there. Thousands of Israeli man-children were screaming for vengeance. They said, repeatedly, that the proper function of a Palestinian girl in the presence of an Israeli gunman is to piss herself; their pride was mortally wounded when it turned out differently and an unarmed girl managed to drive away an Israeli gunman with yells and a few slaps – as you would deal with anyone invading your home.

There was a pronounced element of gender role reversal here – I frankly don’t think a Palestinian boy could walk away from such an incident without taking a bullet – and the man-children spent much of their sexual rage on the soldiers themselves: they were repeatedly called “gays” or “trannys”. Which, incidentally, gives you a good glimpse into the psyche of the army-loving men-children.

The first official line of the IDF was that the gunmen acted properly, but the howls about the wounding of the military pride penetrated this shell. A few hours after the video was made public, the IDF proudly showed it was the manliest of them all: Large forces of police and army raided, at four AM, the Tamimi house and detained ‘Ahed. The gunmen took care to document the arrest on video, and quickly released it to the Israeli media with an official logo. The latter published it quickly and prominently. The great IDF recaptured its honor from the hands of a Palestinian girl. Go, go, go!

Continued here


A Tale of Two Girls: Ahed Tamimi and Bana al-Abed Highlight Media Bias


Comparing western media coverage of two Middle Eastern girls – one from the occupied West Bank and one from eastern Aleppo – reveals the media is beholden to the imperatives of US foreign policy.

On Monday night, Israeli forces arrested Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old girl Palestinian girl. She now sits in a military prison awaiting judgement. But if you’re watching US mainstream media, you wouldn’t know it. That’s because the coverage of Tamimi – or lack thereof – is in stark contrast to the case of Bana al-Abed, an eight-year-old Syrian girl who became an almost overnight media sensation in October 2016.

Ahed Tamimi is from the hamlet of Nabi Saleh, one of a handful of West Bank villages which stages weekly demonstrations against Israel’s 50-year occupation. Every Friday, dozens of villagers are joined by international solidarity activists as they attempt to march towards the spring that Israeli forces confiscated for a neighboring settlement. They are invariably stopped by heavily armed Israeli soldiers who employ a variety of tactics to suppress the marchers, injuring and occasionally killing them. Israeli soldiers frequently target the village with collective punishment measures.

Ahed is the daughter of prominent anti-occupation activists Bassem and Nariman Tamimi. Her father, Bassem, was called a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in 2012, when Israeli forces imprisoned him for non-violent activism. In 2012, a widely-seen photo of then 12-year-old Ahed confronting an Israeli soldier earned her recognition from then-Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Tamimi image went viral again in 2015, after they were photographed and kicking and biting an Israeli soldier who was choking Ahed’s 11-year-old brother Mohammed. In 2016, the State Department denied Ahed a visa to visit the US as part of her “No Child Behind Bars/Living Resistance” speaking tour.

During last Friday’s demonstrations, Israeli soldiers shot Mohammed, 14, in the head with a rubber coated bullet. He is now in a medically induced coma. A video filmed Sunday that circulated across Israeli media showing Ahed and her cousin Nour, 20, confronting and pushing Israeli soldiers who were blocking the steps to their family home. The video was widely circulated across Israeli media as commentators praised the soldiers as an example restraint for not attacking the girls on the spot.

Instead, Israeli forces stormed the Tamimi home early the next morning under the cover of darkness, arresting Ahed. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested the following day, and her cousin Nour was arrested overnight. Bassem Tamimi was summoned for questioning Wednesday when we went to the Ofer military court to see Ahed, though he has not been formally arrested.

Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett, a leader of the far-right Jewish Home party [Bayit Yehudit], called for Tamimi and her cousin Nour to “finish their lives in prison.” In contrast, Bennett said Elor Azaria, an Israeli soldier who was filmed executing a wounded Palestinian, should be freed from his 18-month jail sentence.

Despite the high profile nature of Ahed’s arrest, US media has taken a de-facto vow of silence – in glaring contrast to US media’s fixation with Bana al-Abed.

As fighting in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and jihadist groups intensified in September 2016, a Twitter account of seven-year-old al-Abed appeared, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers almost overnight. The account claimed to be tweeting from the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo under control of al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, though it was unclear how that was possible as internet access was largely unavailable. Twitter had even verified the account, in violation of its own rules which prohibit verification for minors.

Media personalities like CNN anchor Jake Tapper promoted  al-Abed’s account, urging his millions of Twitter followers to “Follow @AlabedBana.” (Tapper again called for his followers to follow  al-Abed in April 2017 in a tweet since deleted.)

With help from her mother Fatemah, she tweeted calls for no-fly zones and US military escalation to overthrow the Assad government, and even a third world war. In contrast to her tweets which demonstrated near fluency,  al-Abed’s spoken language was broken – an indication that she had little to no grasp of the English language.

Continued here


Israel Tackles Existential Threat Posed by 16-Year-Old Palestinian Girl

By Robert Mackey

On Wednesday an Israeli military court extended the detention of Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old girl who has become the face of Palestinian resistance to Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank for many who follow the weekly protests in her village through social media.

The girl was arrested in an overnight raid of her family’s home in the village of Nabi Saleh early Monday.

The arrest, and images of the less-than-daring raid released by the Israeli police to broadcasters, appeared to be an effort to placate far-right Israelis who were angered by video recorded last Friday, as the Palestinian teenager and a female cousin forced two heavily armed Israeli soldiers from her front yard, slapping and kicking them.

The outrage was stoked by Israelis, who claimed that the confrontation with the soldiers had been staged to generate sympathy and made no mention of the fact that the incident took place after an Israeli soldier shot Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet during a demonstration against the ongoing military occupation. The girl’s father, Bassem, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that his daughter, who will be 17 in January, was angry because her cousin Mohammed had been shot, and it was unclear at the time if he would survive. (Over the weekend, doctors removed the bullet from the boy’s skull and he was placed in a medically induced coma.)

Video of the incident had been widely shared over the weekend on social networks by Israelis who variously expressed pride in the “quiet restraint” shown by the soldiers and outrage that they appeared to have been bullied by a girl.

As Palestinian activists noted, however, that reading of the incident ignores the fact that the soldiers were on the family’s property, in an area that has been under military occupation for more than half a century.

One copy of the clip posted on Facebook by far-right rapper Yoav Eliasi, known to his fans as The Shadow, was viewed more than a million times, along with his caption decrying the supposed “impotence” of Israel’s “castrated army.”

As the Haaretz correspondent Anshel Pfeffer observed following the girl’s arrest, “What no one could explain was why, if indeed there was a valid reason to apprehend her, was she not taken into custody on Friday? Unless, that is, the real charge against her is having made Israeli soldiers look impotent on camera.”

Continued here


Tamimi Women Send Love from Israeli Prison

By Ali Abunimah

Ahed, Nariman and Nour Tamimi are in high spirits and are sending greetings to supporters around the world from their cells in HaSharon prison where Israel is detaining them.

Ahed, 16, her mother Nariman and her 21-year-old cousin Nour were arrested in recent days by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

This followed violence on Friday when occupation forces shot Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, a 14-year-old member of the extended family, in the head leaving him gravely injured.

The Tamimi women then ordered the occupation soldiers off the family property and tried to remove them physically.

A video of heavily armed Israeli soldiers being forcefully confronted by Palestinian civilians defending their village was widely shown in Israeli media and prompted a campaign of threats and revenge by Israeli leaders against the Tamimi family.

The Israeli army published a video to brag about its night raid to seize Ahed Tamimi from her home, prompting outrage and expressions of solidarity with the teenager and her family from all over the world.

On Thursday, Nariman and Nour were taken before Israel’s Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank. Just as the court did with Ahed in a hearing the day before, their detention was extended at least until Monday.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, posted on Facebook following Thursday’s hearing that all three are being held in HaSharon prison – Nariman and Nour in one cell and Ahed in another.

According to Bassem, they are being held in the section of the prison for Israeli criminals instead of the section where Palestinian women are usually detained.

Ahed, Nariman and Nour are in high spirits and “sending their love and respect for you, our partners in our struggle for freedom and justice,” Bassem Tamimi wrote.