Despite rather obvious attempts by Zionist media to deliberately downplay the story of her arrest, Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi is rapidly becoming an international cause célèbre. She has made news in Pakistan, India, and Singapore, and her face can now be seen on billboards at bus stops and train stations in London.
All of this of course is being watched by Israelis in exasperation and perhaps with something akin to panic now setting in. Take the comments of Michael Oren for instance, former Israeli ambassador to the US. In what sounds like a desperate attempt at staving off a public relations disaster, Oren claims the Tamimis “may not be a real family,” and then goes on to imply that Ahed is not actually the daughter of her mother and father, Bassem and Nariman Tamimi, but a paid actor.
“The Tamimi family–which may not be a real family–dresses up kids in American clothes and pays them to provoke (Israeli) troops on camera,” Oren purported on Twitter.
“This cynical and cruel use of children constitutes abuse. Human rights organizations must investigate!” he added.
Oren’s claim sounds very much to me like the fevered imagination of someone who is in full panic mode.
And of course you have to wonder how many other Israeli officials are similarly distraught at present.
For the benefit of anyone who may have been sleepwalking for the past ten days, Ahed Tamimi is the Palestinian girl who was arrested on December 19 after slapping an Israeli soldier. Her mother and her cousin are also in custody.
Another Israeli who seems to have gone off the deep end over the affair is Ben Caspit, author and prominent journalist for the daily Ma’ariv.
“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras,” Caspit wrote.
Though the writer didn’t specify what “price” he had in mind, the statement sounds threatening to say the least, and perhaps more than a tad bit maniacal. Caspit’s article originally appeared in Hebrew, here, but the gist of his comments have been translated into English, here.
Another engaged in teeth gnashing (though perhaps not to the extent of Caspit) is the Jewish Chronicle which just today published an article decrying the “Controversy over campaign to make teenager who slapped Israeli soldier a heroine.”
Of course there is nothing “controversial” at all about Ahed’s status as global heroine–other than in the minds of Zionists. For the rest of humanity, a defenseless teenage girl with the temerity to slap a soldier in combat gear is probably inevitably going to win praise and acclaim–especially when the soldier represents a brutal occupation that has disgusted the world while dragging on for decades. Nevertheless, Ben Weich, the writer of the article, puts the words “peace activist” in quotes in his lead-paragraph reference to Ahed.
There may be other reasons for panic as well. A group of 63 Israeli students from high schools across the country have signed a letter saying they will defy mandatory military service despite the risk of jail.
“The army implements the policy of a racist government that violates basic human rights, which applies one law to Israelis and another to the Palestinians in the same area,” the letter states.
The students cite the “occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people,” and say they want to “change the entire system.” Whether the Ahed’s arrest and detention was a factor in their decision to come forth with such a letter at this time is not clear, but the missive is addressed to: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.
Of the recipients named, Bennett and Lieberman have each issued particularly venomous statements regarding the slap heard round the world. Lieberman has vowed that “not only the girl but also her parents and those around them will not escape from what they deserve,” while Bennet has called for Ahed to be locked up for the rest of her life.
And to top it all off, yesterday an Israeli court extended Ahed’s detention once again–for the third time since she was arrested. In following such a course, the Israelis are doing nothing but making things worse on themselves, but apparently they are too blind to realize this.
Below are a few articles I’ve gathered to help keep readers updated on the case.
Activists Bring London Commuters Face-to-Face with Ahead Tamimi
By Natasha Roth
Commuters across London came face-to-face with the occupation on Thursday, after local activist groups put up posters at bus stops around the city calling for the release of Ahed Tamimi. The project — conceived and executed by London Palestine Action and Protest Stencil — hit London’s streets nine days after Israeli soldiers took Ahed, 16, from her Nabi Saleh home in the middle of the night, and is the latest in a series of global protests against the arrest.
“Following Ahed’s arrest, we wanted to publicly show solidarity again — with Ahed, with the Tamimi family, with Nabi Saleh,” Leila White of London Palestine Action told +972 Magazine. “Many of those involved in London Palestine Action have been to Nabi Saleh, and have joined protests there, have marched behind Ahed and her family.”
Icon of Resistance: Palestinian Teenager Ahed Tamimi Who Slapped Israeli Soldier to Face Charges
A 16-year-old Palestinian girl, who has been hailed as a national hero will face charges of assault in an Israeli military court, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Ahed Tamimi was held until Monday along with her mother Nariman, 43, a military spokeswoman said. It was later announced that she will be charged for “insulting a soldier” and “aggravated assault.”
Her cousin Nour, 21, is to be released on Sunday if no new evidence is presented by then.
Ahead Tamimi’s Father: Israeli Occupation Won’t Break Us
Bassem Tamimi, father of jailed 16-year old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, says the arrest of Ahed along with her mother and cousin won’t break the family’s determination to resist Israeli occupation.
Interview with Bassem Tamimi | 29 Dec 2017
AARON MATÉ: It’s the Real News. I’m Aaron Maté. Last week, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi was arrested by Israeli forces at her home in the occupied West Bank, joining hundreds of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces each year. Ahed was seized just days after a video went viral of her confronting an Israeli soldier. Just minutes earlier, Israeli forces had shot Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin at close range in the face, leaving him in a coma. On Monday, an Israeli court ordered Ahed, her cousin and her mother, who was arrested when she came to visit Ahed to remain behind bars for at least four more days.
Why is the State of Israel so Afraid of 16-Year-Old Ahed Tamimi?
By Ariel Gold, Taylor Morley
Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi was back in court Thursday, with the judge ruling for the third time that her detention is extended, this time for another five days. Over the past week and a half, Ahed has been shuffled between numerous Israeli prisons and police stations. She has been held in cold isolation cells with cameras pointed at her 24 hours a day. Repeatedly, without a parent or lawyer present, they have attempted to interrogate her. The reasoning for the judge’s rulings to extend her detention is that she “poses a risk” to the military and the Israeli government’s case against her.
Israel is right that Ahed Tamimi poses a risk. But it isn’t a risk to one of the most heavily armed and advanced militaries in the world or to the legal case being built against her. The risk she poses is in her refusal to submit to the Israeli demand that Palestinians acquiesce to their own occupation. Israeli logic is that Palestinians should cooperate with their own oppression. They should move quietly through the checkpoints, open their bags, not look their occupiers in the eye and not challenge or protest the theft of their lands, resources and freedoms. Israeli logic is that if they don’t like it, they can leave. Actually, they would strongly prefer that Palestinians leave. The strategy is to make life so unbearable for Palestinians, that they leave willingly. This even has a name: “voluntary transfer.”
Why is the West Praising Malala, but Ignoring Ahed?
By Shenila Khoja-Moolji
Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, was recently arrested in a night-time raid on her home. The Israeli authorities accuse her of “assaulting” an Israeli soldier and an officer. A day earlier she had confronted Israeli soldiers who had entered her family’s backyard. The incident happened shortly after a soldier shot her 14-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, and fired tear-gascanisters directly at their home, breaking windows.
Her mother and cousin were arrested later as well. All three remain in detention.
There has been a curious lack of support for Ahed from Western feminist groups, human rights advocates and state officials who otherwise present themselves as the purveyors of human rights and champions of girls’ empowerment.
[Additional editor’s note: photo at the top of this post was taken by Protest Stencil. You can visit their Twitter page here. ]