It’s a strange world we live in, to be sure. You wouldn’t think NBC News and Hassan Nasrallah would ever, in a million years, find any common ground.
But in the video above we see the Secretary General of Hezbollah paying tribute to 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, referring to her slap of an Israeli soldier as a “bold and courageous stand” against the occupation of her village and homeland.
And perhaps almost as amazing is an article published just yesterday by NBC News under the headline Slap heard ‘round the world: Ahed Tamimi becomes symbol of Palestinian resistance . So yes, even NBC News is now referring to young Ahed’s heroic act as the “slap heard round the world”–a term I first coined back on December 21, just two days after her arrest.
And just in case the Zionist trolls start bombarding NBC with complaints, I grabbed a screenshot of the headline as it appeared on the mainstream news network’s website. Here it is:
Written by F. Brinley Bruton and Lawahez Jabari, the article notes that Ahed’s trial, which has been postponed something like three or four times now as she has languished in an Israeli prison, is scheduled, finally, to resume today. And it also says Ahed has become a role model to other Palestinians, particularly to the youth. And included is a quote to that effect from a Palestinian teen who lives in East Jerusalem:
Sineen Amereh, 16, a Palestinian resident of Arab-majority east Jerusalem, has no doubt about Tamimi’s importance to her people’s struggle against the occupation, as well as to the role of girls in that resistance.
“She’s a perfect idol for all girls her age — nobody before has done something like that,” said Amereh, an 11th grader. “If we weren’t brave, then the Israeli soldiers would think we’re weak, think we will just give up.”
Amereh says she and others are scared of soldiers like the ones Tamimi faced, but her fellow teen’s actions have given her confidence to stand up to injustice.
“Everyone is afraid, but we will keep fighting because it is not easy to give up on your land, on your home,” said Amereh.
Stunningly, the writers also allude, albeit in a somewhat ambiguous manner, to Israeli ethnic cleansing.
It is commonly felt by Arabs in east Jerusalem and the West Bank — which Israel has occupied since the 1967 war with Syria, Jordan and Egypt — that Israel is deliberately driving Palestinians from their homes. From 1967 to 2016, some 200 Jewish settlements housing around 600,000 people were built on occupied land, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. There are some 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israeli checkpoints limit the movement of Palestinians, and many cannot get to land that they say is legally theirs but lies near Jewish communities. Meanwhile, a process to create an independent Palestinian state as part of a “two-state solution” has foundered.
Admittedly, the article also quotes an Israeli Knesset member who says some nasty things, with Bruton and Jabari crediting her as “an expert on female and child Palestinian suicide bombers,” but then they go on to note what seems to be growing support for Ahed, even among prominent figures in the US:
She’s also garnered the support of a series of public figures in the U.S., including the N.F.L.’s Michael Bennett, the academic Cornel West, and the actors Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson, who signed a petition calling for her release.
The comedian Sarah Silverman provoked praise as well as outrage when she said on Twitter that Jewish people had “to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”
They also note the rise to prominence of Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, who, as I reported a few days ago, just made an appearance last week on a Washington D.C. public television station:
Amnesty International has called Bassem Tamimi a prisoner of conscience, while the European Union has labeled him a human rights defender.
Ahed’s cousin, 11-year-old Jana Tamimi, who goes by the name “Jana Jihad,” also gets a mention–along with the information that she has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook.
Ahed’s younger cousin Janna, 11, does not stay at home. She calls herself the world’s youngest journalist and has some 275,000 followers on Facebook, where she goes by the name Janna Jihad. She’s been active since the age of 6 or 7.
Janna speaks English with an American accent, and finishes many of her statements with, “So yeah.”
“I wanted to be the voice of the Palestinian children and send their message to all the world,” Janna said. “Let this world know about our suffering our feelings, our parents getting killed, our sisters and brothers getting injured and arrested.”
And the article even includes Jana’s picture:
So how to explain something of this sort being published by a staid and stalwart of the mainstream such as NBC News? My guess is that it has a lot to do with evaporating support for Israel among liberal US Jews like Sarah Silverman–Jews normally thought of as “progressive except for Israel,” who, as we approach the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, are, somewhat belatedly, beginning to find the policies of apartheid and endless occupation to grotesque to stomach.
By the way, you can access Jana Jihad’s Facebook page here. The NBC report mentions that she has 275,000 followers. Perhaps we can boost that number up to a million.