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Posts Tagged ‘Tamimi’

A Little Village in the Hills and the Monsters it Spawns

Monday, March 18th, 2013

If you want to affect how people think about an issue, putting your case onto the cover of the New York Times Magazine must be one of the most effective things to do. And, given the intense competition, one of the hardest. So if the editors of the NYT (108 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization; 30 million unique visitors per month to its website; the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States – according to Wikipedia) give you the cover of the prestigious Magazine, it’s a massive vote of confidence, a huge privilege, a platform of the most effective kind that (probably) can’t be bought for money.

Friends have pointed us to this week’s NYT Magazine cover story, published Sunday. It’s devoted to a Palestinian Arab village set in the hills a few kilometers north of where we live in Jerusalem. It’s a place the author calls “spirited,” where “on warm summer evenings, life… could feel almost idyllic. Everyone knows everyone.” He says “a pilgrimage” to this magical place “has achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.

How can you not be captivated?But there is much wrong with the picture he conjures up. We know this because for years we have been tracking the media’s romance with the community called Nabi Saleh. Sitting here and looking over the online version of it, we are furious with anger about what the article says, and what the writer and his editors carefully avoid saying.

Start with some background: the Wikipedia entry for Nabi Saleh describes the village of some 550 people in notably gentle terms. Centered on an old religious shrine to the prophet Shelah whom we encounter in Genesis as the son of Judah and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, it was a hamlet of a mere five houses in the late nineteenth century when the Turks ruled the area. It grew slowly under the Jordanian military occupation that started in 1948; then declined when Israel took control of Judea and Samaria in 1967, and flourished and multiplied in the past two decades. Today, it’s the scene of weekly protest demonstrations and, to judge from Wikipedia’s English-language version, a place where things are done to passive inhabitants for no apparent reason.

Now if you go to the Arabic-language version of Wikipedia, you see a quite different emphasis. It’s not at all a direct translation of the English version. It’s created by different people for a different audience and different sensibilities. The Arabic Wikipedia entry depicts Nabi Saleh as a place of “popular resistance” that boasts of having taken a prominent role in two Intifadas, providing “hundreds of prisoners” and 17 so-called “martyrs on the altar of freedom.” The most prominent of the prisoners (Wikipedia’s description) is a woman called Ahlam. Her surname is shared with almost every other inhabitant of the village: Tamimi.

But it is Bassem Tamimi who is the focus of the article. He calls the Intifada launched by Yasser Arafat in 2000 “the big mistake… Politically, we went backward.”The NYT writer helps us understand what kind of backward he means:

Much of the international good will gained over the previous decade was squandered. Taking up arms wasn’t, for Bassem, a moral error so much as a strategic one. He and everyone else I spoke with in the village insisted they had the right to armed resistance; they just don’t think it works.

Or to say it another way: they are entitled to kill the Israelis and have done so again and again, but it’s not effective. A different kind of warfare therefore needs to be adopted.

Half-way through the essay, he introduces a figure who embodies that “big mistake”:

In 1993, Bassem told me, his cousin Said Tamimi killed a settler near Ramallah. Eight years later, another villager, Ahlam Tamimi escorted a bomber to a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors. Ahlam, who now lives in exile in Jordan, and Said, who is in prison in Israel, remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.

That’s all he writes about Ahlam Tamimi but we can tell you more. She is a Jordanian who was 21 years old and the news-reader on official Palestinian Authority television when she signed on with Hamas to become a terrorist. She engineered, planned and helped execute a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on a hot summer afternoon in 2001. She chose the target, a restaurant filled with Jewish children. And she brought the bomb. The outcome (15 killed, a sixteenth still in a vegetative state today, 130 injured) was so uplifting to her that she has gone on camera again and again to say, smiling into the camera lens, how proud she is of what she did. She is entirely free of regret. A convicted felon and a mass-murderer convicted on multiple homicide charges, she has never denied the role she embraced and justifies it fully.

Arabs Sending Children to Provoke and Be Killed by Israeli Soldiers

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

On Sept. 12, Tamar Sternthal (director of the Israel office for CAMERA) reported on the dangerous use of children by Palestinian protesters to score political points, in ‘Cheap Shots: Palestinians put kids in the line of fire‘.

“There’s nothing like a photograph of an innocent child caught up in military conflict to elicit sympathy, rage, and at times, international intervention.

On a media stage far away from Hollywood, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, where photographers gather every Friday to document repetitious scenes of Palestinian residents and international activists clashing with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian activists are placing their children in ever-more-visible roles. Unlike scenes in “Wag the Dog,” a black comedy, there’s nothing funny about parents exploiting their own children to score propaganda points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Unfortunately, that’s just what happened on Friday, August 24, when A’hd Tamimi, and her cousin Marah Tamimi, both 11, were photographed by Agence France-Presse tearfully being restrained by Israeli soldiers.

Days later, photos of the distraught girls appeared in Australia’s Fairfax media outlets alongside a Page-1 article charging the Israeli army with the routine abuse of Palestinian children. “An Israeli soldier restrains a Palestinian girl crying over the arrest of her mother during a protest over land confiscation in al-Nabi Saleh,” stated one caption in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Slamming the article’s “unnamed sources, hearsay and propaganda,” Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, also charged that the Palestinian leadership “blatantly use[s] children” and “presents a fable where Israel’s curtailing of violence is tantamount to abuse of children.”

Chester was not specifically addressing the photographs of the appealing young Tamimi girls under the thumb of the Israeli military, but he may as well have been.

A’hd is the daughter of Narimen and Bassem, prominent activists in the Popular Resistance, and Marah’s father is Naji, another leader in the weekly demonstrations.

In other words, the girls’ parents are among those who determine the protests’ strategies. Rather than keeping their children at a safe distance from the often-violent clashes, the parents encouraged their children to play highly visible roles in the confrontation with the army.

Narimen is a participant in B’Tselem’s video project, in which the prominent Israeli NGO distributes video cameras to Palestinians to “present the reality of their lives to the Israeli and the international public.”

This is not the first time she has exploited children and distorted reality. In a 2011 video of the arrest of an 11-year-old stone-thrower, Narimen filmed as a Palestinian man instructed the boy’s mother not to join him on the police vehicle, even while Israeli authorities repeatedly asked her to board the van. Later media reports falsely claimed that the Israeli police forbade his parents from accompanying him.

Despite complaints about her cynical exploitation of Palestinian children in order to produce anti-Israel propaganda, Narimen has not stopped using children as props. To the contrary, she has since enlisted her own daughter.

In a 16-minute video posted on the Nabi Saleh Solidarity blog, the two girls can be seen leading a crowd marching toward a spring that the army has deemed off-limits. A’hd and Marah are filmed at length, cursing the soldiers and trying to get around them. Marah can be seen running some distance to approach and confront soldiers. And when Narimen and two other women are arrested, the girls refuse to let go, interfering with the arrests. An army spokesman later said that the detainees, who were held for a few hours, had been throwing rocks.”

Here’s a screen capture from the video.

Here’s photo taken that day promoted on pro-Palestinian sites.

But, that isn’t all.

Here’s Marah and A’hd with PA President Mahmoud Abbas getting official recognition for her ‘bravery’ at the August 24 incident.

Here’s another photo of the event:

The site where the photo was published, Nabi Selah Solidarity, added the following:

“The actions of A’hd Tamimi and Marah Tamimi, the two young girls who attempted to prevent the arrest of non-violent resistance leader Nariman Tamimi by Israeli Occupation Forces on Friday, was recognised on Monday.  A’hd is the daughter of  Nariman and Palestinian non-violent resistance leader Bassem Tamimi who was jailed for over year for leading the non-violent resistance in Nabi Saleh.  Marah is the daugher of  Naji Tamimi, another Nabi Saleh non-violent resistance leader who was also jailed for over a year for his non-violent opposition to Israel’s military occupation.”

But, the exploitation of the two girls has not ended.

The Algemeiner reported the following, in ‘Video captures Palestinian girl attempting to provoke IDF‘, Nov. 5:

“A video shot at a Friday protest in the village of Nabi Salih, in the central West Bank, captured a striking image: that of a young Palestinian girl [A'hd Tamimi] attempting to provoke Israeli soldiers. Soon thereafter the girl is joined by many other seemingly young-looking people from the village.

A senior IDF source told Ynet that intelligence indicates that pro-Palestinian activists pay Palestinian children from Nabi Salih and other nearby villages to confront the soldiers. “The soldiers are briefed on the fact that these protests are staged for the sake of provocation, so that they could be filmed acting violently and so that those videos could be distributed worldwide in an effort to harm the IDF’s image,” the officer said.

According to Ynet, Abir Kubati, spokesperson of the popular protest coordination committee, said: “I don’t understand what the army wants – they send soldiers into a Palestinian village and then dare to depict themselves as victims because the residents don’t welcome them.”

“You’re a traitor! I know you speak Arabic. Our soldiers are stronger than you! I’ll smash your head,” the 10-year-old girl is heard in the video screaming at the soldier in Arabic, according to a translation provided by Ynet.”

Placing innocent Palestinian children in potentially dangerous situations, cynically hoping for a media coup stemming from any overreaction by IDF soldiers, is indeed shameful.

However,  such provocations by the Tamimis pale in comparison to an antisemitic Palestinian political culture which consistently sends messages to their youth that martyrdom – dying, or even murdering Israeli Jews, to advance the Palestinian cause – is one of the most important political values they should aspire to.

Here are a few clips of chilling child abuse, routinely sanctioned by Palestinian society, which the Guardian won’t report.

Visit CifWatch.com.

What Might Civilized People be Thinking When Sociopaths Like Tamimi Bask in Adulation?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

http://thisongoingwar.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/21-aug-12-what-might-civilized-people.html

After receiving some offline comments on the Tamimi speech we publicized yesterday, we have a few further thoughts to share. The urge to do this is triggered by a sense that something deeply disturbing is going on; it’s being ignored or willfully not noticed by people who ought to be noticing.

When a politician or public figure on our side of the fence makes an ignorant or dumb or smart or incisive statement, particularly when it’s about the Arabs (you know the examples), his/her comments are greeted with near-instant analysis and frequently with condemnation from a global array of press and politicians. The Arab media focus obsessively on such things. Outside the Arab/Islamic world, we frequently see European, American, Australian and other critics drawing wide inferences about how those specific Israeli views are going to bring on the next Black Plague or an increase in pogroms in France. The claim, at minimum, is that irreparable harm is going to be caused to the souls and DNA of innocent Israeli children, to world peace and so on.

To illustrate: when a posse of Israeli delinquents (it happens to be a very current issue here) beat up an Arab youth in a street fight, the New York Times says the event has led to “a stark national conversation about racism, violence, and how Israeli society could have come to this point” That’s an actual quote: check it out. We think the Times‘ journalist’s conclusion is overwrought nonsense, but that’s not the point. Israel is not, never has been and should never be, immune to criticism, or even object to it, and mostly doesn’t.

Now think for a moment about how Ahlam Tamimi and her hundreds of published interviews and speeches are treated by global public opinion. Pay attention in particular to how Arabs view her, since they are her principal audience.

No one – certainly not the woman herself – denies the fact that she planned and carried out a premeditated killing on a large and vicious scale, which was the whole point of doing it. The law convicted her on the basis that she’s a murderer; she says (more or less) that she did it for the freedom and honour of her nation. The fact that she planned to kill and succeeded mightily has never been in dispute. She does not miss an opportunity to say that it was children, and specifically Jewish children, and even more specifically orthodox Jewish children like ours, who were the target. She regrets that she did not kill more – it’s there in yesterday’s video and in numerous other speeches and earlier videos recorded in her Jordanian freedom.

She appears on television and in front of adoring crowds (ask us if you want to view the video files) and expresses the vilest kind of racist hatred of Jews, Israelis and Zionists. She has done this many times since she unjustly got her freedom in October and her message is hugely amplified by the social media. She is a star on YouTube, a hero on Facebook. She is globally broadcast via satellite television into every corner of the Arabic-speaking world. It’s arguable that she has the largest footprint of any ordinary murderer (ignoring “celebrities” like Hitler, Mao, Stalin et al) in human history. If that seems like an overstatement then we urge you to concede that she is in the major leagues. The fact that most people don’t know this is largely because most people don’t speak Arabic.

She smiles warmly when she says she killed those Jews, and her god wanted her to do it. She points to how she has subsequently been rewarded with freedom, fame, a wedding that received live television coverage. The adoring crowds applaud and ululate. The encouragement (and probably the will) to emulate her actions is clear.

How many Arabic speakers are there in the world? A quick query on the web turns up these numbers: “280 million native speakers, and an extra 250 million non-native speakers” [source]. How many Arabic newspapers? Many.

Here’s our point: We have searched and have not yet found a blog, article, published speech or op-ed in her language, Arabic, which criticizes the woman or her views. So far, not one. If our readers can point us to exceptions, please do.

So You Thought PM Netanyahu is Tough on Terrorism? Not Exactly

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Last week, our government sent my daughter’s murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, a pre-wedding gift.

Tamimi, the woman who engineered the 2001 massacre in Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant, was released from prison by the Israeli government in October 2011. Along with 1,027 other terrorists, many of them murderers like her, she was freed to secure the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Since then, she has been explicitly inciting audiences throughout the Arab world to further acts of terror.

Nevertheless, on June 7, Israel chose to deliver her the man to whom she became betrothed by proxy in prison some years ago. Like Tamimi, her fiancé and cousin Nizar al-Tamimi is a murderer, serving a life sentence until he too was freed in the Shalit transaction.

My daughter Malki, 15, was among the victims of the Sbarro massacre. For years, aware of the pressure from Hamas to see Ahlam Tamimi freed, my husband and I wrote and spoke at every opportunity about the danger and injustice of that move.

Even now, it is beyond our comprehension how the Netanyahu government could have included her in the swap. In the days following the release, revelations about alternate and feasible means – ones never pursued by our leaders – to rescue Shalit, deepened our pain. Now we are reeling from this fresh outrage.

Perhaps aware of the Tamimis’ wedding plans, Israel’s release of al-Tamimi in October 2011 stipulated that he remain in the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Any attempt to leave would amount to a violation, subjecting him to re-arrest and re-imprisonment for life.

Three weeks ago, the Arab media reported that al-Tamimi presented himself at the Allenby Bridge seeking to enter Jordan and was refused. Ahlam Tamimi claimed the Israelis had agreed to allow her fiancé to join her and then reneged.

The matter received no local coverage, so we contacted the Shabak, Israel’s General Security Service, on May 22. We asked whether Tamimi’s claim was accurate. Despite several follow-up phone calls and e-mails, it was June 6 when a response finally arrived by fax from the Prime Minister’s Office. It curtly stated that “after consideration” permission had been given for Nizar al-Tamimi to go abroad subject to his undertaking to remain away for five years. It said he had not yet departed.

We immediately retained a lawyer to petition the High Court of Justice – in Hebrew, the Bagatz – to have this decision reversed. We sent all the Bagatz papers and affidavits to the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Justice. In addition, we faxed and emailed a personal letter to Netanyahu begging him to reconsider this move.

We asked the government’s lawyer to agree to close the borders to Nizar al-Tamimi pending the urgent High Court hearing. We never imagined how ridiculous that request was. The following day, the government’s lawyer responded to ours with the news that Nizar al-Tamimi had been allowed to cross over to Jordan three days earlier.

The disdain of these government representatives should not have surprised us.

Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has been nothing short of contemptuous towards victims of terror like us before, during, and after the Shalit transaction. He ignored our two desperate pleas for Ahlam Tamimi’s name to be removed from the list of prisoners to go free in the Shalit deal. The first of those was hand-delivered to him four months before he caved in to Hamas’ demands. The second letter was published in the Hebrew and English editions of the Haaretz newspaper days before the release. Neither one elicited any response.

We have based our actions on principles of justice and security for all Israelis. Politics plays no role. Perhaps this is why Mr. Netanyahu has never deigned to answer us. A political creature to his very core and a terribly busy man, he has no time for citizens who do not advance his career.

Though he clearly has Iran on his mind, we know the PM does make time for less-than-earth-shattering matters. Some recent examples:

-On March 28, he spoke to windsurfer Lee Korzits, who won the RS:X Windsurfing World Championship in Cadiz, Spain. “Congratulations Lee, you have honorably and successfully represented both yourself and the State of Israel,” said the PM. “You are a champion, the best in the world. I and all of Israel hope that you will also win a gold medal at the London Olympics.”

PA Child Terror Leader Sentenced, Released

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

An Israeli military court Tuesday sentenced  Bassem al-Tamimi, a 45 year old Palestinian man who encourages Palestinian youth to attack Israeli soldiers with projectiles, was sentenced to 13 months in jail.

Al-Tamimi, who garnered the support of the European Union, which criticized Israel for imprisoning him, was released after the trial, having served all 13 months while awaiting trial.

Al-Tamimi’s tactics have been called child abuse by some, who accuse him of manipulating children to endanger themselves and others in a street war against Israel.  Amnesty International called al-Tamimi a “prisoner of conscience,’’ and celebrated him as a protest leader.

A Nation Held Hostage

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

With Sgt. Gilad Shalit safely returned in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorists and murderers, celebration – propelled by wishful avoidance – spread throughout Israel.

It was said that peace in our time, even peace now, might be imminent. The disproportionate exchange could transform the relationship between Israel and Hamas, leading to a final peace agreement. Israel’s relations with Egypt, precarious ever since President Mubarak’s overthrow, and with Turkey, frayed since the Mavi Marmara flotilla confrontation, would improve. Even Shalit himself, interviewed on Egyptian television shortly before his return, envisioned renewed prospects for peace.

But Hamas, whose charter still proclaims the destruction of the Jewish state as its goal, has other plans. It immediately called for more Israeli soldiers to be kidnapped, the better to free 5,000 Palestinian terrorists still imprisoned. A far likelier scenario than peace is the collaborative tightening of the noose around Israel by Hamas, Hizbullah, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

There was, understandably,  widespread euphoria among Israelis over the return of Shalit. “Bring Gilad Back,” the five-year campaign run by a well-known public relations firm with unremitting media support, had succeeded. Unrelenting pressure from the Shalit family, backed by public rallies and a tent outside the prime minister’s residence, finally prevailed.

But family members of victims brutally murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, whose perpetrators now roam free, became mourners once again. They include the relatives of fifteen children killed in the Sbarro pizzeria bombing masterminded by Ahlam Tamimi; thirty Israelis killed in the Park Hotel Passover Seder bombing planned by Nasser Yataima; twenty-one Israelis killed at a Tel Aviv nightclub and fourteen diners killed  at a Haifa restaurant, ordered by Husam Badran; and eleven Israelis killed at a Jerusalem café, orchestrated by Waled Anjes.

Now Tamimi, Yataima, Badran and Anjes, with hundreds of others, are free to murder once again.

Palestinian terrorists have a proven strategy: launch attacks; slaughter Israelis by the dozens; kidnap a soldier; and bargain for his release in exchange for prisoners who will then repeat the deadly cycle. The more fervently Israel pursues the return of a captured soldier, the greater his value in the eyes of Hamas and the higher the price that its negotiators will demand in return.

Eliad Moreh, severely wounded in the Hebrew University bombing nearly a decade ago that killed seven, said, “When the government releases these murderers…there is no justice.” Meir Schijveschuurder, whose parents and three siblings were killed in the Sbarro bombing, described the exchange as “madness” and announced the intention of surviving family members to return to Holland. “We have been betrayed,” said Sherri Mandel, mother of a murdered 13-year-old boy. “To pardon terrorists mocks our love and our pain.”

The Shalit deal climaxed forty years of exchanges in which escalating numbers of Palestinians have been released: 1 (1970); 76 (1979); 1150 (1985). Israelis claim the exchanges demonstrate their fidelity to the ancient moral obligation to redeem captives – which, however, is challenged by the Talmudic principle (in Gittin) that “We do not redeem captives for more than their worth, so that enemies will not dedicate themselves to take other people captive.”

In the past decade alone nearly two hundred Israelis have been murdered by terrorists who were released for soldiers, living or dead. The likelihood of more killings has now increased. But, as Yossi Zur suggested, now eight years after his son Asaf was among seventeen high-school students killed by a Hamas suicide bomber, “since the names and faces of the future victims are not known, it is permissible to…fantasize that nothing will happen.” Israelis are left to discover who among them will die from the Shalit exchange.

A Time To Laugh – And To Be Proud

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Information spreads like wildfire. “Gilad Shalit is home,” my friend e-mailed me happily as soon as he heard the news. He isn’t Jewish or a even a Zionist, but the kidnapping of someone our age moved him enough to track the case.

“I know this is something that’s weighed on you. It must be good to have it off,” he wrote. And he was right. A load had been lifted off my shoulders.

“Gilad Shalit is home,” my friends and I squealed as we hugged each other, tears streaming down our faces. We couldn’t believe it was happening; we felt like we were in a wonderful dream. Yet as we watched on the Internet as events unfolded, we realized the reality was that our dreams had come true.

After 1,940 days, Gilad Shalit is home and I am so grateful. Even though he shows signs of malnutrition and lack of sunlight, even if he looks gaunt and painfully pale, he is home to the family that loves him, that waited for him, that never gave up on him. It is a moment I will never forget.

Somewhere in Gaza, a young lady my age was celebrating the release of Ahlam Tamimi. She likely blogged about it, hugging friends and talking about how this was a moment she would never forget, how she had pined for her hero’s freedom. Her heart was also full of joy and she felt like this was a victory for everything she lives for.

I remember how on the anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping I would sit on my porch and think of all the luxuries I took for granted – freedom, family, friends – and my heart would break for him.

On the day he was finally freed I knew I would wake up the next morning in my own bed and see my family and talk to my friends and travel as I wish. But the knowledge was sweetened by the awareness that Gilad finally would be sharing those same privileges.

I had every confidence the aforementioned young lady was thinking the same about her hero.

Ahlam Tamimi and Gilad Shalit have two things in common. Both were released on the same day. Both their lives changed when they were twenty years old. The difference is, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped while trying to protect his fellow Israelis. Ahlam Tamimi was arrested for collaborating in the murder of fifteen people – eight of them children, including two under the age of six.

Gilad went home to be with his family, to recover from his terrible ordeal. He showed no bitterness for his pain, saying, “I hope this deal will move the peace process forward.” He even wished the released murderers well, “as long as they do not go back to fighting Israel.”

Ahlam, meanwhile, has sworn she will attempt another terrorist attack.

“I’m not sorry for what I did,” she said in an interview in 2006. “I will get out of prison, and I refuse to recognize Israel’s existence. Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land.”

Her prediction, chillingly, came true, and who knows what the future holds?

Despite this, I’m happy. I know I should worry about future terrorist attacks by the criminals who were freed. I know I should worry about future kidnappings. We all should. That will come once the euphoria over Gilad abates and Israel returns to the endless war against terror.

The Popular Resistance Committee of Hamas has already vowed “to capture another soldier and cleanse all the Israeli prisons of our prisoners.”

One of the released prisoners has already said, “We shall spare no efforts to liberate the rest of our brothers and sisters. We urge the Al Kassam Brigades of the Hamas military wing to kidnap more soldiers to exchange them for the freedom of our loved ones who are still behind bars.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-time-to-laugh-%e2%80%93-and-to-be-proud/2011/10/26/

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