Jewish Mentality: israeli Lawmaker: Palestinian Teen Tamimi ‘Should Have Gotten a Bullet, at Least in the Knee’

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Ahed Tamimi, 17, is serving an eight-month prison sentence after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier

Ahed Tamimi in military court, February 13, 2018.Ahed Tamimi in military court, February 13, 2018.Meged Gozani

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager famed for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera, should have been shot, at least in the knee, Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) wrote on Twitter Saturday.

“In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap,” he wrote. “That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”

He was responding to journalist Yinon Magal, who had reposted the footage of Tamimi slapping the soldier along with the text, “I’m watching this clip again and am so glad that Tamimi is still in jail. Sometimes, it’s good that the mills of justice grind slowly.”

Tamimi, 17, was arrested and charged soon after the incident took place last December. In March, she was convicted in a plea bargain of assaulting a soldier, incitement and interfering with a soldier in the line of duty. She was sentenced to eight months in prison plus a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,400).

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) responded angrily to Smotrich’s tweet. “You should be ashamed of yourself! Should the hilltop youth from Samaria who threw stones at IDF soldiers last week also have been shot?” she wrote on Twitter, referring to violent settlers in the northern West Bank. “Oh, I forgot – the law is different for enemies …”

“I don’t accept your excuses and explanations,” she added. “You’re a thug and an inciter.”

Tamimi’s mother Nariman and cousin Nur were also convicted in slapping incident. Nariman Tamimi, who shot the video, was sentenced to eight months in prison and a 6,000-shekel fine for incitement, abetting an assault and interfering with a soldier in the line of duty. Nur, who also slapped the soldier, was given a five-month suspended sentence and fined 2,000 shekels.

In the original indictment, Ahed Tamimi was also charged with several other offenses, including throwing stones on various occasions.

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Video of Ahed #Tamimi’s interrogation shows intimidation, harassment

Video of Ahed Tamimi’s interrogation shows intimidation, harassment

Tamimi family makes footage public to show tactics used by Israeli authorities to elicit confession from the teenager

Ahed Tamimi stands for a hearing in the military court at Ofer military prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on 1 January 2018 (AFP)
Chloé Benoist's picture

The family of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who garnered international attention after being detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier, released on Monday footage of the 17-year-old girl being interrogated by Israeli officers in the days following the arrest.

Because she is a minor, Israeli authorities are required to hand over excerpts of footage of interrogations to Tamimi’s lawyer upon request. Her family later decided to make public excerpts of the video they had been provided.

Tamimi’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, filed a complaint with the Israeli general attorney last Monday in light of the footage showing an interrogator telling the teen she has “eyes like an angel”.

Lasky has accused the interrogators of sexual harassment amounting to a “gross violation of the law”, made worse in light of Tamimi’s age.

Video screenshot of Ahed Tamimi under interrogation by two Israeli officers in December (video)

“The video shows Ahed’s defiance and sense of confrontation through her voice, through her silence and by slapping their soldier,” Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, said at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. “This defiance is the message of our new generation. The single purpose of this interrogation was to break the symbolism of defiance that she represents by trying to have her let go of her right to remain silent. She did not.”

Bassem Tamimi said his daughter was interrogated every day during the first 10 days of her detention, with the exception of the day when she was taken to court, adding that interrogations lasted up to 12 consecutive hours.

He added that she was subjected to solitary confinement, sleep deprivation for up to 34 hours, and lengthy and difficult transfers between prison and the court in the “bosta” – the Arabic term for the vans carrying prisoners.

The footage seen by Middle East Eye shows Tamimi being interrogated on 26 December, a week after her arrest, at a police station in Shaar Binyamin, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Tamimi, then 16-year-old, is seen sitting on a chair in a winter coat, with one Israeli interrogator sitting behind a desk out of the camera’s range, while another, reportedly from the Aman military intelligence, sits next to her, at times scooting closer to her during the interrogation with his legs seemingly open – a stance commonly used by Israeli interrogators to intimidate women, according to several former female Palestinian prisoners who have spoken to MEE.

In breach of regulations regarding the detention of minors, Tamimi is interrogated without a lawyer or guardian present, nor is a female officer seen at any point in the room, despite their presence being mandated during the interrogation of women.

The interrogators try in turn intimidation, guilt, and bizarre attempts at establishing a rapport throughout the video, while Ahed keeps silent looking back and forth between the two men and occasionally burrowing her face into her collar, only speaking up to say: “I hold the right to remain silent.”

In one particularly jarring instance, the Aman interrogator leans towards Tamimi and shouts at her that she looks like his sister.

“My little sister is blonde and her eyes are like yours… When she goes to the beach, yeah? Like a hamburger,” he says loudly in broken Arabic, laughing. “For real, how are you in the sun? Like my sister? Red, red, red?”

The interrogators also try to induce guilt in Tamimi, telling her that she would be responsible for any harm that might befall residents of her village, Nabi Saleh, should she keep refusing to identify people in videos shown to her.

“We will take everyone if you don’t cooperate,” the Aman interrogator says, as Ahed shifts uneasily in her chair. “It’s in your hands. It’s in your hands.”

“I don’t want to have to bring those children here. Children. Please,” he adds. “You say something, maybe we don’t need to.”

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, speaks at a press conference on 9 April 2018 (MEE/Chloé Benoist)

Bassem Tamimi highlighted on Monday that the footage showed tactics used regularly by Israeli forces on Palestinian children, denouncing them as violating international humanitarian law.

“This all comes in the context of the occupation trying to target Palestinian childhood,” Tamimi said at the press conference, hailing Ahed’s commitment to staying silent as “confronting the interrogator without fear entering her heart”.

Ahed was 16 when she was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier who would not leave her family’s property in her hometown of Nabi Saleh, on the same day as Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

A video of the incident went viral on Israeli social media, showing her slapping, kicking and hitting two armed Israeli soldiers. Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was also detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for filming and sharing the aforementioned video.

Ahed’s trial gained international media coverage and human right groups, including Amnesty International, have campaigned for her to be released.

The international attention prompted the Israeli court to hold hearings on Tamimi’s case behind closed doors, ostensibly to uphold her right to privacy as a minor, despite the Palestinian teenager waiving her right, arguing that public proceedings would protect her from what she has publicly called an “illegitimate court”.

Several rights organisations have denounced the incarceration conditions for Palestinian children over the years – pointing to the systematic prosecution in front of military courts, with a nearly 100 percent conviction rate.

According to Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), three out of four minors are subjected to physical violence during arrest or interrogation. According to Prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, 356 Palestinian minors were detained by Israel as of March.

Reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Israeli rights groups B’Tselem and HaMoked have found that Israeli forces use unnecessary force while detaining children and “routinely” interrogate them without the presence of a parent or lawyer. Several minors reported being slapped, kicked, hit and blindfolded during their arrest or interrogation, or made to sign documents in Hebrew despite not speaking the language.

Ahed #Tamimi was sexually harassed by israeli interrogator, says lawyer

Ahed Tamimi was sexually harassed by Israeli interrogator, says lawyer

Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky speaks with Ahed Tamimi, her client, in the military court at Ofer prison, 1 January (AFP)

The lawyer of imprisoned Ahed al-Tamimi has accused an Israeli interrogator of sexually harassing the 17-year-old Palestinian girl, who was arrested last December from her village in the occupied West Bank for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera.

Gaby Lasky filed a complaint with the Israeli general attorney on Monday, saying that one of the interrogators had questioned Tamimi in an inappropriate manner, especially given her status as a female minor, and included remarks about her looks.

Lasky described the behaviour of the interrogator, who is an officer in the military intelligence unit Aman, as a “gross violation of the law” amounting to sexual harassment.

This proves that the [Israeli] law enforcement system infringes upon the rights of Palestinian minors

– Gaby Lasky, Ahed al-Tamimi’s lawyer

Lasky complained twice to the attorney general, but no investigation was opened into the interrogator’s behaviour by Israeli military intelligence at the time.

An Israeli army spokesman told Hebrew news site Ynet on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation into the matter.

Lasky has denounced the fact that, in spite of her age, Tamimi was interrogated simultaneously by two men without the presence of a female officer in the room or an interrogator specialised in questioning minors.

While Israeli forces are mandated to have a female officer during the interrogation of women, former Palestinian prisoners have told Middle East Eye that women officers were not always present, and in fact often served as cover for verbal and physical abuse taking place during interrogations.

Tamimi was 16 when she was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier who would not leave her family’s property in her hometown of Nabi Saleh, on the same day as Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Lasky added that the interrogator in question threatened to arrest Tamimi’s relatives and interrogate them too, if she continued to remain silent during questioning.

“This proves that the [Israeli] law enforcement system infringes upon the rights of Palestinian minors,” the complaint concluded.

Interrogation footage leaked

Video footage of Tamimi’s interrogation was leaked on Sunday to the Daily Beast, reportedly showing the teenager enduring two hours of questioning on 26 December.

According to the Daily Beast, the then 16-year-old asserted her right to remain silent as two male interrogators attempted a range of tactics to get her to talk.

“You have eyes like an angel,” one interrogator told Tamimi in Arabic and he made “creepy attempts at flirting” as well as threats against her family.

The video was of her third interrogation and she appears handcuffed and sitting at a desk in a police office, according to the Daily Beast.

Palestinian women haunted by abuse in Israeli jails

Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month sentence in Ofer military prison after reaching a plea deal with Israeli prosecutors in March.

Tamimi told reporters last month before the court accepted the plea bargain agreement that “there is no justice under occupation and this is an illegitimate court”.

She will serve only two months less in prison than Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who shot and killed a disarmed and incapacitated Palestinian attacker in Hebron as he lay motionless on the ground.

Tamimi’s arrest in December came after a video went viral on Israeli social media, showing her slapping, kicking and hitting two armed Israeli soldiers.

Tamimi’s mother, Nariman, was also detained and sentenced to eight months in prison for filming and sharing the aforementioned video.

Her trial gained international media coverage and human right groups, including Amnesty International, have campaigned for her to be released.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Ahed Tamimi Interrogation Video Discussed in New Report

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I do not make a habit of visiting the Daily Beast. I simply don’t care much for their editorial policies. But an article published today on an alleged video of a police interrogation of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi is worth taking a look at.

Before I get into the details of the report, let me just comment, as an aside, that for a while now it has seemed to me that we are witnessing a growing rift among Jews over the policies of the state of Israel. The rift is primarily between Jews who live in the West and Israeli Jews who by and large support the policies of apartheid.

For instance you might want to go here to read an article, published a bit over a week ago at the ultra-Zionist Aurtz Sheva/Israel National News website–an article which assails Ronald Lauder over a mildly-worded comment in which the president of the World Jewish Congress criticized “Israel’s capitulation to religious extremists” while at the same time referencing a “growing disaffection of the Jewish diaspora.”

Israel’s policies and all the boycotts they are generating, in addition to making it increasingly hard to cast Jews as victims, are bound to be causing headaches for Jews who oversee vast business empires in the West–empires which depend upon public goodwill for continued profitability. And this is probably a major source of the “growing disaffection” Lauder refers to.

Now comes the Daily Beast article.

Written by a Jewish writer, Jesse Rosenfeld, the article offers a rather realistic view of the occupation, describing Ahed Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh as a place where “unpleasant daily encounters with Israeli settlers and soldiers are a fact of life.” Rosenfeld also makes reference to “vitriolic condemnations” heaped upon the Tamimi family by “hardline Israeli politicians” and by “national activists,” and he additionally cites figures showing that the conviction rate of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli military courts is “near one hundred percent.”

It’s almost sounds as if the Daily Beast is championing the cause of Ahed Tamimi!

But let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the article, which you can read in full here. Rosenfeld apparently was given access to a video of an interrogation of Ahed that took place on December 26. The video, he says, is nearly two hours long, and in it the two Israeli interrogators show no regard for her rights as a minor.

Why israel has no right to jail Ahed #Tamimi

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Bernadette McAliskey

A protester holds a photo of Ahed Tamimi confronting a soldier during a demonstration in London calling for the Palestinian girl’s release from Israeli prison, December 2017.

Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills

Ahed Tamimi was 16 years old when arrested and detained. Her crime against humanity is that with her bare hands she slapped an armed soldier.

Now 17 years old, Ahed is not yet an adult – by international definition. Following a plea deal, she will spend the next eight months in prison.

The reality is that Ahed is not imprisoned because she slapped a soldier but because she is a visible symbol of Palestinian resilience and the next generation of resistance which continues to prevent the lie that is the State of Israel being globally accepted as an inevitable truth.

A veritable David in battle with Goliath, fair hair flying, hailed as the lion of Palestine, Ahed, by international human rights standards, remains a young person denied her liberty in contravention of the international human rights obligations of the State of Israel. She is entitled to the international protection afforded to children and young people: protection of her identity, including her national identity; protection of her liberty; of her life and family life; protection of her right to education.

She has been afforded none of these protections since the day she was born. She is the second generation of her family, the third of her nation to be so denied.

State violence against Ahed, her family and her people, continues to go unpunished and largely unchallenged by international duty bearers in this regard. It spans three generations and is a crime against humanity.

Zionism is the culprit

The continued occupation of Palestinian territory is a breach of international law that goes unsanctioned. The reason for this dereliction of duty to protect is that the perpetrator of this violence is the Zionist State of Israel.

Powerful Zionism – not persecuted Judaism – is the culprit here.

The centuries-old victimization, persecution and finally attempted annihilation of the Jewish people by European fascism does not entitle the State of Israel to use the historic and collective pain of an oppressed people to disguise and excuse the fascist principles of national, cultural and xenophobic supremacy of Zionism and the oppression and annihilation of Palestine and Palestinians.

Nor does the historic guilt complex of successive governments of Europe and North America about the passive complicity of their nation states in enabling fascist propaganda to gain such a grip on the minds of millions in the 20th century, entitle them to continue to make excuses for the behavior or the existence of the Zionist state they helped Britain create where Palestine already existed, and which they continue to sustain and defend at all costs.

Fundamental rights

Judaism and Jewish people have the same entitlement to guaranteed protection of their rights and fundamental freedoms, as does Islam and Muslims, Christianity and Christians and people who disavow all religions.

The State of Israel has no such fundamental right. Its creation was a usurpation of the right to self-determination of all the people of the existing Palestine on whose misery, degradation and exile, Israel was built and is sustained. The usurpation of an inalienable right remains a usurpation through the passage of all time until the right is restored.

Until then, for every Ahed who makes it into the consciousness and conscience of European and American liberals, there will be thousands more nameless children of Palestine who will find their way to prison and the grave in undeterred self-determination to undo the wrong and retrieve their right to their Palestinian homeland.

No matter how long it takes or how many young lives, families and homes are caught up in and destroyed in the chaos created by avoiding the truth, sooner or later the State of Israel must be held to account and sanctioned for its breach of United Nations resolutions and of fundamental human rights.

Free Ahed! Free all child prisoners! Free Palestine!

Bernadette McAliskey is a political activist from Tyrone in the north of Ireland. She was a member of the British parliament from 1969 to 1974. During that time, she was imprisoned for her leadership role in Derry’s Battle of the Bogside. When the British Army killed 13 people in Derry in January 1972, she slapped Reginald Maudling, Britain’s then home secretary, after being refused permission to speak in parliament. The slapping was viewed by the British media as a greater act of violence than the killing of unarmed civilians on what became known as Bloody Sunday. She survived an assassination attempt in 1981, which she has consistently argued was facilitated, if not organized, by the British Army. In 1996, she co-founded South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP) and spends much of her time as a local organizer.

 

RT Documentary on Ahed Tamimi

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The above documentary is very much worth watching. Uploaded on March 9 and entitled “The Slap Heard Around the World: The People of Israel vs. Ahed Tamimi,” the video focuses not only on the Tamimi family and Ahed’s case in the Israeli military court system, but also the hysteria that has erupted in Israeli society over the whole affair. It includes interviews with members of the Tamimi family as well as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.

For the past couple of days I’ve been trying to find out what, if anything, occurred in the Ofer military court on Sunday, March 11, the day Ahed’s trial was supposed to open. For some reason the Israeli media, at least the outlets that publish in English, have largely gone mum on the case. About the only reference I could find was a Haaretz piece published a bit earlier today and which, though vague on details, seems to suggest that the trial has been postponed once again so that the court may consider an appeal of its decision to close proceedings to the public.

Ahed’s pre-trial hearings were open to the public, but on February 13 a ruling was issued saying the trial would be held behind closed doors. Then on February 26, Israeli soldiers carried out another raid in Nabi Saleh, arresting Mohammed Tamimi, Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin, the boy who was shot in the head by a rubber-coated bullet. One day after that arrest an Israeli official went public with a claim that Mohammed had “admitted” under interrogation that the head injury had been from a bike accident. The bogus claim is covered in the video above.

The latest charade the Israelis seem to be playing is that it is not the prosecution that objects to having the trial opened to the public, but that this decision was made by the court alone and with Ahed’s best interest at heart.

“We left the request to open the hearings to the judgment of the court of first instance, and we will leave that request to the discretion of this honorable court,” says Maj. Gilad Peretz, the military prosecutor quoted in the Haaretz story.

In other words, Peretz purports to be neutral on the question of a trial behind closed doors, but with an air of touching concern for the girl’s welfare believes that keeping the proceedings closed would be “to Tamimi’s advantage.”

The appeal, filed by defense attorney Gabby Lasky, calls for the trial to be opened to the public, and while the court did not issue a ruling in a hearing held on Monday, it is “expected to do so shortly,” the report states.

It’s interesting that the Israeli media, aside from the Haaretz article (which is very brief) have gone so quiet on the story–in stark contrast to the kind of reporting we were seeing back in January, February and the latter part of December, when stories were coming out virtually every day. Apparently “out of sight out of mind” is the operative theory now.

Meanwhile, Ahed and her mother, Nariman, remain locked up in an Israeli prison.

Below is a commentary written by Jonathan Cook and published a bit over a week ago by Mondoweiss.

***

Israeli Army’s Lies Can No Longer Salvage Its Image

By Jonathan Cook

It is has been a very bad week for those claiming Israel has the most moral army in the world. Here’s a small sample of abuses of Palestinians in recent days in which the Israeli army was caught lying.

A child horrifically injured by soldiers was arrested and terrified into signing a false confession that he was hurt in a bicycle accident. A man who, it was claimed, had died of tear-gas inhalation was actually shot at point-blank range, then savagely beaten by a mob of soldiers and left to die. And soldiers threw a tear gas canister at a Palestinian couple, baby in arms, as they fled for safety during a military invasion of their village.

In the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media revolution, Israelis used to dismiss filmed evidence of brutality by their soldiers as fakery. It was what they called “Pallywood” – a conflation of Palestinian and Hollywood.

In truth, however, it was the Israeli military, not the Palestinians, that needed to manufacture a more convenient version of reality.

Last week, it emerged, Israeli officials had conceded to a military court that the army had beaten and locked up a group of Palestinian reporters as part of an explicit policy of stopping journalists from covering abuses by its soldiers.

Israel’s deceptions have a long history. Back in the 1970s, a young Juliano Meir-Khamis, later to become one of Israel’s most celebrated actors, was assigned the job of carrying a weapons bag on operations in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. When Palestinian women or children were killed, he placed a weapon next to the body.

In one incident, when soldiers playing around with a shoulder-launcher fired a missile at a donkey, and the 12-year-old girl riding it, Meir-Khamis was ordered to put explosives on their remains.

Continued here

 

Hassan Nasrallah Pays Tribute to Ahed Tamimi; NBC News Calls it the ‘Slap Heard ‘Round the World’

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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.

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.

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