Abuse of Palestinian Children that Liberal Zionists Jonathan Freedland and Jon Lansman keep silent about – ‘anti-Semitism’ is far more important
Abuse of Palestinian Children that Liberal Zionists Jonathan Freedland and Jon Lansman keep silent about – ‘anti-Semitism’ is far more important
Remanded in a military prison for a slap – 16 year old Ahed Tamimi is depicted as a ‘threat’ to armed soldiers in Israel’s colonial court
All of Israel was in an
uproar ten days ago. Ahed Tamimi had
been filmed slapping an Israeli soldier, one of two who had invaded the grounds
of her house. It must be understood that
resistance to Israel’s army, according to the Jewish Labour Movement and
Momentum’s Jon Lansman is ‘anti-Semitic’.
The fact that her 15 year
old cousin Mohammed had been shot half an hour ago with a rubber bullet
directly in the face and had had to be put in an induced coma to survive was
not of course broadcast in Israel. If it
had been it would no doubt have been ignored because the death of Palestinian
children is not a matter of any great interest.
Michael Oren MK, former
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, expressed the view that Ahed had been ‘dressed’
by her family, which apparently is not a ‘real family’. This is of course understandable because
Palestinians are sub-human in Israeli eyes and sub-humans don’t have families
or that kind of attachment. They are,
according to Deputy Defence Minister Eli Dahan, ‘animals’ and we all know that
animals have no feelings.
Ahed Tamimi in Ofer military court, December 28, 2017. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti)
There are some people who
believe that comparing Zionism and Zionists to Nazis is ‘anti-Semitic’ but I
just prefer to believe that a belief that some people are less than human is a
Nearly quarter of a
million people have signed the petition to free Ahed. Please sign below.
Israeli soldiers regularly fire at
demonstrators and beat them in Nabi Saleh, the village where Ahed lives. That is the nature of a military
occupation. However Ahed, despite her
tender years, has shown remarkable resilience and bravery. The least you can do is to:
the petition to free Ahed. Demand that no more children are imprisoned by the Zionists
Below are two articles from the excellent Mondoweiss site and I have also included an article at the
end of these on the death of a young child, Dalal Lawlah, who lived in Awarta
near Nablus, after Israeli soldiers at Huwara checkpoint prevented her father
from taking her swiftly to Rafidia hospital.
Just one more child death but we can be assured that Louise Ellman or
that other mouthpiece for Israel, Joan
Ryan MP, will not lose any sleep over it.
After all the purpose of the Labour Friends of Israel and Jewish Labour
Movement is to defend Israel not criticise it.
On the evening of Thursday, December 28th, family members and friends of
Nariman, Ahed and Nour Tamimi gathered in the courtroom at Ofer military camp
waiting to hear the latest verdict in regards to the three Tamimi women.
Ahed and Nour, were arrested by Israeli forces after a video of them
slapping and pushing armed soldiers out of their yard was spread. Nariman
Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, was arrested when she went to Binyamin police station to
inquire about the well-being of her 16-year-old daughter, and to be present as
her guardian since Ahed is a minor.
During Thursday’s court hearing Nour, 20, was brought into the courtroom
in handcuffs, her small body surrounded by four prison guards. She wore a
bright pink jacket, her face pale and her hair parted to the side. She blew
kisses to her mother and father in the back of the courtroom and asked in
whispers about her siblings. As her family tried to send her love and support,
the prosecution laid out its demand to extend her detention for five more days.
The prosecution later asked that the Nariman’s detention be extended for six
more days, and Ahed’s for seven.
Nariman Tamimi (l), Nour Tamimi (r) in Ofer military court, December 28, 2017. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti)
As of yet, no official charges have been brought for the Tamimi women.
Nariman is suspected of “aggravated assault of a soldier, incitement and
obstructing a soldier” as well as partaking in “public disturbance.”
Similarily, Ahed Tamimi is also being held under the pretext of “assault” and
“insulting” soldiers. Nawal Tamimi, who is Ahed’s aunt, told Mondoweiss, “in the end, this is an occupation. If they could they would officially charge
us with the crime of being born Palestinian.”
Nour’s mother, Boshra Tamimi, tried to hold herself together as her
daughter sat just a few meters away. Her palms held tightly in her lap, and her
face clearly pained despite the smiles that kept erupting every time she caught
Nour looking in her direction. After Nour and Nariman were escorted out of the
room, Boshra lit a cigarette outside and tried to focus past the frustration.
“This is a kangaroo trial” she said. When Ahed’s hearing was about to take
place, Boshra made way back into the courtroom and sighed, “back to the
Ahed’s hearing was chaotic, and the proceedings were held in Hebrew as a
translator echoed a poor interpretation of what was being discussed. At one
point, the translator for the Tamimi’s seemed as though he was falling asleep
in his chair, and in another moment he casually walked out mid-translation for
a phone call.
When Ahed was brought into the court her father, Bassem, spoke to her of
her siblings. He smiled and told her they were okay while her aunt kept telling
her she loves her.
The prosecution began to build its case against Ahed as she tried to
make sense of what was being said. She had enacted her right to remain silent
throughout the interrogation. “[Israeli interrogators] had put her through a
rough process, long hours of no food and in rooms with terrible conditions, but
she expressed her right to silence” Bassem told Mondoweiss.
In the court, Ahed sat in a brown prison jacket that was twice her size.
She smiled at her friends and family and mouthed “I’m okay” to them and checked
in on her cousins, sending kisses and love to them through her aunt. “If a
stranger were to hear about the way the prosecution is speaking about my
daughter they’d think they were talking about some large being that’s some sort
of frightening boogyman,” said Bassem after the first part of Ahed’s hearing.
Gaby Lasky, the Tamimi’s lawyer, reminded the court of “the right to resist the invasion of one’s
home” and “right to object to occupation.”
While the charges the prosecution is pushing against the Tamimis are assault,
incitement, and violence, there is no mention of the soldier’s violence during
the trial, nor the fact that they were on a land that is deemed occupied in
international law. After the end of the hearing Bassem walked out with
pessimism. “I think they [Nariman and
Ahed] will be sentenced to their prisons,” he said.
While it seemed that Ahed and Nariman would be facing a harsh conviction
at end of the court hearing, the judge agreed to the possibility of releasing
Nour Tamimi on bail early next week, if the prosecution did not appeal.
However, he affirmed that Ahed and Nariman must remain detained until the
indictment process begins. Their next hearing will be on January 1st, 2018.
As the final part of Ahed’s hearing ended, the young girl was escorted
out and her father was left with the fear that his teenage daughter may be
facing jail time. Nawal fell into tears after loudly proclaiming to Ahed as she
was being hauled out, “we love you, we
are with you, stay strong my dear!”
Outside, the family gathered their belongings and made their way out of
Ofer. In the car, Nawal and Boshra begin to ask about Nariman’s
cousin, Manal Tamimi. Just hours before the trial Manal was also arrested
by Israeli forces as she stood in support of prisoners outside Ofer’s gates.
“I think [Israel] is planning to open a special section for us Tamimi
women,” Nawal joked. After updating others on the outcome of the hearing, the
Tamimi family begins another set of phone calls to inquire about Manal. “She is
going to Hasharon.”
“Our people, continue to be taken by the occupation in the name of
justice,” Nawal sighs. They begin their journey back to their village of Nabi
Saleh, and the homes that are missing the voices of their mothers and
The Ahed Tamimi case is one of the most important events we have covered
because it exposes to the eyes of the world the difference in moral tone
between the two sides of the conflict.
Consider the optics of the case. On December 15 in the tiny occupied
village of Nabi Saleh, a 16-year-old girl with long blonde hair, Ahed Tamimi,
slapped a heavily-armed Israeli soldier who was occupying her back yard, not
long after another Israeli soldier had shot Tamimi’s cousin in the face; and
when video of the slapping came out, all of Israeli society called for the
girl’s arrest, and many were enraged that the soldier was passive. The next
night Ahed Tamimi was arrested in a midnight raid; and she is being held
without charges, as leading Israelis urge that the key be thrown away, and worse.
Meantime, images of the imprisoned girl’s calm precocious face, framed
by the obdurate shoulders of uniformed guards, go round the world, radiating
strength and resistance.
As Ben Ehrenreich writes at
the Nation, the slapping has revealed Israel to the world as a bully because it
exposed “a hideous nerve” in Israeli society. Scott Roth detailed that nerve:
Israelis are in “sheer denial” that their country has any responsibility for
the “humiliation, violence, and terror of the occupation.”
Which brings me to liberal Zionists. As readers know, I care more about
liberal Zionists than anyone in America because they are gatekeepers to the
Democratic Party, and when the Democratic Party turns, Israel will become a
partisan issue and we will win (because Chuck Schumer and Tom Perez and Haim
Saban have more power over the Palestinian future than John Hagee and Sheldon
The main response of liberal Zionists has been silence. The three
leading liberal Zionist orgs, Americans for Peace Now, the New Israel Fund and
J Street (until yesterday), see these images of brutal occupation ricocheting
around the world, and have had almost nothing to say about the case.
Then when they do have something to say about it, they praise the
Israeli soldiers for not responding violently to Ahed Tamimi in the moment.
Peace Now called
the soldiers “heroes.”
Then they shut up again.
Why are they acting like this? Because liberal Zionists still deeply
believe in Israel– they are Zionists before everything else– and therefore the
first thing they see is the good side of Israel, the fact that a soldier
doesn’t respond violently to a girl who is slapping him.
When they see the world responding with expressions of outraged
compassion for the girl, the liberal Zionists would like to join in but they
really can’t. Because ultimately, as Zionists, their community is Jewish
Israelis; and they know that just about all of Jewish Israel hates Ahed Tamimi,
so they can’t really champion her.
But as soon as you say, I’m not a Zionist, I care about all people
equally– then you embrace Ahed Tamimi.
This can be seen in the responses to the case from two Jewish groups,
IfNotNow and J Street.
IfNotNow are young Jews who are taking on the Jewish establishment over
the occupation; and since the Tamimi case broke they have been vocally on her
side. IfNotNow salutes the power of this young woman to challenge the
“If I had a foreign occupier standing on my doorstep, I too would want
to push them off. Had my friends and family been hurt by soldiers, they would
see no compassion from me.” -IfNotNow leader
As for J Street, the leading liberal Zionist group finally got around to
the case yesterday. After a week of international headlines, J Street couldn’t
keep ignoring the story. So J Street CEO Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote an
anguished piece saying that the case exposes the “tragedy” of the conflict.
The most prominent emotion in Ben-Ami’s article is “pride” in the
Israeli soldier, whose “restraint prevented the situation from deteriorating
Ben-Ami does not mention the shooting of Tamimi’s cousin, nor the calls
for violence against Tamimi. He does not say that Israel should free Ahed
Tamimi and barely touches on that “hideous nerve” in Israeli society– “some of
the country’s leaders have called for lifetime imprisonment of a 16 year-old
girl for simply slapping a soldier.” Really! They did– who?
Everyone talks about how awful the identity politics of the left are;
but the identity politics of Zionism are worse: Zionists are simply not allowed
to identify with proud Palestinians.
No, the emphasis in Ben-Ami’s piece is the hearts of liberal Zionists
who “love the country.” They teem with “conflicting emotions.”
On the one hand, we truly honor and respect the individual men and women
– teenagers and young adults really – who day-in and day-out serve their
country dutifully in the Israel Defense Forces.
We can relate to the love and respect that every Israeli family has for
their teenage children who are sent to carry out difficult and dangerous
assignments put on their young shoulders by the nation’s leaders – whether they
agree with them or not.
On the other, we feel compelled to criticize and fight the very policies
that these brave young men and women are enforcing – often at great personal
risk – every single day.
The feelings of Palestinians get second place in this article. Though
Ben-Ami does honor them:
There is no compelling security or military justification for the way in
which families, including the Tamimis, have been treated over the decades, and
it should come as no surprise when young men and women like Ahed choose to
resist. It doesn’t take a textbook to bring about resistance in young
people; it results quite naturally – without need of instruction – from the
human impulse to resist injustice against one’s community and family….
We are obliged to take a long, hard look at the underlying policies that
could lead a 16 year-old girl to slap fully-armed soldiers in the first place,
and to risk years in jail.
It’s too bad those words couldn’t be the thrust of Ben-Ami’s article.
But they can’t. Because in the identity politics of the Jewish state, Jewish
souls matter most.
No wonder young Jews are saying they’ve had enough with that set of
values and are seeing Ahed Tamimi for who she is, a brave leader.
9 year old Dalal Lawlah died after Israeli soldiers delayed her passage to hospital at a checkpoint NABLUS, (PIC)
A Palestinian child with special
needs, from Awarta town in Nablus, died on Friday evening after Israeli
soldiers obstructed her transfer to hospital.
Palestinian medical sources said that nine-year-old Dalal Lawlah died after
Israeli soldiers at Huwara checkpoint prevented her father from taking her
swiftly to Rafidia hospital.
The sources added that Dalal was unable to breathe and needed urgent medical
intervention, but delaying her transfer to the hospital for about half an hour
led to her death.
The child’s father, Deeb, told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that he
tried at first to use the main road through Awarta checkpoint to take her daughter,
who was a child with special needs, to a hospital in Nablus after she suffered
a health problem, and argued with soldiers to convince them to let him through,
but to no avail.
Later, he said, he had to go to Huwara checkpoint, which was closed at the time
because of skirmishes in the area.
After a long hold-up on the road, the ambulance carrying the child arrived at
the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the father added.
The father held the Israeli occupation army fully responsible for the death of
his daughter, accusing Israeli soldiers of firing tear gas grenades at the