Labour’s Zionist Apologists Ellman, Newmark
and Ryan keep silent as the ‘only democracy
in the Middle East’ incarcerates children
A posse of heavily built soldiers – all for one slightly built 16 year old girl
Ahed Tamimi appeared in an Israeli military court on Xmas day, after 4
days inside without seeing a parent or a lawyer. She appeared in handcuffs. This slightly built child is in the warped
fantasy of the settler regime perceived as a danger to Israel’s military might.
Israel’s military courts have a 99.7% conviction rate, higher one
suspects than the Labour Party’s National Kangaroo Court!
Ahed Tamimi’s ‘crime’ was to slap and mildly chastise armed Israeli soldiers
who invaded the grounds of her house, after a cousin of hers Mohammed Tamimi 15
was shot in the head with a plastic bullet at close range.
Israel’s racist media ignored the fact that her cousin had nearly been
killed and focused on the insult to national pride occasioned by Ahed’s slaps
and the soldiers failure to strike back.
Miri Regev, Israel’s ‘Culture’ Minister, who previously compared
African refugees in Israel to ‘cancer’
and then apologised to cancer victims for comparing refugees to them, spoke of
her ‘humiliation’ and suggested they should have opened fire.
Naftali Bennet, the Education Minister went further and stated that she
should end her life in
prison. Of course from his
perspective it is logical. A non-Jew striking
a Jewish Israeli soldier is a heinous offence whereas shooting a Palestinian child
in the head is just one of those things.
After all Bennet is on record as boasting
‘I’ve killed many Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that.’
Ben Caspit, a senior journalist
on Maariv, Israel’s major evening newspaper, makes what amounts to a call for Ahed to be raped.
Ahed, a 16 year old girl who, in
the West would be thinking of exams, the latest boy (or girl) friend, going to
concerts and doing all the things that teenagers of her age do, has to cope
with the presence of soldiers and an army in her village, walking into her
house, shooting her relatives and acting with impunity.
Ahed in the court case today came
in looking tired and strained. Her
lawyer managed to snatch only a few words with her, such is the nature of Israeli
justice, before she was whisked away again. Clearly she is being put under
immense pressure to confess without the benefit of a lawyer or relatives. It is reported that she has been physically assaulted
and almost certainly deprived of sleep. This
amounts to torture. Yet where is the
pressure from Theresa May or indeed Jeremy Corbyn? Why have just 12 MPs, 5 of whom are Labour,
signed an Early Day Motion condemning Ahed’s incarceration?
Shackling and handcuffing a child
is in itself a war crime. Transferring
her out of the West Bank is yet another breach of international law but Israel is
allowed to break the law with impunity.
Ahed Tamimi, who was recently
filmed slapping Israeli soldiers, gets four more days as judges say she might
obstruct investigation, with one saying she could endanger soldiers
Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old
Palestinian girl who was recently filmed slapping Israeli soldiers in her
village, Nabi Saleh, had her detention extended on Monday for four additional
days, through Thursday.
Her cousin, Nour Tamimi, the
second girl who appeared in the clip, and Ahed’s mother, Nariman, also had
their detention extended. Nariman is suspected of incitement by filming the
incident and posting it on Facebook.
According to police, the
investigation of the incident in Nabi Saleh has developed and Ahed and Nariman
are suspected of being involved in additional incidents of attacking IDF
Police said the extension of
their detention was necessary due to the danger Ahed poses, and to prevent obstruction
of the investigations.
A judge in the military court of
Judea, Major Chaim Bililti, wrote in his decision that while he was not sure
her release would pose a danger, there was a chance she would try to obstruct
the investigation, and so he was extending her detention. He added that the
investigation has led to developments that Nariman Tamimi is connected to other
offenses, and is suspected of other charges not yet presented to her.
The court postponed the appeals
regarding the extension of Ahed Tamimi’s custody, and during the deliberations
police brought up additional suspicions against her. According to the president
of the court, Col. Netanel Benisho, “The evidence consolidated a framework regarding
three other incidents that took place in May 2017 and in April 2016.”
Judge Benisho accepted police
claims that Ahed Tamimi presents a danger, and that she could impede soldiers
in their work.
Last week, Judge Maj. Limor
Drachman of the Minor’s Court in Judea extended Ahed’s detention to Monday, on
suspicion that she would try to injure IDF soldiers.
Ahed Tamimi has become an international focus of solidarity
since Israeli occupation forces seized
her from her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during a
night raid last week.
That followed an incident the previous Friday, when Israeli
occupation forces shot
and gravely wounded her cousin 14-year-old Muhammad Fadel Tamimi.
Ahed and two women from the family – her mother Nariman and
cousin Nour – then attempted to remove Israeli soldiers from the family’s property.
Ahed was seen in a video lightly slapping and shoving one of the armed men.
Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, explains in an article
for Newsweek that less than half an hour
before this incident, “a soldier shot Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin in the face at
close distance with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing severe injuries and
leaving him in a coma. Then, two soldiers had jumped the wall of our backyard
and forced their way on to our property when Ahed confronted them in an effort
to make them leave.”
occupation is in contrast to all that is just and humane, from the abuse
of our children to the abuse of our land,” Bassem
adds. “As parents, we try to shelter our
children against the occupation and all its violence, inequality and lack of
freedom, but there is only so much we can do to protect them.”
According to Naji Tamimi, Nour’s father and one of
Muhammad’s uncles, Muhammad barely survived his injury.
But he is now recovering after a complex hours-long surgery
and will require long-term care and rehabilitation. A photo posted
by Naji Tamimi on Facebook shows the extent of the injuries to Muhammad’s
face and head.
Nariman and Nour were also arrested as part of a revenge
campaign instigated by Israeli political and military leaders bent on
expunging the humiliation of heavily armed men being confronted by women from a
family known for its sacrifices as part of Nabi Saleh’s ongoing
resistance to military occupation and settler-colonization.
According to family sources, Ahed’s lawyer requested the
hearing on Sunday in an attempt to get the teenager released.
Ahed was held in the notorious Russian Compound
interrogation center in Jerusalem overnight and was previously in Ramleh
The Free the Tamimi women Facebook page stated that Ahed “spent the night alone in a cold cell”
after enduring several transfers between Israeli prisons.
Ahed Tamimi is one of hundreds of Palestinian children who
each year are subjected to night raids and Israeli military detention each
year, where many suffer abuse including torture
Concern over this systematic violence against Palestinian
children prompted US lawmakers last month to introduce
a historic bill to prevent US military aid to Israel being diverted to such
Revenge in the dark
The Israeli army’s attack on the Tamimi family was meant to
appease its virulently right-wing and anti-Palestinian domestic audience, but
it has become an international embarrassment, prompting The
New York Times to go into damage control mode to mitigate further
harm to Israel’s tattered reputation.
at Mondoweiss, James North notes that the Times’
coverage “does everything it can to
reduce the power of the case” and “make
the Israeli soldier look like the victim.”
Ben Caspit, a journalist with Israel’s Maariv
newspaper and the online publication Al-Monitor caused
shock Saturday when he was quoted
by the Associated Press stating in reference to the Tamimi family, “In the case of the girls, we should exact a
price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras.”
This was widely interpreted as incitement to violence including possible sexual
assault, though Caspit has vehemently
After calling for revenge in the dark with no witnesses
present, Caspit writes that the “Tamimi
family needs to learn the hard way that such systematic provocations against
Israeli soldiers will cost them dearly.”
He added that the Israeli army has the “capabilities, creativity and means” to
do this “without paying an exorbitant
Ahed, Nariman and Nour are due to appear in military court
again on Monday.
This article has been updated since initial
The New York Times ran a
piece today on the very different ways that Israelis and Palestinians
see the slapping incident involving 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and an Israeli soldier.
It is titled, “Acts of Resistance and Restraint Defy Easy Definition in the
West Bank,” and is by David Halbfinger.
The article does everything it can to reduce the power
of the case, in which a brave 16-year-old girl whose cousin was just shot stands
for the inhumanity of the occupation. No, the whole point of the article is to
make Israel supporters who may have heard about the incident shake their heads
over Dual Narratives, and then move along.
Here is the Times‘s model for the whitewash:
1. Make sure the print edition does not include a single one
of the striking, now-viral photos of Ahed Tamimi’s brave resistance.
2. State nowhere that Israelis are occupiers, and settlements
(colonies) are illegal under international law.
3. Slyly slip in the following paragraph: “That her family
appears to encourage the children’s risky confrontations with soldiers offends
some Palestinians and enrages many Israelis.”
4. Barely mention the fact that the illegal settlement/colony
of Halamish has taken over the village of Nabi Saleh’s access to its spring,
and make no effort to report on who is right. Instead treat the matter as On
the One Hand/On the Other.
5. In the first sentence, make the Israeli soldier look like
the victim: “A teenage girl, a kaffiyeh over her denim jacket, screaming in
Arabic, repeatedly punches, slaps and kicks a heavily armed Israeli army
officer, who faces her impassively, absorbing some blows, evading others, but
never hitting back.” (Make sure you stick in the kaffiyeh and the “screaming in
Arabic:” perfect Orientalist gems.)
6. Have settler Yossi Klein Halevi drive home the point, that
the Israeli is the victim: “My first reaction was I was proud of the
soldiers, but I was also ambivalent: Is this going to invite more attacks, and
more serious ones?”
7. Add another obnoxious paragraph: “. . . the
scene of the young woman being hauled away may have given the Palestinians the
clear-cut propaganda coup they had been denied by the original confrontation.”
8. Leave till the 13th paragraph the information that hours
before the encounter an Israeli soldier shot Ahed Tamimi’s cousin in the face.
Leave out the cousin’s name, Mohammed, and the extent of his injuries. No, you
go to al Jazeera for that.
Mohammed Tamimi, who is 14 or 15, following a six hour operation after being shot in the face. Photo from Al Jazeera.
9. Quote 6 Jewish Israelis, and only 4 Palestinians. But
above all, don’t quote any member of the courageous Tamimi family, even though
they were featured in Ben Ehrenreich’s landmark New York Timesmagazine
piece on Nabi Saleh. And even though the slapping incident took place
when the soldier had invaded their property.
P.S. Louis Allday, a PhD candidate at London University’s
School of Oriental and African Studies, who is digitizing colonial records,
[A correction: The original post said, “(Most people still engage with the Times
on paper).” In fact, the Times has 2.5 million digital subscribers vs.
1 million print subscribers.]