By: Jacqueline Zaccai
It is time to talk about Ahed Tamimi. How is this girl causing such a commotion?
To fully understand the situation, the story behind how the 16 year old Palestinian girl was arrested for slapping, kicking and hitting armed soldiers, a look at the Tamimi family is necessary.
We should start with Ahlam Tamimi, the Jordanian woman responsible for planning the suicide bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001 that killed fifteen people. This included two American citizens and eight children. Ahlam was sentenced to sixteen consecutive life sentences but ended up being released in the exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Ahlam married into the Tamimi clan and Ahed, then a young girl, can be seen dancing on stage at Ahlam’s wedding.
Ahed herself has a well-documented history of ‘resistance’ against Israeli soldiers. Having been taught that violence is the answer, there are multiple photos and videos of Ahed and other children from her town, which includes some of her family members, dressed in American clothing, getting way too close and personal with the ‘brutal’ and ‘inhumane’ soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces. She herself has slapped Israeli soldiers in the past, as a young teenager. It is suggested that Ahed’s mother, filmed most of her encounters. The soldiers do not react to their provocation. This is the same army that Palestinians accuse of such asinine atrocities, such as murdering babies in the Gaza strip. I will allow you to come to your own conclusions there.
Ahed’s most recent encounter with the soldiers was her brutally hitting, punching and kicking soldiers. The soldiers in turn did not react and allowed her to keep attacking them. Her mother filmed this and put it online. The video was circulated widely and Ahed was arrested for her actions in it.
Shortly after her arrest, her father Bassam Al Tamimi was asked in an interview, “Did she act wisely when she hit that soldier? Was she trying to provoke them?” He calmly replied “Yes, yeah”, on the basis that they cannot be expected to accept the “occupation”. By the “occupation” they mean the prescence of Jews in Judea and Samaria, which they refer to as the West Bank. But Ahed, when is approaching an armed soldier in such a volatile way ever a wise course of action? If Ahed had acted this way towards law enforcement in most other free countries, the reality is she may not have walked away unscathed.
All the signs seem to point to one unfortunate truth: the Tamimis use their children as pawns and propaganda tools in order to push their own anti-Israel agenda. They have Ahed and her siblings assault Israeli Defense Soldiers by throwing stones, screaming and yelling, slapping, and punching them since well before they hit puberty. If the IDF is this vicious, human-rights-violating task force that Palestinian and Anti-Israeli extremists claim that they are; why on g-d’s green earth would they let their small children near them? Why would you bring your children along and have them participate in often violent demonstrations and riots as so many of them do?
It seems to be because they are not fighting for peace, they are inciting violence and encouraging terror against Israelis and Jews. Would such outrage occur over a similar incident in another country where an armed officer or soldier gets assaulted by a civilian? I think not and I believe the attention paid to this is a form of anti-Semitism.
There are many articles that have circulated about “The story behind the slap” as well as heaps of criticism of the Israeli government for arresting a 16 year-old girl. But young women of course are capable of violating laws. When you have a history of violently protesting and demonstrating as an individual from a young age at the instruction of your parents, alongside your family, you cannot get away with it forever. The arrest and punishment was reasonable.
Jacqueline Zaccai is a born and bred New Yorker, Zionist, aspiring scientist, and political activist. An amateur musician and artist, and avid reader, Jacqueline is currently a first-year physics student at the City College of New York, class of 2021.