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Advocates for Terror: Why Ahed Tamimi and Her Family are No Heroes

As reported [1] by media around the world, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager, has been charged by Israeli authorities with assault, after she was filmed [2] by her family kicking, punching and slapping Israeli soldiers in mid-December.

Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, livestreamed [3] the incident and its aftermath on her Facebook page. About seven minutes into the video, when the soldiers Ahed had attacked – supported by her mother and a cousin – had left, Ahed was asked by her mother to send a “message to the world.” As you can see in this subtitled clip [4], Ahed seemed embarrassed for a moment, but then she responded by dutifully repeating the slogans she had grown up with.

“I wish that everybody would participate in demonstrations because that is the only way for us to get results; because our strength is in our stones; and I wish that everybody all over the world would unite so we can liberate Palestine, because Trump must bear responsibility for the decision he took for any Palestinian reaction – be it stabbings, martyrdom-seeking operations [i.e. suicide bombings], throwing stones – everyone must do something. So we can unite this way, so we can get our message across in the required way and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.”

As shocking as it is to hear a girl who is just approaching [5] her 17th birthday (on January 31) to casually list “stabbings” and “martyrdom-seeking operations” among the actions she wants others to take in support of her cause, there is no doubt that Ahed’s mother was pleased to hear her daughter express exactly the views she had been taught throughout her childhood.

Already two years ago, I documented [6] in detail that Ahed’s mother, Nariman Tamimi, has long been an ardent and outspoken supporter of terrorism. When the so-called “stabbing intifada [7]” began in autumn 2015, Nariman Tamimi shared [8] a Facebook post with graphic instructions on where to aim a knife to achieve a lethal outcome. Whenever there was a terror attack targeting Israelis, Nariman Tamimi would again take to Facebook and praise the perpetrator as a hero. No act of murder was too gruesome: in June 2016, after a teenaged Palestinian terrorist [9] broke into a home and killed a 13-year-old sleeping Israeli girl in her bedroom, Ahed’s mother shared a Facebook post [10] from another Tamimi family member that praised this savage act for “return[ing] to the homeland its awe/reverence.”

Nariman Tamimi also ensured everyone knew that her admiration for Palestinian terrorists extended to those who had perpetrated attacks before there was Facebook. She shared a post that praised [11] several notorious female Palestinian terrorists as admirable “rebels;” these terrorists had murdered 55 Israelis, including 21 children, and wounded more than 300 people.

Among the four terrorists glorified in Nariman Tamimi’s post were two that Ahed knows well. One is her aunt Ahlam Tamimi, who planned and helped perpetrate the bombing [12] of a crowded Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in August 2001. 15 people lost their lives, including seven children and a pregnant woman; some 130 more were injured, with one young mother left in a permanent vegetative state.

In the summer of 2012, Ahlam Tamimi married [13] Ahed’s uncle Nizar Tamimi, who was involved in the 1993 murder and subsequent burning of Chaim Mizrahi, whose killing was claimed by Hamas and described [14] in a report at the time as “an attack by extremists determined to disrupt the peace process by provoking Jewish anger.” As a little girl, you can see [13] Ahed on the stage with the terrorist couple, clapping to the music, right after the start of the second minute of this video [13].

A few months ago, Ahed had a photo opportunity with Leila Khaled, another of the terrorists that her mother admires as a “rebel”. A recently posted [15] tweet shows that Ahed’s supporters hope that she will become “the next Leila Khaled.”

Leila Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is notorious [16] for having “pioneered such terror tactics as airline hijackings;” the group also perpetrated “hundreds of terrorist attacks.” Leila Khaled “is credited [17] as the first woman to hijack an airplane.”

According to a report [18] in the European Jewish Press, the event that featured both Leila Khaled and Ahed Tamimi was hosted by two far-left Spanish Members of the European Parliament in September 2017. Ahed Tamimi reportedly [19] told her audience: “The occupation is not only the theft of land. We oppose racism, Zionism, the entire system of occupation and not only the settlements.” This faithfully echoes the views Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, had expressed [20] during a U.S. speaking tour [21] in 2015, when he described Israel as “a big settlement” and denounced “the colonial project” of Zionism – which is well understood by activists as a rejection of Israel’s right to exist in any borders.

Leila Khaled used [18] the platform given to her to praise extremist violence and demonize Jews. ‘Don’t you see a similarity between Nazi actions and Zionist actions in Gaza? … While the Nazis were tried in Nuremberg, no one has ever tried the Zionists,’ she asked the audience.

The event was eventually sharply criticized, which prompted the European Parliament to endorse a proposal “to systematically deny access to all persons, groups, or entities involved in terrorist acts.”

It is also noteworthy that the images posted by Ahed’s supporters on Twitter reveal that the event in Brussels included the participation of Ahed and her father, Bassem Tamimi, in a campaign for Georges Abdallah [22]. Abdallah is “a Lebanese militant”, who was arrested in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Ray, an assistant U.S. military attaché. He was also found guilty for the murder of Israeli diplomat Yaakov Bar-Simantov, as well as his involvement an assassination attempt on former American consul Robert O. Homme.

In September, Ahed posted [23] a picture on her Facebook page that reflects the perverted “values” she was brought up with. The image shows gunmen masked with Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, and Ahed repeated the message written on the image in Arabic: “Tell the fighters all over the world that they are my friends.”

Ahed Tamimi cannot be blamed for the childhood she had. But the media can be blamed for ignoring the Tamimis’ ardent support for terrorism. By deceiving people about the Tamimis’ agenda and methods, their supporters only reinforce the family’s efforts to cynically exploit [24] their children to ignite [25] a “third intifada” –  a Palestinian uprising to bring about the replacement of the world’s only Jewish state with yet another Arab-Muslim majority country.

Note: Translations from Arabic courtesy of Ibn Boutros

[Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Haim Schwarczenberg]