The Tamimis have exploited Ahed for the cameras for almost a decade and are not the peace-loving victims portrayed in the media.
The Tamimis of Nabi Saleh have been working hard to incite a “third intifada” for many years.
As I have documented previously, one of their favorite tactics is sending their children out to provoke confrontations with Israeli soldiers while surrounded by photographers and videographers. It is a cynical but effective exploitation of children – if the Israeli soldier reacts it’s a story of Israeli brutality; if the Israeli soldier doesn’t react it’s a story of Israeli cowardice. Regardless, the Tamimi media operation immediately circulates the videos and photos to biased international journalists and activists to create a false impression of Israeli abuse of children.
Ahed Tamimi, with her striking blond hair, has starred prominently in these staged incidents for many years, as has her younger brother Mohammed.
The video below was one of her first and most famous performances. Her brother Mohammed is the small boy pushed into the soldiers in the video.
The Tamimi Clan is not indigenous to any part of what now is Israel or the “West Bank.” As even far left-wing Haaretz writer Amira Hass acknowledges, the Tamimis are descendents of the Banu Tamim tribe from what is now Saudi Arabia. The Tamimis migrated at some point after the Muslim Arab conquest, although exactly how long ago is not clear. Bassem Tamimi is considered one of the tribe’s notable members.
Bassem Tamimi, the father of Ahed and a well-known activist embraced by groups like Amnesty International, Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink, openly advocates for the use of children in protests, such as in this film about Ahed’s childhood confrontations with Israeli soldiers:
Bassem even took that message of childhood protest to a third-grade class in the U.S.
In December 2012, Ahed was hosted by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to receive an “award” and gifts for her exploits.
Bassem promotes his daughter as a “warrior princess” as part of her media narrative, as in this 2015 image.
Ahed, along with her cousin Janna Jihad Tamimi, has become an international media star promoted through a sophisticated media operation that includes featuring her in videos and international tours.
Given this long history, Ahed Tamimi’s most recent conflict with Israeli soldiers cannot be viewed as happenstance, but should be viewed as part of an almost decade-long Tamimi media plan.
Ahed’s Most Recent Viral Video
Ahed, who now is either 16 or 17 (her birthday is on January 31), has managed to produce another hit – quite literally, because she had herself filmed while punching, kicking and slapping two Israeli soldiers.
As a result, Ahed was recently detained by Israeli security forces, and her supporters are now out in full force to campaign for her – as Linda Sarsour put it so perfectly disingenuously in a widely shared Facebook post:
“#FreeAhed – a 16 year old Palestinian peace activist who has been engaged in non-violent resistance in Nabi Saleh, Palestine.”
Some mainstream media outlets have offered a platform for Ahed’s fans to spread their propaganda, most notably Newsweek, which published a piece by a friend of the family who describes Ahed as a “shy girl” with a “sweet” voice, “the little girl of Nabi Saleh village, whose hair could not be tamed.” To make sure the Tamimis’ message gets through, the article is accompanied by a video clip explaining that Israel’s re-establishment was a grave injustice that the Palestinians rightly fight to this day.
Newsweek followed up by allowing Ahed’s father Bassem to deceive their readers: very different from what Bassem claims in his Newsweek piece, he acknowledged during a U.S. speaking tour two years ago that he is not just opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but that in his view, “Israel is a big settlement,” and “in occupied Palestine,” the “problem is ‘the colonial project’ of Zionism.”
While Ahed Tamimi cannot be blamed for the way she was brought up, it is of course utterly disingenuous when the media presents her as a child who has become a Palestinian “resistance” icon without mentioning the well-documented fact that for Ahed’s parents and her extended family, “resistance” means ardent Jew-hatred and support for terrorism.
As I will show, Ahed’s father Bassem admires the Islamist terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and her mother Nariman Tamimi regularly praises Palestinian terrorists on Facebook.
Moreover, for Ahed, convicted terrorists are beloved uncles and aunts who are admired and celebrated by the Tamimi clan for the murders they perpetrated. When Ahed’s uncle Nizar Tamimi – who had helped his cousin Said Tamimi murder an Israeli Jew in 1993 – married her aunt Ahlam Tamimi – the mastermind and facilitator of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem – Ahed was there with them on the stage to celebrate their wedding in the summer of 2012.
It is thus hardly surprising that now when Ahed is grown up, she is eager to show that she fully shares the views of her family. In September, she posted a picture of gunmen masked with Palestinian keffiyeh scarves on her Facebook page and repeated the message written on the image:
“Tell the fighters all over the world that they are my friends.”
Bassem Tamimi’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah
Ahed was brought up to consider masked gunmen as her “friends.” Even though her father Bassem Tamimi generally tries to maintain a façade of “non-violent” activism, he has shared a propaganda video for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah, praising them for putting “Arab rulers” to shame by fighting “against ISIS and Israel”.
And as I documented in a post here two years ago, Bassem Tamimi responded with a “Like” when someone praised a photo Ahed had posted, showing her throwing rocks, with the short comment “Good ahed” accompanied by an image glorifying the Hamas-affiliated jihadist Al-Qassam Brigades.
Bassem also has shared anti-Semitic blood libels that Israel arrests Palestinian children in order to harvest their organs:
The image of the peace-loving Bassem Tamimi presented in the western media and by anti-Israel activists is not the real Bassem Tamimi.
Nariman Tamimi’s enthusiastic support for terrorism
Ahed’s mother Nariman Tamimi is a relentless supporter of terrorism. As far as she is concerned, Palestinian women who committed murderous terrorist attacks should be seen as admirable “rebels” – including of course her relative Ahlam Tamimi. Ahlam planned and helped perpetrate the bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in August 2001, killing fifteen people, including seven children and a pregnant woman, and injuring some 130, with one young mother left in a permanent vegetative state. (More on Ahlam later in this post.)
There are too many social media posts by Nariman Tamimi inciting and praising terrorist attacks to list them all here, but two posts in particular show that Ahed’s mother knows no bounds when it comes to her support for terrorism.
The first post illustrates that Nariman Tamimi will cheer terrorist attacks even if the victim is not an Israeli, but an American. When US Army combat veteran and Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian on March 8, 2016, in Jaffa, Nariman shared a post glorifying the terrorist; the attack was later claimed by Hamas.
A few months later, in June 2016, Nariman Tamimi shared a Facebook post from a Tamimi family member honoring the teenaged Palestinian terrorist who had just killed the 13-year-old sleeping Hallel Yaffa Ariel after breaking into her home. As far as the Tamimis are concerned, the murder of Hallel Yaffa helped “to return to the homeland its awe/reverence.” If you feel that the murder of a 13-year-old girl by a teenager brings honor to your cause, you can’t sink any lower.
It is noteworthy in this context that Ahed seems to have contemplated the prospect of dying as a “martyr.” According to a recent report, she declared: “I am not scared of them [i.e. Israeli security forces] arresting me or killing me. I am struggling for the Palestinian people. Many martyrs have fallen and they deserve a lot. Maybe there will be more martyrs and I will be one of them.”
This is a chilling attitude for a teenager, but again, it is how Ahed has been brought up by her fanatic parents.
As I have documented in considerable detail, Ahed’s mother Nariman reacted with breathtaking callousness some two years ago, when her youngest son had broken his arm while throwing stones at an IDF jeep. She posted about the incident on her Facebook page, and when a friend expressed concern und suggested the boy should be restrained, Nariman Tamimi responded coldly: “Either victory or martyrdom; and everything is going to be OK.”
Said and Nizar Tamimi: the killers of Chaim Mizrahi
Ahed Tamimi was brought up not only by parents who are ardent supporters of terrorism, but she also grew up knowing that two Tamimi family members were convicted of the 1993 murder and subsequent burning of Chaim Mizrahi, who was reportedly a religious student in Beit El who went to the Tamimis to buy eggs.
One of the killers, Said Tamimi, was celebrated in Nabi Saleh when he was released in December 2013 in a US-brokered deal “to bring Palestinian leaders back to peace negotiations.” It’s noteworthy in this context that a still available media report published shortly after Mizrahi’s murder in 1993 stated that the killing was claimed by Hamas; the murder was described as “an attack by extremists determined to disrupt the peace process by provoking Jewish anger.”
The other Tamimi family member convicted for Mizrahi’s murder is Nizar Tamimi, who is the nephew of Ahed’s father Bassem Tamimi. Nizar was released two years before Said in the 2011 deal that freed Hamas hostage Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1027 convicted Palestinian terrorists – an event that was reportedly celebrated in Nabi Saleh with the slogan “Release our prisoners or arrest us all.”
The release of Nizar Tamimi was obviously a particularly gratifying event for the Tamimi clan of Nabi Saleh: as mentioned in a truly sickening article by the Lebanese Alahednews, Nizar Tamimi got engaged to Sbarro massacre mastermind Ahlam Tamimi while both were in jail – and since both were freed in the Gilad Shalit deal, they were now planning their wedding and hoping to “have resistance children.”
The wedding of convicted terrorist murderers Ahlam and Nizar Tamimi
Even a devoted apologist of the Tamimis like the American writer Ben Ehrenreich has acknowledged that Ahlam Tamimi’s “relatives in Nabi Saleh … speak of her with great affection.”
Ahlam was responsible for the 2001 Sbarro Pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem in which 15 people, including 7 children, were killed. Ahlam selected the location because it was frequented by religious Jews. She scouted the location, drove the suicide bomber there, then went back to her job as a Palestinian TV news announcer to coldly report on the bombing. She was released in the 2011 prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit.
Ahlam’s only regret is that she didn’t kill more people:
As noted above, Ahlam Tamimi’s “relatives in Nabi Saleh … speak of her with great affection.”.
It was therefore a happy family reunion when Ahed’s uncle Nizar Tamimi married her aunt Ahlam Tamimi in Jordan in the summer of 2012 – and Ahed enjoyed the celebration greatly: you can see her on the stage with the terrorist couple happily clapping to the music right after the start of the second minute of this video.
Her parents Bassem and Nariman also were at the wedding:
Again, Ahed can obviously not be blamed for the family she grew up with; at the same time, media reports that present her as an admirable teenager who innocently protests Israeli soldiers are not journalism but dangerous propaganda, because covering up what the Tamimis stand for amounts to becoming complicit with the way they use their children to whitewash their ardent support for terrorism.
And make no mistake: the Tamimis don’t want a Palestinian state co-existing with Israel – as Ahed’s aunt Manal Tamimi has tirelessly advertised on social media, they want a Palestinian state that replaces Israel with yet another Arab-Muslim majority state.
Conclusion – Media Needs to Report the Truth About the Media-Manipulative Terror-Supporting Tamimi Clan
After Ahed Tamimi’s latest viral video, a campaign to glorify the Tamimis is in full swing.
Ben Ehrenreich, one of the Tamimis leading boosters, writes lovingly of the peaceful Tamimi Clan in The Nation, portraying Ahed’s media stardom as forced upon her by the Israelis: “It would be far better, however, if she could just be a child.”
Yes, it would be better if Ahed could just be a child. But it’s the Tamimi media operation and terror-loving Clan who have exploited the young and photogenic Ahed. The media should report that part of the story when writing about Ahed’s latest viral video.
[Featured Image Credit: Anne Paq/Activestills.org. Captioning added.]
Petra Marquardt-Bigman is a German-Israeli free-lance researcher with a Ph.D. in contemporary history whose work focuses on anti-Semitism and efforts to delegitimize Israel. Translations from Arabic courtesy of Ibn BoutrosDONATE
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