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    Author: Petra Marquardt-Bigman

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    Petra Marquardt-Bigman

    Ending an 18-months legal battle, Israel’s Supreme Court decided last Tuesday to uphold the Interior Ministry’s refusal to renew the work visa of Omar Shakir, who had first entered the country as “Israel and Palestine Country Director” of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in February 2017. The court reportedly ruled that Shakir must now leave Israel within 20 days. As I have previously documented in considerable detail, both Shakir and his employer HRW have a long record of anti-Israel activism. (See here and here).

    While the 18th anniversary of the Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem on August 9 is approaching, Janna Jihad, a young relative of the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi who planned and helped perpetrate the massacre, is on a US speaking tour. Janna Jihad is only 13, but she has already been groomed for years by the Tamimis to succeed her cousin Ahed Tamimi as the youthful, innocent face tasked with hiding the clan’s murderous hatred of Israel.

    Israel has refused to renew a visa for Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch (HRW) to remain in Israel as a human rights worker, based on his long history of anti-Israel activism. This has caused a storm of controversy and lawsuits, leading to the fair question: Is Shakir entitled to a work visa to promote human rights if what he really is promoting is anti-Israel activism and the destruction of Israel? Not surprisingly, the international media has taken Shakir's side.

    A fierce backlash was perhaps all but inevitable when a recently published special issue of the academic journal Israel Studies provided a powerful counterpoint to the incessant delegitimization of the world’s only Jewish state. Under the title “Word Crimes: Reclaiming the Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” the volume (co-edited by Legal Insurrection contributor Professor Miriam Elman) examines the “academic jargon draped in scholarly prestige” that is used to imply “that Israel’s founding in 1948 is not settled history” but rather a “historical wrong” that can and should be righted according to Palestinian demands.

    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.

    For years, the Palestinian activist Issa Amro has told credulous journalists that he is “inspired by Gandhi” and firmly committed to “non-violent resistance.” One of the most recent examples is a puff piece by the Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor, who describes Amro as an admirable “nonviolent dissident” and suggests he might even be considered a “Palestinian Gandhi.” But as I will show, it would have taken only a quick look at the recent social media activity of Amro and his group Youth Against Settlements (YAS) to realize that the image he presents to journalists may just be a flimsy façade that hides an intense hatred of Israel and a burning ambition to see the world’s only Jewish state replaced by yet another Arab-Muslim majority country.

    Just a week before the prominent Palestinian activist leader Bassem al-Tamimi embarks on a month-long speaking tour in the U.S., he and his family attracted massive media attention when a clip of one of the clashes they provoked with the IDF went viral. Daily Mail Ahed Tamimi bites Israeli Soldier2 The Tamimis are used to sympathetic media coverage, including a fawning New York Times Magazine cover story in March 2013 on the family's ambition to start a "Third Intifada". Bassem Tamimi is usually presented as  an admirable organizer of “nonviolent resistance” who can count on the support of Amnesty International and who has been praised as a “human rights defender” by the European Union. By contrast, Bassem Tamimi’s views on the “right to resist” that he often invokes and the use of his children in his activism – including regular efforts to challenge the IDF into responding to provocations like rock-throwing – have so far largely escaped scrutiny. Yet, just a few hours of research reveal many easily discoverable cracks in the carefully cultivated image of the Tamimis as peaceful activists and “non-violent” protesters.

    Use of Children to Confront Soldiers as Cameras Roll

    The Tamimis are best known for the 2012 video of daughter Ahed confronting Israeli soldiers for the cameras:
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