26 December 2017

Torture couldn’t happen to a Jewish child - 16 year old Ahed Tamimi’s Detention is Extended by Israel's Military Court

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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 boastingI’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. 
Tony Greenstein

Ha’aretz, Yotam Berger Dec 25, 2017

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 soldiers.

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.

Video: Resistance icon Ahed Tamimi in Israeli military court

Israeli military court

 This video shows Ahed Tamimi in an Israeli military court on Sunday.

The 16-year-old appears to be in handcuffs as she is led in by Israeli officers. As a lawyer talks to Ahed, a woman, likely the person filming the video, can be heard asking her how she is doing.
Ahed looks at the camera and nods and smiles in answer, indicating she is doing fine.

The video was shared on the Facebook page “Free the Tamimi women.”

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.

Boy shot

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.”

“Israel’s military 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.

Damage control

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 prison.

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.

According to her father Bassem Tamimi, Ahed, Nariman and Nour had previously been held in HaSharon prison.

Arbitrary transfers between prisons under harsh conditions are another way Israel abuses detainees.
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 and solitary confinement.

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 practices.

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.

Writing 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 denied this.

Caspit claims that comments he made in a radio commentary were taken out of context and mistranslated.

But as Jonathan Ofir points out, also at Mondoweiss, Caspit had also made the statement in his Maariv column.

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 public price.”

Ahed, Nariman and Nour are due to appear in military court again on Monday.
This article has been updated since initial publication.

The New York Times tries to make the Ahed Tamimi story go away
James North December 23, 2017

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 have to 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 Times magazine 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, agrees:

[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.]

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