Ahed Tamimi is a Palestinian teenager who was arrested for confronting Israeli soldiers when they forcefully entered her home. Video of her slapping and kicking armored and heavily armed Israeli soldiers went viral.
Israel and its’ defenders praised the passive reaction of the soldiers. But after Ahed was universally lauded for her brave stance against the occupying neo-colonial forces, the Israeli government sent armed guards in the middle of the night to arrest her. She was released from the Israeli prison today and the BBC did cover the story albeit dishonestly.
The article starts with a statement in bold:
Instead of referring to Ahed’s actions as ‘slapping and kicking’ like they had in previous reports (even that was a gross exaggeration), BBC called Ahed an ‘assaulter‘.
A 16-year-old skinny girl physically confronting armed intruders does not count as an assault when they just shot Muhammad, her 15-year-old cousin, in the head. Ahed’s response was an act of self-defense since it was highly likely that Israeli soldiers would shoot more of her family members.
Ahed did plead guilty to charges of assault but only to spare herself and her family members even longer prison sentences. Just like the world rejects the Israeli settlements in West Bank, the international law is clear on the detention of minors as Amnesty International Jerusalem’s Office said:
“(Ahed had served an) unjust sentence based on the ridiculous premise that she posed a threat to armed and heavily protected soldiers. This is a huge relief for Ahed Tamimi’s loved ones, but their joy will be tempered by the injustice of her imprisonment and the grim knowledge that many more Palestinian children still languish in Israeli jails, many despite not having committed any recognisable crime.”
But if BBC were going to run with ‘Ahed the assaulter’ story, they should have done so from the beginning like Fox News did. In their coverage of Ahed prior to her release, they mentioned ‘assault’ only as an accusation. They described Ahed’s actions only as ‘slapping and kicking’, which was more accurate albeit exaggerated.
Despite that at no point did they mention if soldiers suffered any injuries either through Ahed’s confrontation or the pretext of ‘rock throwing’ that they used to get access to the Tamimi household.
The article then mentions Israeli government’s rebuttal that Ahed’s cousin had told interrogators a month ago that ‘he had suffered head injury after falling off a bike‘. The BBC did not seem fit to further press the Israeli narrative by asking why did the Israeli officials ‘interrogate’ a 15-year-old?
Neither did the BBC mention that medical professionals put Muhammad into a medically induced coma to treat his head injuries. If he had suffered such a devastating blow to the head a month ago, he would have been rushed to the hospital immediately. Instead, the Israelis say that Muhammad was able to answer interrogators’ questions, walked home, and even threw rocks at Israeli soldiers, all while in dire need of immediate medical attention.
Even though BBC quoted a less harsh quote from Israeli Education Minister who said that Ahed and her mom needed to “finish their lives in prison”, they did not report on a Cabinet Minister’s quote. Uri Ariel referring to Ahed said “I think Israel acts too mercifully with these types of terrorists. Israel should treat harshly those who hit its soldiers.”
As ridiculous as it would sound to rational people, Israelis are notorious for trying to right a wrong with an even greater wrong. Yesterday, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested further expanding Israel’s illegal settlements in an effort to curb violence that emanates from Israel’s illegal settlements.
What really got into their skins was the fact that Ahed Tamimi was blonde and white, practically indistinguishable from a European or an American child. This resemblance greatly undermined Israel’s efforts to dehumanize Palestinians by portraying them as big hairy men with a knife in one hand and a burning American flag in another.
Perhaps, few put it better than Ben Ehrenreich when speaking of Ahed, he said:
“A great deal of work goes into ‘othering’ Palestinians,” he wrote, “to casting them as some really recognizable other.” Ehrenreich continued: “when suddenly the kid [Tamimi] doesn’t fit into those stereotypes—when she actually looks like a European kid or an American kid—then suddenly all that work of dehumanization can’t function.”
Unsurprisingly, Zionists and the pro-Israel media attack Ben ruthlessly who is Jewish himself because of his reporting on Palestinian and Israeli issues.
Ahed passed her High School exams while in prison and seemed in high spirits as she stepped out of an Israeli prison. She wishes to pursue a law degree with offers and scholarships lining up from a number of reputable international universities.