Friday, July 13, 2012

13-Jul-12: "Condemnation of terrorism must be universal or it does not exist."

The scene outside Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant, a few minutes after 2 pm on Thursday August 9, 2001
The article below is written by the General Secretary of the Movement for Peace and Against Terrorism (MPCT), France. It is translated from French and originally published in that language some days ago on the MPCT website. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the English-language version here.

Terrorism: Portrait of a happy murderess
By Huguette Chomski Magnis,
General Secretary of the Movement for Peace and Against Terrorism (MPCT), France
Translation: Bernice Dubois

On June 16, 2012, a wedding was celebrated in grand style in Amman, Jordan. The couple was famous, and the festivities were widely transmitted by television well beyond Jordan’s boundaries. So far, everything is ordinary. People’s weddings are media events. But, these people are somewhat special. Their fame comes from their terrorist careers.

Ahlam Tamimi

She is the star. Born in Jordan in 1980 in a Palestinian family from near Ramallah, she went to study journalism at the Palestinian University of Bir Zeit[1]. There, she joined the Al Qassam Brigades of the Hamas and became a journalist on Palestinian Authority television. After carrying out a first bombing attack on a supermarket in July 2001, she was the lynch-pin of the attack on the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001 that resulted in 15 murdered[2] and 130 wounded, several very seriously, destroying the lives of all those families.

She selected the site, always crowded, as a choice target and led the terrorist who committed the “suicide” attack. Her mission accomplished, she then went to announce it on the televised news she presented.

Her relative notoriety as a television presenter was nothing compared to the fame she acquired as a smiling and satisfied terrorist, speaker of Hamas prisoners. Medias throughout the world devoted articles and programs to her.

In 2009, Arte [a French television channel] devoted a program to the “terrorist journalist”. Interviewed in her Israeli prison, she freely answered questions. To the journalist who asked her if she did not regret having killed families, children, she replied,”No”. When he asked her if she knew how many children had been killed in that attack, she guessed “three”. And when he told her that in fact she had killed eight children, she smiled, pleasantly surprised at her good score. No, she certainly regretted nothing. Quite the contrary, and she congratulated herself at having charitably allowed the young “suicide” bomber to achieve supreme happiness.

Nizar al-Tamimi

He is her elder, both in age and as a terrorist, since he was condemned to life imprisonment in 1993 for having kidnapped and murdered a Jewish resident of the West Bank.

Ahlam once visited him - her distant cousin, a member of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah - in prison. In 2001, Nizar learned of his cousin’s prowess. That was the start of the correspondence between the two prisoners. It ended virtuously in a marriage by proxy.

October 2011, the two cousins were among the 1,027 prisoners claimed by Hamas as the price for freeing the hostage, Gilad Shalit.

France 24 did a program on the happy pair, married in Israeli prisons but still separated despite their liberation. They only saw each other twice. She was sent back to Jordan and he was assigned to residency in the West Bank. “The story of Ahlam and of Nizar Tamimi became as symbolic in Palestine as Romeo and Juliet in Europe”, said the commentator, but in a much “trashier” version.

Trashy or not, the comparison is senseless, as far removed from Romeo and Juliet who chose innocence, loving each other beyond prejudice, hatred and death, while the wedding of the Tamimis was that of death and of hatred, a marriage based upon for shared criminality, both asserted and glorified.

The Triumph of Impunity

A triumphant welcome was accorded the ex-prisoners. Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank competed with one another in their praises for the terrorists. In Amman, the Muslim Brotherhood did their best for Ahlam. She was also received by Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal in Cairo. And far from languishing for her Nizar, she is hyperactive, travelling and organizing. She has her own weekly program on Hamas television in which she incites others to follow her example. In March, during a meeting in Jordan, she announced the launch of a huge hunger strike. This cleverly organized campaign was successful.

They lived happily ever after and had many little terrorists?

In early June, in violation of the conditions under which she was released, Nizar arrives in Jordan. The celebration of this second wedding ceremony is her apotheosis.

For the parents of her victims, it is a new heart-rending stroke. Among these parents, are the parents of Malki Roth who petitioned in vain to prevent this sinister “happy ending”.

Malki Roth

Malki was 15 when she was murdered in the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, together with her best friend, Michal, next to whom she is buried.

She was radiant, as are girls of 15. With that something extra that strikes one on her photographs that can be seen on the Keren Malki website, the foundation her parents, Frimet and Arnold Roth, created in her name to help handicapped children. Malki, very close to her gravely handicapped little sister, devoted herself to accompanying children in very difficult situations. Malki’s luminous smile, her love of music, her kindness, all was wiped out in a few seconds by a priestess of Islamist hatred.

Malki, forever innocent, Anne Frank of our time, was condemned to death with no appeal. Ahlam was condemned to 16 life imprisonment sentences, but she lives free, thanks to the hostage-taking blackmail that makes a mockery of justice.

As terrible as this is, it is less so than the tacit tolerance of such impunity. One might expect the reprobation of universal conscience to crush the Tamimis with shame, but that is far from the case.

No one questions the Palestinian Authority when it celebrates assassins and calls for all Palestinian prisoners to be freed en masse.

We can hardly be surprised when Hamas itself is upheld by Stéphane Hessel, the very incarnation of virtuous indignation.

This signifies that terrorism is not seen as a problem and that universal values are suspended. This implies that an identity, Palestinian in this case, provides immunity, legitimizing even crimes against humanity[3] and guaranteeing impunity to those who commit them.

As long as this situation lasts, declarations in favor of peace in the Near East, can be nothing but empty formulas, as are UN commitments to combat terrorism.

The condemnation of terrorism must be universal or it does not exist.

It does not exist and Ahlam Tamimi is a happy murderess.

Paris, 2 July 2012

[1]     Lionel Jospin, then Prime Minister of France, was stoned there in February 2000 for having dared to say the Hezbollah were terrorists. 
[2]     The fifteen victims of the Sbarro pizzeria. On the Website of the pro-Hamas movement ISM, the words “15 Zionists” can be read. This movement shares with Dieudonné the clever use of this term to replace the word “Jew”. Refer to
[3] Three NGOs published reports declaring attacks against Israeli civilians as crimes against humanity: Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch in 2002 and Doctors of the World in 2003.

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