Sunday, September 13, 2015

13-Sep-15: A roadshow and its groupies

Beloved daughter of Nabi Saleh, and kinswoman/cousin to Bassem Tamimi,
this woman - Ahlam Tamimi, murderer of our child - planned and executed
the massacre at a Jerusalem pizzeria. We know how she feels about what
she did. How do the Tamimi roadshow sponsors feel?
We're waiting to hear. [Image Source]
Bassem Tamimi, about whom we have written several times in the past month, is in Chicago as we write this. He is in the first week of what is being billed by its promoters as a "month long spring 2015 U.S. speaking tour",

This will seem slightly odd to Americans accustomed to decidedly-non-spring weather in September and October. But that's how it is with spinners of myths and fabrications like the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh. You can believe your eyes. Or you can swallow their version of the truth. You can't do both.
UPDATE Sunday morning, September 13, 2015: "Spring" has now been silently removed from their web page. Echoes of it still appear on websites that republished the original Bassem Tamimi Roadshow flyer, like this and this and in the Google Search result below. 

Why the Tamimi roadshow was pushed back from Spring 2015 until now is anyone's guess. We can only marvel (in a non-admiring way) at the cold and calculating manner in which they engineered a viral video and matching news event - both starring underage children deliberately placed by their parents in harm's way - to give the tour some media push. These are special people in the decidedly malevolent sense of the word.

It's tremendously hard for us, as the parents of a child murdered in an attack on a pizzeria led by a Tamimi woman from his village - a woman whose killings are openly celebrated by that village and honored by the Bassem Tamimi family [here] - to know of the many public gatherings that have been organized to provide Bassem Tamimi with platforms.

It's hard as well to see how the grotesque passion of that Nabi Saleh daughter to seek the greatest possible number of Jewish children as her victims keeps getting swept under the rug by the Tamimi clan, aided and abetted by their rabid promoters and by parts of the news reporting industry.

So please don't ask any more why it galls us so much to hear Bassem Tamimi described (as the road-show website does) as a man who will "speak about his village’s work for freedom and justice". This is beyond fraud. It's complicity.

Then there's the matter of the sanctimonious, slogan-spouting sponsors who are making his encounter with open-minded Americans possible. Let's take a moment to look at them. And to see if there's anything a fair-minded person can learn about them for future reference.

We started by looking at the sponsor list from that website. Then we turned to published information gathered by NGO Monitor which does uncompromisingly professional work focused on exposing whose charity and whose tithe money is applied towards funding extremist political causes.

The result: we hereby name, and sincerely hope to shame, the groups on the list below. Please help us do that. These people are getting away with murder.

Every one of them is complicit in the stage-managed burnishing of the career path of a petty Palestinian bureaucrat (Bassem Tamimi's daily work allegedly involves issuing visas for the famously make-work Fatah-controlled regime in Ramallah where everyone whom the regime favours gets paid work) and of his home town, Nabi Saleh, a village whose population - essentially one big family - and its heroes are dedicated to the efficacy of murder in achieving goals that most decent people would be shocked to know.
  • Interfaith Peace-Buildersmission statement says it "fosters a network of informed and active individuals who understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the United States’ political, military, and economic role in it. To build and nurture such a network, we lead delegations of people from diverse backgrounds to Israel/Palestine.” That means such groups as Parents Circle-Families Forum (about whom see our post "12-Jul-13: Behind the facade at Parents Circle, messages that are deeply disturbing to bereaved families"), Holy Land TrustCoalition of Women for Peace (CWP)ZochrotIsraeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and numerous others with similarly anti-Israel agendas. The group supports BDS campaigns.
  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) calls itself the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement and seeks to “end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.” Its executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson helpfully explains that JVP's strategy is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community over support for Israel, while working toward the goal of eliminating U.S. economic, military, and political aid. When people speak of radical splinter groups whose viewpoints usually begin with the highly misleading words "as a Jew", JVP is probably on the list of people whom they have in mind. 
  • Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA): Its mission statement describes this church group as an  “ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians” which “encourages Christians from around the world to work for justice and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.” Promoting “liberation theology,” the group claims that Palestinians represent a modern-day version of Jesus’ suffering. This includes deicide imagery, and supercessionist rhetoric used to demonize Israel and Judaism. 
  • Amnesty International claims to be a “worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all”  But friends of Israel have long been aware that Amnesty's stance is odd, inconsistent, and tainted by deeply political anti-Israel considerations. The organization disproportionately singles out Israel for condemnation, focusing solely on the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs, misrepresenting the complexity of the conflict, and ignoring more severe human rights violations in the region.  It also distorts international law, routinely misusing terms like “collective punishment,” “occupying power,” and “disproportionate” in its condemnations of Israel’s Gaza policy. To our great chagrin and puzzlement, it has been providing a megaphone for Bassem Tamimi for years, along with his family business and a cast of blood-lusting Tamimis, without even once drilling down into the culture of violence and hatred that characterizes his clan and his town. 
  • U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a major proponent of BDS, billing itself as “A national coalition of more than 400 groups,” working “to end U.S. support for Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.”
  • Ithaca Committee for Justice inPalestine (ICJP), formed in 2014, campaigns for the Palestinian “right of return” and lobbies for a boycott of Israeli products in supermarkets.
  • Palestinian American Congress Southern California– The Palestinian American Congress (PAC) does not maintain a regular website. Its Facebook account is openly hostile towards Israel, compares Israel with ISIS and calls for anti-Israel boycotts.
  • Veterans for Peace protests against all U.S. military operations and interventions. Its mission is “educating the public, advocating for a dismantling of the war economy, providing services that assist veterans and victims of war, and most significantly, working to end all wars.”
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation: Claiming to promote reconciliation among various ethnic, national and religious groups, it is aligned with those extremists who seek to advance boycotts of anything Israeli.
  • Dorothy Cotton Institute purports to prepare and educate leaders for “a global human rights movement”, but NGO Monitor's research points to their adoption of anti-Israel "apartheid" rhetoric as well as support for BDS. When activists from DCI speak out for the rights of murdered children like our Malki, and against those who celebrate such killings - the Tamimi clan among them - we will be ready to take a more charitable view.
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)– The group’s stated goal is to “educate North Americans about children in the region and the brutal impact of US foreign policy on their lives.” According to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) website, “[t]he Middle East Children’s Alliance is the fiscal sponsor for ISM-USA.” Donations for ISM’s campaign to “interfere with the construction of the annexation barrier” can be made to “MECA (ISM-USA Fund).”
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship: Another group of self-described Christians who say they "seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and want to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church, and the world. We are called to do justice, dismantle violence, and strive to be peace makers". They urge BDS as the way to achieve this for "the people of Palestine and Israel” But it is plain that they are oblivious to the violence-loving creed of Mr and Mrs Bassem Tamimi, which - given that they are among the sponsors of the roadshow - is a disgrace to them and their values.
  • Vegans Against the OccupationNGO Monitor notes that "a significant portion of the group’s website is devoted to vegan recipes". This may be a good thing. But its members might want to call for an audit in view of the funds they are throwing at the Tamimi platform.
Without dwelling on the matter, it's impossible for people of goodwill not to notice the prominent role played by groups asserting a Christian viewpoint. That's a deeply troubling aspect we plan to come back to in an upcoming post. It's also clear that the vast problems of the Arab world, and of the Palestinian Arabs in particular - corruption, child abuse, the glorification of child-killing, the open abuse of women, the uncritical embrace of so-called honor killings of wives, sisters and daughters - all somehow slip by these people. (We expand on some of this in a previous post: "22-Apr-14: Attention World Council of Churches: Will you now follow your own advice and speak up for the Arabs tortured and imprisoned by the PA?") It's inescapable: there's something about the Jews that somehow gets their total focus.

The remaining sponsors are a grab-bag of small and large action groups who either claim to promote peace (by including it in their names) or are single-issue apologists for one or another of the bickering Palestinian factions: Massachusetts Peace Action, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Palestinian House of New England, Students for Justice in PalestineIf we skipped anyone, we apologize. We really do intend for your dishonesty and/or myopia to become much better known.

Finally, here's a reminder of a request ["11-Sep-15: How devoted to non-violence are the villagers of Nabi Saleh really?" and "04-Sep-15: Mr. Human Rights Defender, a question if we may"] we have repeated several times. It's directed at the organizers of the Tamimi performance and the audiences and commentators who go along. Please ask yourselves whether the answer you get (assume one is given) gives you the kind of moral comfort that lets a person of conscience sleep at night. 
Bassem Tamimi, tell us in simple words: are you as delighted by your cousin Ahlam Tamimi's massacre of Jewish children as she is? Have you criticized it ever, anywhere? Will you condemn it here and now?
(The massacre we mention is described here. It's where the life of our precious fifteen year-old daughter Malki ended.)


Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Arnold, very well done. An excellent statement. However, you err on one point, that is, you accept the false notion of a "palestinian people" that never existed in history. That invention, the notion of an unhistorical people meant to serve as anti-matter to the historically well known Jewish people, is one of the main obstacles to peace and justice in the Middle East and, in my view, ought to be avoided by people who strive for the truth as you do.

Anonymous said...

Bassem Tamimi is speaking in our community on Sept. 30. May I distribute copies of your post?

This Ongoing War said...

Dear Anonymous,

Feel free. Here are more:

13-Sep-15: A roadshow and its groupies

11-Sep-15: How devoted to non-violence are the villagers of Nabi Saleh really?

10-Sep-15: It takes a village: The passion for violence of the peace-loving Tamimis

07-Sep-15: Peace, human rights, the sheer joy of killing people

06-Sep-15: The making of a pigtailed provocateur

04-Sep-15: Mr. Human Rights Defender, a question if we may

02-Sep-15: Lights, action, camera, bite: Scenes from a cognitive war

01-Sep-15: A tale of two villages: one devoted to non-violence, another that actually exists

29-Aug-15: Revisiting a Palestinian Arab village and its monsters

17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns

And please let us know if we can help in other ways.

Anonymous said...

Todah Rabah. Its in Berkeley, California, so it might be a fruitless gesture, but its still worth trying

This Ongoing War said...

Berkeley has lots of civilized, well-educated people. The problem is it also has lots of lazy, spineless people who are afraid of failing to align with the herd or the tribe.

If we were there, we would be pointing out to those lazy, spineless folks that standing with the Tamimi roadshow and its total distortion of the meaning of non-violent and "resistance" means standing with the murderers. That's complicity.

If they had known our daughter Malki, it would all become clear to them. Since they didn't, good people need to help them understand.