|Ben Ehrenreich [Source]|
The Way to the Spring, Ben Ehrenreich’s new book about the Palestinian struggle against the ongoing and seemingly endless Israeli occupation [that] is bound to be a highly controversial work.Ehrenreich has been promoting the violent and hateful Tamimi clan of Nabi Saleh, a village of about 550 people located a few kilometers north of Israel's capital, for years. It was the vehicle that enabled him to snag his biggest hit so far - a 2013 New York Times Magazine cover story about the place and its people. Long on romance and bravado and carefully phrased progressive-sounding rhetoric, that piece barely skims the deeply embedded bigotry and long record of acts of murder against Jews that are only too easy to see in the life of Nabi Saleh... if you look.
Ehrenreich plainly prefers not to look. He's a key player in sanitizing the Tamimi clan's blood-lust and race-based hatred of Jews.
We wrote an angry response when that heavily-marketed New York Times piece appeared ["17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns"]. Here's how it started:
Friends have pointed us to this week’s NYT Magazine cover story, published today. It’s devoted to a Palestinian Arab village set in the hills a few kilometers north of where we live in Jerusalem. It's a place the author calls “spirited”, where “on warm summer evenings, life… could feel almost idyllic. Everyone knows everyone.” He says “a pilgrimage” to this magical place “has achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.
How can a person not be captivated?
But there is much wrong with the picture he conjures up. We know this because for years we have been tracking the media’s romance with the community called Nabi Saleh. Sitting here and looking over the online version of it, we are furious with anger about what the article says, and what the writer and his editors carefully avoid saying.
And for a little more about actual life and real attitudes in the temporal Nabi Saleh, as distinct from the Pallywood fantasies of the talented Mr Ehrenreich, here's another of our past posts on that theme: "01-Sep-15: A tale of two villages: one devoted to non-violence, another that actually exists".
|Ehrenreich's previous major push for the |
"struggling" Tamimi clan's campaign
for bigger and more deadly murderous
attacks [New York Times]
So we sent the following to the LARB editors last night as a comment on the book review. They have just posted it below the Wilentz piece:
Here's some more "poetry of the desert" that Ehrenreich might have included but chose not to. It's some frank opinion-sharing by Nariman Tamimi, whose under-appreciated, explosive bigotry rarely makes it into English publications.
We translated it from the Hebrew source in our blog last year. The context is important: it appeared at the same time as Amnesty International was spending a small fortune putting Tamimi's husband Bassem into the center of a US roadshow designed to further burnish his entirely bogus "heroism", a process Amnesty had begun a couple of years earlier and continues today, and which was accompanied by a round-the-clock effort to shield him and themselves from the fury of people who understand Tamimi's key role in murderous anti-Jew violence over the past decade.The voice quoted in this extract is that of his wife, Nariman Tamimi: Source: 11-Sep-15: How devoted to non-violence are the villagers of Nabi Saleh really?
"Women and children have always been a part of the struggle in Nabi Saleh, as opposed to what has happened in Qadoum, Bil'in and Ni'lin. Here, it’s a cultural thing, something traditional and educational, and also the fact that everyone in our village belongs to the one family numbering about 500 people and in reality there’s no alternative..." One of the major Palestinian murderers who emerged from the village is Ahlam Tamimi who transported the perpetrator of the terror at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria. [Nariman again] "What she [Ahlam Tamimi] did was an integral part of the struggle. Everyone fights in the manner in which he believes. There is armed uprising, and there is popular uprising. I support every form of uprising...
Ahlam Tamimi, described in inappropriately benign terms here and in Ehrenreich's celebration of the murderous culture of the denizens of Nabi Saleh, is the engineer of the massacre at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria. She planned it, chose the site, delivered the bomb to the location, and repeatedly - since being set free in the Shalit deal of 2011 - celebrates (in the Arabic-language media) what she says it stands for. Ehrenreich ought to say why this still-young woman is a figure of adulation among the members of the Tamimi clan in Nabi Saleh: not despite the murders she executed but explicitly because of them.
Nabi Saleh, setting aside the poetry and the pretentious, cultural allusions, has a rich tradition of anti-Jew murder. Failing to put this in the center of the review of Ehrenreich's agitprop is to be complicit in the incitement emanating from that wretched village daily.
Because he stands with the Palestinians, Ehrenreich has been called brave and courageous, but as someone who has also tried to do this kind of work in the Middle East, I can say that for a certain type of reporter, it doesn’t take bravery — there is something very seductive about victims, and to follow the Palestinians is simply to follow a reporter’s instinct for a good story... ["The Humiliation Machine", Los Angeles Review of Books, July 22, 2016]
|Baby carriages outside the devastated Sbarro pizzeria, minutes|
after the Tamimi woman had fled the scene [Getty Images]
He was raised in Nabi Saleh, and she says she has blood ties to almost everyone there, and reputedly lived there very briefly after she made aliyah from her homeland of Jordan in the late 1990's.
Today the woman is the town's pin-up girl in the literal sense - they adore her there and all the barbaric hatred, bigotry and blood-shed she stands for. If Nabi Saleh had a municipal symbol, it would probably be the grotesque smile on her face.
This Tamimi couple, both of them convicted murderers of Jews who were serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prisons after being convicted, live perfectly freely today in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, having both been released in the catastrophic Shalit Deal in 2011.
Life has been awfully good. She has no money problems, having been a recipient of the notorious (and ongoing) Palestinian Authority Rewards for Terror payments scheme [background: "08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look"]. Today. she's a full-time propagandist for the Islamists of Hamas. She burnishes her fame on that platform with an active social media presence that includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition, she travels and does well-publicized personal appearances throughout the Arab world. Indeed she is one of the most widely-recognized, very public faces of the savage Islamist bigotry of Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood.
And not only in the Middle East: she has her own heavily-promoted Hamas-branded weekly television program (in English, "Breezes of the Free") that's beamed each weekend via satellite and streaming internet video to television screens of Arabic-speaking households on every continent.
Her life's work, on constant public display, is devoted to encouraging additional acts of blood-curdling savagery.
|Analyzing Amnesty's culpability at The Tablet|
How any progressive-minded can be aware of that role and still send the occasional support check to Amnesty is totally baffling to us. Withholding support is one sure-fire way of getting its management to stop ignoring the criticism they have drawn from people like us - and ignoring is most assuredly what the Amnesty clique have been doing.
And if your time is short, please read just one of our posts that captures the essence of the others - this one for instance:
This has all worked out just peachy for Ben Ehrenreich who can be expected to return soon to the well for more public attention as the impresario of the little village in the hills.
Did anyone ever say terrorism doesn't pay?