|Ahed Tamimi in court last week|
She's the young woman many call Shirley Temper, a photogenic performer who for at least eight years now has been the central figure in a long-running propaganda performance orchestrated by her father Bassem Tamimi and his publicity business, Tamimi Press.
What others say about this is very much on our minds. What Bassem Tamimi himself says is a matter of record. Child abuse? Manipulation? Ha! The ugly child abuse in which he and his village engage chronically is dismissed in masterful fashion: "Our children are doing their duty and must be strong."
We keep running into people who think they know the story of the Tamimi clan. But it's clear to us that few understand the rich and ugly detail of their hatefulness, expressed not as mere protest and words but the kind of physical violence that has ended dozens of lives on the Tamimi side and among their many victims.
|FBI Most Wanted Terrorist: The Arabic version is here|
Meanwhile Bassem Tamimi has been crowned a hero of Amnesty International. They sent him on a coast-to-coast roadshow in 2015. We tried to get some straight answers from him and from his generous sponsors at the time to some straightforward, related questions... but all we got was ignored: see "04-Sep-15: Mr. Human Rights Defender, a question if we may".
But Ahlam Tamimi, the confessed murderer, along with her uncle and aunt and cousin Nariman, Bassem and Ahed, are simply part of a long list of Tamimis associated with Arab-on-Israeli terror. Some of the details have been deliberately obscured or hidden. We have been doing what we can to publicize them. We revisited some of the barely-known details just a few days ago - see "19-Dec-17: Uncovering some of Nabi Saleh's hideous buried secrets".
On any objective view, enthusiasm for the "bravery" of Ahed (sometimes written Ah'd and Aahd) Tamimi is a strange thing because of how it ignores the trajectory of her emergence as a media figure and the center of a multimedia "Free Ahed Now" project.
How old is she? Depends whom you ask. She was 12 in September 2011 [quoted by Israellycool from an Arab source]; 8 in August 2012 [Source: +972, a far-left Israeli site]; 13 in December 2012 [Source: TimeTurk News and other Turkish sources]; 10 in December 2012 [Source: World Bulletin]; 13 in June 2013 [Source: Your Middle East]; 12 in February 2014 [Source; The Guardian]; 14 in September 2015 [Source: NBC News]; 16 in February 2017 [a South African source]. Thus she was born (in the same order as those links) in 1999, 2004, 1999, 2002, 2000, 2002, 2001, 2001. It's hard to be precise. And to be clear, it's fair to assume all this vagueness is intentional.
[UPDATE January 1, 2018: The answer is - she will turn 17 on January 31, 2018, having been in 2001. Much if not most of what has been written and published in past years about her age has been wrong, and almost certainly deliberately fudged. See what we wrote here.]We have pulled together some images (below) from public sources that chart the process by which her family and her village - but most of all her parents - cultivated a media-ready provocateur. It's a dismaying chronicle not only because it shows how there are loathsome people who, even though they are parents, would do this to a child. But also because of the individuals, a distressing number of them progressive Jews, who have embraced this distressing and very obvious child-abuse while giving no sign they see the malice, the hate, the bigotry and the overt and calculated manipulation that has accompanied it from the outset until today.
▲ September 2012: The CAMERA caption reads: "Mahmoud Abbas congratulates A'hd (right) and her cousin Marah for their "bravery" (From the Nabi Sabeh Solidarity blog)"
▲ March 17, 2013: That's Ahed in the bottom row among the other eager "peace-makers" of Nabi Saleh. Her father and chief manipulator Bassem Tamimi is at top left; her mother Nariman Tamimi in the bottom left corner. Everyone's a relative. Some people read this and think the Tamimis are talking about some future activity of a peaceful nature. A reminder that in the so-called second Intifada, the death toll among Israelis was huge; among Arabs, substantially larger. Background: "17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns". And this follow-up: "29-Aug-15: Revisiting a Palestinian Arab village and its monsters". And another: "01-Sep-15: A tale of two villages: one devoted to non-violence, another that actually exists".
▲ November 21, 2014: AlwatanVoice publishes one of the many Tamimi Press snapshots of the Tamimi village children boldly marching to another entirely-artificial and contrived weekly "clash" with Israeli soldiers. As always, Ahed Tamimi is placed by her father in the most photographed position. Right behind her is Naji Tamimi, a full-time paid Fatah "activist" and cousin or brother (according to different sources) of Bassem Tamimi
▲ September 3, 2015: Not to be outdone by his boss, Sabri Saidam, the Palestinian Authority's minister of education visits the little town of Nabi Saleh to get a grip on developments there. Background: "10-Sep-15: It takes a village: The passion for violence of the peace-loving Tamimis"
▲ November 2015: Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, is paraded around the US by Amnesty International, In Ithaca, NY, where this photo is taken, he addresses an audience of school-children from Grade 3. There's outrage in the city ["School District: Ithaca 3rd graders exposed to anti-Israel rhetoric in the classroom" and "Judge sends Ithaca schools a message over pro-Palestinian speaker"]. Shortly afterwards, his visa to enter the United States was permanently revoked by the Obama administration.
▲ Some months ago, Ahed Tamimi addressed a committee of the European Parliament.