Sunday, February 04, 2018

04-Feb-18: The embarrassing violence of Ahed Tamimi and its fig-leafers

Nariman, Bassem and Ahed Tamimi of Nabi Saleh
[Image Source]
We have more than the regular amount of interest in the in-your-face bigotry and incitement-to-extreme-violence of the loathsome Tamimi clan of Nabi Saleh. We have explained why over and again in past posts.

But for anyone fresh to this blog or to us - the parents of Malki Roth - or to the news industry's sickening and highly-selective fixation with the media-centric doings of the Tamimis, we suggest to start here:
With the background in mind, think now about the stream of news articles during the past six weeks that have delivered up softball versions of Tamimi analysis, driven by yet another in a long series of reports of what are in reality self-engineered "clashes" with the IDF. The central player is, invariably and as always, Ahed Tamimi.

Today she's a young woman of seventeen (born January 31, 2001) who, as we sit here writing these lines, is being held behind bars in an Israeli prison while a phalanx of publicists, reporters, TV presenters and politically-active non-governmental organizations calls with rising urgency for her unconditional release. 

We leave to readers to figure out for themselves why she was arrested and whether and on what terms she ought to be let loose.

Our concern here is to cover matters that one high-profile news article after another in the past month and a half have simply ignored: what are her actual values? Where does she stand on the subject of real, physical Arab-on-Israeli violence of the lethal kind? (Given the obvious confusion about this in the media, the questions have surprisingly clear-cut answers.)

Our comments are prompted by an egregious case, the latest in a depressing series, of superficial and thus second-rate reporting, this time from a serious source: "Meet 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the new face of Palestinian resistance" [Derek Stoffel, Middle East Correspondent for CBC, the Canadian national broadcaster, February 4, 2018]. It's simply too painful to quote from. The link is there for anyone patient enough to read the same re-hash of Tamimi PR hand-outs.

It's not the poor reporting per se that is so enraging but the absence of two key elements that if disclosed would have put a fully-justified violent frame around (gritting our teeth) the charming portrait of a blonde girl with curls:
  • The connection between Ahed Tamimi and her idol, Ahlam Tamimi with whom she is related closely and in multiple ways and at whose 2015 wedding (to Ahed's cousin) little Ahed danced and gazed worshipfully at the bride for the cameras.
  • The terrorism-rich personal credo that the adorable Ahed recently recorded for her mother's video camera and which no reporter should ever dare to ignore in telling news-consumers the things worth knowing about this not-exactly-new "new face of Palestinian resistance".
Ahed Tamimi captured by her mother's video camera, responding to her
mother's request to share "a message to the world", December 15, 2017
[Source: YouTube]
The historian and analyst Petra Marquardt-Bigman has followed the violent Tamimi clan for some years and does an unparalleled job of providing a context to the often-context-free promoting that passes for journalism in much of the news industry.

Here's a small and highly relevant part of what she knows but CBC's man does not:
As reported by media around the world, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager, has been charged by Israeli authorities with assault, after she was filmed by her family kicking, punching and slapping Israeli soldiers in mid-December.
Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, live-streamed the incident and its aftermath on her Facebook page. About seven minutes into the video, when the soldiers Ahed had attacked – supported by her mother and a cousin – had left, Ahed was asked by her mother to send a “message to the world.” As you can see in this subtitled clip, Ahed seemed embarrassed for a moment, but then she responded by dutifully repeating the slogans she had grown up with.
I wish that everybody would participate in demonstrations because that is the only way for us to get results; because our strength is in our stones; and I wish that everybody all over the world would unite so we can liberate Palestine, because Trump must bear responsibility for the decision he took for any Palestinian reaction – be it stabbings, martyrdom-seeking operations [i.e. suicide bombings], throwing stones – everyone must do something. So we can unite this way, so we can get our message across in the required way and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.”
As shocking as it is to hear a girl who is just approaching her 17th birthday (on January 31) to casually list “stabbings” and “martyrdom-seeking operations” among the actions she wants others to take in support of her cause, there is no doubt that Ahed’s mother was pleased to hear her daughter express exactly the views she had been taught throughout her childhood. [From "Advocates for Terror: Why Ahed Tamimi and Her Family are No Heroes", Petra Marquardt-Bigman for The Tower, January 5, 2018] 
The entire video "message" in Arabic with English subtitles is here on YouTube.

June 16, 2012: Ahed Tamimi on stage in Amman, Jordan, gazes longingly at
her role-model cousin and Nabi Saleh's pride and joy, the boastful and
confessed murderer-who-got-away-with-it Ahlam Tamimi. The occasion
is the wedding of the Tamimi woman with another Nabi Saleh
murderer (who is also the bride's cousin as well as little Ahed's cousin),
Nizar Tamimi, the male in the photo. Everyone in the
picture is a blood-relative of everyone else. [Image Source]
There's another aspect to the journalistic wrong done by the Canadian: the absence of background. How did we get here? What caused this innocent child to develop her ideas, her attitudes, her fists?

The reality is that Ahed Tamimi has been groomed, trained, weaponized, hardened and massively exposed for years - and by the same manipulative pair of people the whole way: Mummy and Daddy. This is all a matter of the public record that remains just as public when reporters who ought to know better choose to ignore the record.

So Mr Stoffel, and the CBC people who oversee your work-product, please thumb through what we published here: "24-Dec-17: Nabi Saleh, the media and a Tamimi child's journey" And the excellent piece by Shoshana Keats Jaskoll that Forward published a month ago: "Why Is No One Talking About Ahed Tamimi’s Call For Stabbings?"

Articles like these and like the post you are browsing now are unlikely to get you to see things more clearly or very differently. But ignoring them turns your article into a shallow piece of cheap, amoral flim-flammery.

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