Sunday, March 17, 2013

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

Today's New York Times Magazine [Image Source]
If you want to affect how people think about an issue, putting your case onto the cover of the New York Times Magazine must be one of the most effective ways to go. 

And, given the intense competition, one of the hardest.

So if the editors of the NYT (108 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization; 30 million unique visitors per month to its website; the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States – according to Wikipedia) give you the cover of the prestigious Magazine, it’s a massive vote of confidence, a huge privilege, a platform of the most effective kind that (we're assuming) can't be bought for money.

Friends have pointed us to this week’s New York Times 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 you not be captivated? 

* * *

But there is much wrong with the picture he conjures up. We know because for years we've been tracking the media’s romance with the community called
Nabi Saleh. Sitting here and looking over the online version of it, we are livid with anger about what the article says. And what the writer and his editors carefully avoid saying.

Start with some background. The Wikipedia entry for Nabi Saleh describes the village of some 550 people in notably gentle terms. Centred on an old religious shrine to the prophet Shelah whom we encounter in Genesis as the son of Judah and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, it was a hamlet of a mere five houses in the late nineteenth century when the Turks ruled the area. It grew slowly under the Jordanian military occupation that started in 1948; then declined when Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967, and flourished and multiplied in the past two decades. 

Today, it’s the scene of weekly protest demonstrations and, to judge from Wikipedia’s English-language version, a place where things are done to passive inhabitants and for no apparent reason.

But when you go to the Arabic-language version of Wikipedia, you see a strikingly different emphasis. And note that it's not at all a direct translation of the English version. 

Created by different people for a different audience and different sensibilities, the Arabic Wikipedia entry depicts Nabi Saleh as a place of “popular resistance” that boasts of having taken a prominent role in two Intifadas, providing “hundreds of prisoners” and 17 so-called “martyrs on the altar of freedom”. 
[August 2015 update: The link we embedded above to the Arabic Wikipedia page is to the archived version as it was on May 20, 2013. The Arabic Wikipedia page on Nabi Saleh, the village, has been substantially changed since then (see the revised version here), possibly in response to this post of ours. All references to the Tamimis and their passion for jihad, murder and martyrdom have been carefully removed. But they remain preserved in the archived version. We address this rewriting of history in a later post of ours: see "29-Aug-15: Revisiting a Palestinian Arab village and its monsters"]
The most prominent of the prisoners (Wikipedia's word) is a woman called Ahlam. It's a surname shared with almost every other inhabitant of the village: TamimiBut it's Bassem Tamimi who is the focus of the article. He calls the Intifada launched by Yasser Arafat in 2000 “the big mistake… Politically, we went backward”.  

The writer helps us understand what kind of backward he means:
"Much of the international good will gained over the previous decade was squandered. Taking up arms wasn’t, for Bassem, a moral error so much as a strategic one. He and everyone else I spoke with in the village insisted they had the right to armed resistance; they just don’t think it works."
Or to say it another way: they are entitled to kill the Israelis and have done so again and again, but it’s not that effective. A different kind of warfare needs to be adopted.

Half-way through today's essay, he introduces a figure who embodies that “big mistake”:
In 1993, Bassem told me, his cousin Said Tamimi killed a settler near Ramallah. Eight years later, another villager, Ahlam Tamimi escorted a bomber to a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors. Ahlam, who now lives in exile in Jordan, and Said, who is in prison in Israel, remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.
That's all he writes about Ahlam Tamimi. But we can tell you more. 

Ahlam Tamimi is a Jordanian who was 21 years old and the news-reader on a Palestinian Arab television program when she signed on with Hamas to become a terrorist. She engineered, planned and helped execute a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on a hot summer afternoon in 2001. She chose the target, a restaurant filled with Jewish children. And she brought the bomb to its target. 

The outcome (15 humans killed, a sixteenth still in a vegetative state today, 130 injured) was so uplifting to her that she has gone on camera again and again to say, smiling into the camera lens, how proud she is of what she did. She is entirely free of regret. A convicted felon and a mass-murderer convicted on multiple homicide charges, she has never denied the role she embraced. She justifies it fully.

Yet the only thing this New York Times piece says about Nabi Saleh’s favourite one-time resident is that she was an escort “who now lives in exile in Jordan”. Period. 

This is no mere oversight. 

* * *

The editors at the New York Times showcased this same happy murderer once before, six years ago. Then, as now, we  felt someone needed to push back. We posted two blog articles: “7-Aug-07: Hot House: Cold Truths” and “28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women”, and got a little attention for a while. But it was clear to us that those who thought they perceived greatness of spirit in the woman continued to think it.

One of the lives she snuffed out was that of our precious daughter Malki who was fifteen years old. Malki was the kind of young woman whose abbreviated life and its achievements ought to have entitled her to at least a fraction of the media coverage bestowed by the NYT editors and others on her killer. But that's not how things work. 

Those editors, and the author of today’s NYT Magazine piece as well, are evidently less moved by the innocent lives of the victims, lived and lost, than by the hypnotic power of symbolism

Of the lethal rock-hurling attacks directed at Israelis, the blood-drenched little village's Bassem Tamimi says
he didn’t worry over whether stone-throwing counted as violence. The question annoyed him… If the loincloth functioned as the sign of Gandhi’s resistance, of India’s nakedness in front of British colonial might, Bassem said, “Our sign is the stone.” The weekly clashes with the I.D.F. were hence in part symbolic. The stones were not just flinty yellow rocks, but symbols of defiance… The message they carried, he said, was “We don’t accept you.”
Creative. Stone-throwing as a symbolPeople have been killed and (as recently as this past Thursday) critically injured by the rocks and cement blocks and boulders hurled by the 'stone' throwers. But we're being picky.

Perhaps "we don't accept you" is what people living far from the scene imagine goes through the minds of baby-killers and restaurant bombers. But from the vantage point of where we live, such innocent-sounding turns of phrase leave us dumbfounded.

 * * *

Ahlam Tamimi’s post-massacre trajectory has been like something out of Hollywood - or perhaps the New York Times Magazine. 

On being convicted by an Israeli court in October 2003, she was sentenced to 16 consecutive life terms in prison. The presiding judge speaking for his colleagues on the bench and having heard her proudly claim credit for the killings and maimings, added for the record their view that Tamimi should “not be eligible for pardon by the military commander, nor to early parole by any other means”. 

He and his fellow judges and my wife and I as well were coldly and very deliberately ignored when eight years later, almost to the day, she walked free as one of the 1,027 murderers and assorted other terrorists unjustly freed – not pardoned - as part of Israel’s agreement to the extortionate terms of the Gilad Shalit transaction

Tamimi who had been bussed to Cairo with many other delirious convicted terrorists flew to Jordan the same day. That's where she was married in an event carried live on mainstream Jordanian television channels to another freed and unpardoned murderer. He is her cousin, a Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, convicted of the cold-blooded murder we mentioned above when we mentioned Bassem Tamimi who was his mother's brother. 

Ahlam Tamimi's handlers soon sent her off to address rallies in various Middle East capitals outside Jordan. She evolved into a media hero as the presenter of a weekly Hamas satellite television program, devoted to the interests of imprisoned Palestinian Arab terrorists, and broadcast from Amman to all corners of the Arabic-speaking world.  

How the twists and turns of this life have impacted on her victims has never, as far as we know, been explored by any branch of the media, presumably for reasons of lack of interest. But within the Arab world, she is a celebrity.

Bassem Tamimi receives a salary from the foreign-aid-funded Palestinian Authority. But, like many thousands of other Palestinian Arabs on the massively-bloated PA payroll, he admits to the NYT Magazine that he almost never has to report to his office or do any work - while blaming this on the Israelis, naturally. 

The article might have pointed out, but did not, that massive servings of no-strings-attached funds paid by European governments to the terrorism-friendly PA are the reason men like Bassem Tamimi have the time and energy it takes to become a star of the New York Times and a source of videos, interviews and opinions.

His own photogenic daughter Ahed Tamimi has achieved fame and influence and even been awarded a prize by one of the Middle East’s more Israel-phobic political figures for playing her part. Photos of her sticking a fist in the face of IDF servicemen in Nabi Saleh, the personification of an innocent sort of juvenile courage, are everywhere. (The NYT article mentions that she has been dubbed "Shirley Temper" in some quarters; you can see why in this video clip.) 

In reality, those images of defiance were captured by a horde of press agency photographers arranged by her parents. They followed the girl around as she walked up to one Israeli officer after another, hoping to provoke a camera-worthy (meaning violent) response. It never came, though not for lack of effort by the Tamimis. 

Ahed Tamimi has been used and abused in this way again and again by her parents and community; there is no shortage of collaborators among the paparazzi. Any connection between this contrived set-piece and reality is entirely accidental.

* * *

Two years ago, in the New York Review of Books, a writer launched into his experience of the same hilltop town (spelled differently, but the same place) with these words:
The first thing I saw in al-Nabi Salih was a huge sign in Arabic and English: “We Believe in Non-Violence. Do You?” It was World Peace Day, and speaker after speaker reaffirmed a commitment to peace and to nonviolent resistance to the occupation.
What kind of non-violence do these people actually espouse?

We wonder how often public opinion about the complex lives and unwanted war in which we and our neighbours live is formed by people who don't speak the local languages, and don't know much of its history or geography. Lacking the ability and sometimes the will to actually delve, they are left to read romanticized narratives, signs painted onto walls, political analysis crafted by full-time practitioners of public relations, staged photographs and other tendentious imagery.

The result is a kind of entrancement: messy, nasty complexity reduced down to simple pill form. Swallow this, and join us.

This process, of the kind that an astute observer has called auto-stupefaction, has an antidote: reality. We wish there were enough courageous and ethical journalists to deliver what has not yet been done: a blunt look directly into the face and deeds of Ahlam Tamimi and those who share her views, who admire her demonic actions. 

That the New York Times Magazine focused on Nabi Saleh while barely mentioning the convicted child killer celebrated by the residents of the town as an honored daughter (for confirmation, see Arabic Wikipedia) indicates how manipulated its readers are. Also: how far we are from beginning to blunt the ongoing threat of the terrorists.

UPDATE March 23, 2013: This post has gotten what for us is a very large number of views, and was republished on several other sites including Algemeiner, FrontPageMag, The Jewish Press, and the Check the Pulse and Love of the Land blogs. Thanks for helping us get it out. Frimet submitted a letter to the editors at the New York Times Magazine some days ago, and we are still hoping to see them decide to publish it, but no indication so far. [It's here.]

UPDATE September 2, 2015: The post above is by far the most widely-read item we have ever published in this blog. There's evidently something about the extraordinary Tamimi clan and their extraordinary ugliness, brazen weaponization of their children and striking success at winning allies like Amnesty International that seems to capture people's attention. Also their passion for killing.

To read other posts of ours that are indexed with the search term "Nabi Saleh" (there are already several dozen in our blog), click here. We want to recommend these two posts in particular:
UPDATE December 28, 2017: The arrest last week of Ahed Tamimi, known widely (as mentioned above) by the not-exactly-complimentary name of Shirley Temper has provoked a storm of media attention. Here are three pieces we have put out in the past few days:


Stop BDS Park Slope said...

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Roth -

I read your blog often, but have never commented.

My heart breaks for you every time I read your writing.

You are doing important work. May you continue to go from strength to strength.

Barbara Mazor

Unknown said...

thank you for getting your response out so quickly. it's so disheartening to see so prominent a newspaper engage in such systematic misinformation.

This Ongoing War said...

Barbara, you might be surprised at how much your comments, and those of people like you, mean to us. As you must have understood, we don't write in order to advance a political agenda. We write out of a sense of outrage, and a need for people to understand how much all of us lose when the beautiful life of a person like our Malki is allowed to be flicked away by terrorists. The Ehrenreich article is not the first or last that 'spins' and romanticizes the terrorists and their supporters. However the prominence it has gotten from the editors of the Times, and its timing just hours before the US president arrives in Jerusalem, demand that we expose what is going on. Whatever the motivations of the editors at the NYT, it has little to do with seeking the truth or with objective reporting.

Naomi R said...

I have read many of your blogs and am heartened by your candor and courage. Thank you again for a message from the heart.

Anonymous said...

Though I do appreciate what you are saying, the piece clearly represents what those in that Arab village say and think. Reverse things, and ask settlers to comment on their "arab" neighbors.
I am not upholding a potential intifada but merely pointing out that what the piece really demonstrates is that there is not likel\y ever to be a two state solution. The Times did not blame the Israelis for this.

I am sure there will be letters expressing outrage from those supporting the concern you here express.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It's all of ours' as well.

I hope Hashem frikkin' destroys the entire Tamimi family And everyone they love.

Have a zissen Pesach.


queenbee said...

I started to read the NYT article over the weekend, but found it hard to continue. Their unquestioning acceptance of the lies and distortions as presented by the villagers can hardly pass for professional journalism. As enraged as I was, I can only imagine how it must have felt for you. Kudos to you for such an eloquent response. May you know no more sorrow.

Elon said...

Considering they specifically said on the cover they want to start the Third Intifada, and the first two were incredibly violent, I'm not sure they are hiding anything.

Unknown said...

No wonder The New York Times is considered Der Sturmer of the 21st century. Looking forward to celebrating its demise within the next 5 years.

YMedad said...

the NYT is now promoting an upgraded version of the chic radicalism (formerly the salon radicalism) that certain liberal/progressives get all excited about.

Unknown said...

This NY Times puff piece also contains this gem of an understatement: “In mid-November, Israeli rockets began falling on Gaza.”

Oh that’s how it happened, all of a sudden IDF rockets began falling out of the sky on Gaza for no apparent reason.

What about the thousands of Hamas rockets fired on Sderot, Ashkelon, and Southern Israel since Israel retreated from Gaza?

Andy Gill said...

A beautiful and moving article. It is infuriating that an evil cold-hearted bitch like Tammimi is free to roam around pollute the air that decent people have to breathe and sickening everyone with the stench that emanates from her every orifice.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

While we understand your apparent desire to be "even-handed" in analyzing this difficult situation, we cannot support the idea of moral equivalency between the Palestinian and Israeli positions. This is not mainly based on the barbarity vs the high moral standards demonstrated. It is based on the fact that the owner of the land, HaShem, promised it to the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The current dispute is because among the Palestinians, who have always had a place in the land mandated to them by HaShem, if they will follow His Torah (Jeremiah 12:14-17, etc), the current claim is that the land was given to Ishmael and his offspring, though their own sacred scriptures clearly identify it as the land of the Jews.

So the real issue is, whose land is it? If it belongs to HaShem, and He has given it to the Jews, then there is no longer any territorial dispute.

Also Anonymous

Unknown said...

I read carefully what you wrote here because I had read Mr. Ben Ehrenreich's wonderful, thought-provoking article in the NYT, and I was deeply moved. As I read your article, however, this Biblical sentence kept ringing in my head: "You reap what you sow". If Israeli settlers did not occupy Palestine, the Palestinians would never need to drive the illegal settlers away, in the first place, don't you think so? I suggest that you direct your efforts to persuade the Israeli politicians that the time to vacate the settlements and give Palestinians' ancestral lands back to the Palestinians is long over due. Also, think about the thirty Palestinian toddlers burnt alive by the IDF soldiers during Gaza War-I using white phosphorus bombs. Haven't enough people died to satisfy Israeli's hunger for Palestinians' lands?

P.S: I do not dislike or hate Israelis; I just despise Israeli governments policies towards the Palestinians. I am a follower of the apostle of peace - Mahatma Gandhi.

Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania

This Ongoing War said...

Yesh Prabhu's comment is one of the sadder contributions we have seen recently. Be open and confess that you are praising or defending or 'understanding' the terrorists and the hatred they sow. But please take great care before disingenuously attaching the words 'peace' or 'Gandhi' to those counter-factual and self-destroying views. If the Christian precept of "What a man sows, that shall he also reap" applied to life the way that the laws of physics apply, the Palestinian Arabs today would be well educated, well-cared for by a functioning medical system, devoted to the welfare and future of their children and open to the painful compromise that peaceful relations require. None of these are true. It's possible that trying to reach operative conclusions about complex political conflicts based on fragments of philosophical thoughts, on Goldstone reports or on cheap slogans does not get one very far. And if Mr Yesh is ever interested enough to understand what Israeli society actual does 'hunger' for, we recommend he seeks a more insightful guide than the 'wonderful' and 'thought-provoking' Ehrenreich.

David Conley said...

Dear Yesh Prabhu,

I wish the Arabs would live by the principles of Mahatma Gandhi instead of hatred and war. You do know that hamas is the cause of the Gaza trouble by firing thousands of rockets on civilians. You do know that, don't you. "Palestinians' ancestral lands"? you got to be kidding. Judea and Samaria are the ANCESTRAL LANDS of the Jewish people as recorded in that very ancient book, the Jewish Bible. Arabs only INVADED the Jewish homeland in the 600's. Since you quoted the Bible, may I suggest you read the following: Joel 4:14-21 and especially vs 19-20. "Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a desolate waste, because of the outrage to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed the blood of the INNOCENT. But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem throughout the ages." I don't know where you received your education, but you need to sue your teachers for failing to instruct you properly.

Unknown said...

First of all, I wish to thank you for publishing my comment. I wish to assure you that it gave me neither joy nor satisfaction to write what I wrote; but my deep interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict over the last thirty years, and my heartfelt desire to see this abominable conflict resolved soon, has prompted me to say and write the things I do. Both Israelis and Palestinians have paid enormous price as a result of this conflict, in properties destroyed, limbs lost, and lives terminated.

Until last year, Israel had many staunch friends, well wishers and defenders around the world. Now, several of Israel's close allies such as France, the UK, the EU, and even Germany, perhaps its strongest defender of all, next only to the US, have openly and often stridently criticized Israel's government, using biting and harsh words unimaginable only a year ago. Even Australia has tried to distance itself from Netanyahu's government. This is because of Israel's policy of stubbornly lending a deaf ear to their complaints of Israel's settlements policy. Now the US is Israel's only reliable ally, and even the US is finding it difficult to support Israel, so much so that only today it refused to participate in the discussion at the UN, in Geneva, about Israel's settlements policy, and did not try to defend Israel. The UN has now threatened that it might take Israel to the ICC to put a stop to Israel's ever expanding settlements, which the UN says are illegal per International Laws.

I hope Israelis open their eyes, and see what is in store if the Israel-Palestine conflict is not resolved amicably in the very near future. The situation might turn really ugly, and both Israelis and Palestinians will suffer, and the US will suffer too, by losing its credibility on the world stage.

The world has witnessed too much violence, and the loss of too many lives. A new world, where people can live in peace, in harmony with nature, and experience the joys of living, is possible.

Let there be peace on earth. And soon.


Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania

This Ongoing War said...

To Yesh Prabhu: We are parents whose child - a young woman full of love, energy and determination to live a worthy life of good actions - was murdered when she was 15. The person who engineered her death is always careful to smile broadly when the cameras are pointed at her. She says (over and again, at every opportunity) that she is proud, happy, fulfilled. She wishes others would do what she did and go out and kill Jews. (Every word of the previous sentence is literally true.)

So when you write that "The situation might turn really ugly", you broadcast on a frequency to which we are not tuned and never again will be.

The situation has been ugly for several generations. You must ask yourself how many thousands more of innocent people must the jihadists murder in their blood-soaked religious quest before we stop wishing them "Peace and have a nice day"?

We have been in a war for a long time, an ongoing war, even if many among us don't entirely realize it. This does not mean we wish to be in a war. We assuredly do not. But it is what is being done to us, and like rational and sane people, we wish to make it stop. You suggest that it will stop when settlements stop expanding and international laws are observed, but this is patent nonsense. As a student of history, you will surely be able to tell us how many international laws were broken by Israel and how many "settlements" were existing, let alone 'expanding', when the Arab countries invaded this land, armed with blood-curdling rhetoric and massive armed forces, in 1948. And when they lined up behind Nasser in 1967.

We share your desire for peace on earth. But we want you to be more honest about how peace is made to happen. The peace that follows from the analysis you have shared with us is the peace of the graveyard. We know that peace only too well and we want something much better - both for ourselves and for our neighbours.

Anonymous said...

Dear ones. I am so sorry for your loss. Can words on an internet blog express the sorrow for what happened and what continues to happen? Your Malki is also my Malki, precious and beloved to our nation. That you have been able to channel your loss into this blog is astounding. May you be blessed with strength in all ways. Sometimes I can hardly breathe when I think about this situation and the compliance of the world to the evil that is happening. If it is all from Hashem, all the more so that I am dumbfounded.

My heart and soul are so with you; and we stand with you firm in this holy land.

blbl said...

Mrs Barbara i hope you you can read the stories of Nabi Saleh people or you can see one off the videos witch uploaded on YouTube on (BILAL TAMIMI) chanal for their weekly demonstration and you are welcome to Nabi Saleh to see whats happen in our daily life

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss and encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. I cannot help but think that the Palestinians agree that 1027 Palestinian lives is equal to (and not greater than) the value of one Jewish life.

Anonymous said...

you truly are a fascist, the people of nabi saleh are kind and brave, how dare you call them monsters when you have never even been there, this blog is full of disgusting hate speech and it makes me sick

Anonymous said...

Tragic; you have my heartfelt condolences.

That said, why hasn't Mossad killed the bombers (*ALL* of them, and the planners & bomb makers too)?
The rotten cowardly bastards that plan these bombings not only deliberately kill innocents; they are corrupting their own youth. I hope there is a special place in hell for them.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Prabhu, your interest of 30 years is not enough. Go back to Nov. 29, 1947, when the UN General Assembly (res. #181) divided British-mandated Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jews accepted this resolution, the Arabs rejected it and started war after war to "drown it in rivers of blood" (words of Jamal Husseini at that UN meeting). The saddest part of all: The Arabs of Palestine at the time had not voice in rejecting this partition - their 'benevolent' brethren
did so for them... And the rest is history.

This Ongoing War said...

So here's what we meant. The word "monsters" expresses our moral revulsion at two kinds of people.

One is the cold-blooded murdering 21 year-old woman who admitted proudly on video and in front of a court that she set out in the name of her religion and her national duty to massacre religious Jewish children, carefully choosing a popular kosher restaurant which attracts them, and bringing the bomb (who had been a young man) to the site at lunch-time on a hot school-holidays afternoon when the place would be packed. You can easily find on the web all the details of what she admits she did. It is what made her a hero in her society.

And the other is the people of Nabi Saleh who continue to claim this psychopathic figure as their hero, as the crown and honor for their village. They danced with joy when she was unjustly freed from prison; the unjust aspect was especially sweet to them, because they understand that her freedom was gained by an act of Hamas extortion. And they danced with joy when she got married some months ago to another unjustly freed convicted murderer from Nabi Saleh who is also a Tamimi. They praise her and celebrate her life's achievement which, in case you have already forgotten, is the planning and successful execution of a massacre. Did we mention that she deliberately targeted children, and that she succeeded?

We call them monsters; you call them "kind and brave". You call us fascist. We don't have a name for you.

If you choose to reply here, we will insist you give your name and email address and cease to hide behind 'anonymous'. This is the sort of 'disgusting' and 'sick' thing we 'fascists' do.

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences.
After reading your article yesterday I found some details about the members of the Tamimi family which you might not know.
"On March 2nd, 2012, Amnesty International pronounced Tamimi a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate and unconditional release from Israeli prison."

The engagement of AI in this case is at least debatable.

Best to you

Fritz Wunderlich

This Ongoing War said...

Fritz, first of all thank you. I urge you to take a look at the brief but sharp BBC-Watch analysis of the interplay among Amnesty, the BBC and the so-called Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. It is worth a few moments of your time to see what is at this link:

I cannot help thinking that if we were able to devote ourselves full-time to presenting the case for terrorism's victims, we might have far more impact than we do today.

In that sense, I envy Bassem Tamimi's access to (a) a completely unjustified full-time salary from the Euro-funded Palestinian Authority; (b) additional funding that comes to his Tamimi Press business; (c) the influence that comes from such patrons as AI, New York Times, BBC, and the various "collectives", "coordinating committees" and "fronts" that are active wherever there are angry Palestinian Arabs.

I doubt people outside the area understand how this foreign-funded 'civil service' works. It includes many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people living and working within 15 minutes drive of our home, engaged full-time as professionals in the cognitive war being waged against Israelis and Jews. For them, if the conflict were to end, they would be out of a job. Once this is comprehended, you quickly get to see the impact on how news is made, packaged and distributed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with every aspect, in the west especially European States, NGOs, Church networks et. are supportive and financing, besides other big resources from UN, OPEC, OIC, Oil/Gas States and other networks who ideologically are very different from the West.

Maybe American supporters should be reminded of these victims

Best, Fritz

Anonymous said...

Gandhi was an anti-Semite. Possibly you are so blissfully ignorant and ill read that you were unaware of that. A follower of Gandhi indeed. Fool.

Avi said...

Israel's moral high-ground is entirely a result of Israel's actions and not a result of unsubstantiated religious beliefs. Sullying a proper argument with belief in God only hurts your stance. Unless you can prove that a God exists, that he promised the land to the Jews, _and_ that he is in a moral place to make such a promise, you really should just focus on Israel's actions as opposed to the actions of the Palestinians.

Avi said...

The settlement of Israelis in the West Bank was not illegal and did not harm the Palestinians. The Palestinians didn't live on that land. The PAlestinians have no claim to it. I don't see why the Palestinians have any right to request the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people because they're so racist they can't stand to live near them.

Avi said...

Israel has offered a very large portion of its land to the Palestinians in exchange for peace and the Palestinians have consistently refused to negotiate. Whereas Abbas refuses to negotiate until all his demands are met beforehand, even Netanyahu (who is certainly no peacenik) maintains the policy that he is open to negotiations any time, any where. The only people in the way of peace are the Palestinians.

Amanda said...

I stumbled across your blog today, and I think it's wonderful that you were able to create something beautiful in your daughter's memory. I am so sorry for your loss. I could go on and on about Islamic extremism and their hatred for God's chosen people, but it's surely nothing you don't already know. I just wanted to let you know that you have another friend and supporter in the US. May God bless Israel!

David G said...

@Yesh Prabhu: Arabs have been murdering Jews in the Land of Israel for as far back as history can remember. Ever hear of the Hebron massacres in 1929? I didn't think so. When was the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization, formed? 1964- three years before Israel gained control of the West Bank or other 'Palestinian territories'. To say that Arab violence in the Land of Israel is only a result of settlement activity is naive, ignorant of history, and plain wrong.

And of course, nothing ever justifies the targeted murder of civilian men women and children, such as the palestinian terrorists do against Israelis and are glorified as 'martyrs' for. If you believe that terrorist murder of Jewish children in Israel is somehow justified because of settlement activity, it would appear you have a lot less in common with your vaunted nonviolent Gandhi than you seem to think.

Anonymous said...

The only nation that ever existed in today's Palestine were Jews.
Even during several foreign conquests there was always a Jewish presence in the land. More than 2000 years ago, the Roman conquerors renamed Judea as 'Palestina' and since then it was Jews who were known as 'Palestinians' throughout the world. In 1920 both east and west of the Jordan R. were called 'Palestine' and were to be the Jewish homeland. In 1922 an adjustment to that resulted in 77% of that promise cut off to create 'eastern Palestine' - for Arabs only. That land was later called Jordan.
This left all of today's territory called Palestine for the Jewish homeland. It was unanimously passed by the League of Nations - all 51 countries. After 1948 and the recreation of the Jewish state on its ancient land, the original Palestinians - Jews- took the name 'Israelis'. Only years later, Arabs- many of whom had immigrated from surrounding countries - adopted the name 'Palestinians' since it matched the name of the terriroty and gave the appearance of their ownership. Those who do not know the history of the region - like Yesh Prabhu - should learn the history of the region and understand that Jews are not occupying the land of anyone else and have the legitimate right to be citizens of the legally ordained land that they are settling.

Denis said...

As a non-religious person, I have to agree that citing Ha-Shem or any other deity is not helpful in this dispute. But it is important to point out that the Arab side of the dispute has, from the beginning, been based on the strictures of Islamic law, according to which no territory, once conquered by Muslim armies or converted to an Islamic majority, may be allowed to pass out of Muslim hands. If it does pass into Christian or Jewish hands, as with Spain, Portugal, parts of southern Italy, Sicily, northern India, Israel and elsewhere, then Muslims have a duty to recover it. The Islamic theory of international law is based on the legislation concerning jihad, which means that UN resolutions, League of Nations mandates, and so on are not considered final or even important. (Which doesn't stop many Arab countries basing their boundaries and independence on the French and British mandates created after WWI.) Hence the perpetual rejection of any solution of the Israel-Palestinian dispute that does not give all the lands (from the river to the sea) back to Muslims. Israel was created fairly and squarely on the basis of modern, post-Westphalian understanding of international law and the modern definition of the nation state. That seems to apply to every other country on the planet, but not Israel, which must struggle against the strictures of ancient and medieval Islamic law codes. The modern consensus applies to everyone except a majority of Muslims, who simply don't accept that times have changed. Of course, there are Ultra-Orthodox, Haredi, and Hasidic Jews who also refuse to wake up to the 21st century, but their international political influence is more limited than that of extremist Muslims.

Anonymous said...

As a non-religious person, I have to agree that citing Ha-Shem or any other deity is not helpful in this dispute. But it is important to point out that the Arab side of the dispute has, from the beginning, been based on the strictures of Islamic law, according to which no territory, once conquered by Muslim armies or converted to an Islamic majority, may be allowed to pass out of Muslim hands. If it does pass into Christian or Jewish hands, as with Spain, Portugal, parts of southern Italy, Sicily, northern India, Israel and elsewhere, then Muslims have a duty to recover it. The Islamic theory of international law is based on the legislation concerning jihad, which means that UN resolutions, League of Nations mandates, and so on are not considered final or even important. (Which doesn't stop many Arab countries basing their boundaries and independence on the French and British mandates created after WWI.) Hence the perpetual rejection of any solution of the Israel-Palestinian dispute that does not give all the lands (from the river to the sea) back to Muslims. Israel was created fairly and squarely on the basis of modern, post-Westphalian understanding of international law and the modern definition of the nation state. That seems to apply to every other country on the planet, but not Israel, which must struggle against the strictures of ancient and medieval Islamic law codes. The modern consensus applies to everyone except a majority of Muslims, who simply don't accept that times have changed. Of course, there are Ultra-Orthodox, Haredi, and Hasidic Jews who also refuse to wake up to the 21st century, but their international political influence is more limited than that of extremist Muslims.

Anonymous said...

I n the beginning I am going to start with peace as a value, identity and a common project for the whole humanity.
Because we love the humanity as a meaning and a value , we refuse the injustice, the discrimination , the genocide, the terrorism in all its forms and because we are victims of the occupation and we suffered a lot from everything they did to us, we understand the meaning of the pain and the sorrow of everyone, because we can touch their feelings .
The European society that you are accusing ad blaming for helping and supporting the Palestinian, they are the same who created our problem when they decide to solve the issue of the victims of the Holocaust at our expenses and they settled the rescapes from the Holocaust in our land and we became refugees.
We are the victims of the victim.
Because of that we feel the pain for every child who has been killed and for every home that has been destroyed ad we do not want that this sufferance continue as the result of the continuation of the conflict.
We are resisting for peace, freedom, justice and to obtain the same rights for everyone ad In order to build a better future for our children and yours in the shadow of justice, peace ad equality.
We do not want to be stuck in the past ad to keep feeling our pain and the sorrow that we felt, neither to revive our tragedy.
We are sorry for your lost, for the death of your daughter, but we have also lost.
I lost my sister, who was killed In front of her child by a female soldier in the military court. Said was never able to see his father and his sister because they were killed in a refugee camp in Lebanon during an israeli attack.
In this ``little village in the hills ``20 persons have been killed by the occupation.
In the last year we lost two young men, Mustafa ad Rushdi, killed by your soldiers.
You are angry about the NYT article but at the same time you are not able to accept and to understand the anger of a little girl that you are accusing of acting for the cameras.
You cannot accept the angry reaction and the pain of a girl in front of the soldiers who have arrested her father, killed her aunt and uncle and arrested and beat her brother in front of her eyes.
To conclude, God who gave you the right on Palestine, our homeland, as you said, is the same God who brought us to live here.
If we want to build a better future for everyone, we have to stop to live stuck in the past, we have to change these past thoughts that brought us in this situation.
We have to look at the future to build a state of freedom, justice peace and democracy where everyone is equal and everyone has the same opportunities without discrimination based on the ethnicity or the religion.
Ad we will rise our children according to Jesus' message to love your enemies.

Bassim Tamimi

This Ongoing War said...

Since it comes from "Anonymous", we don't know whether the last comment was in reality sent by Bassim Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, the 'hero' of the NYT Magazine piece. In any case, we invite him to relate to the points that Frimet Roth makes at

Petra Marquardt-Bigman said...

Anonymous "Bassim Tamimi" doesn't want "to live stuck in the past," but unfortunately, the past he wants to overcome has very little to do with what really happened in the past.

He writes:
"The European society that you are accusing ad blaming for helping and supporting the Palestinian, they are the same who created our problem when they decide to solve the issue of the victims of the Holocaust at our expenses and they settled the rescapes from the Holocaust in our land and we became refugees.
We are the victims of the victim"

If Anonymous is the real Bassim Tamimi, he knows of course that he is lying here. Jews have lived in the Land of Israel long before any Arab showed up and have maintained a Jewish presence throughout the millennia all over the region. When the Arab League decided that the Jewish citizens of its member states should be punished for the establishment of a Jewish state, they acknowledged that Jews are a people. Half of Israel's Jewish citizens are descendants of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries -- Jews who were made refugees supposedly in defense of Palestinian rights.

And since Anonymous BT likes to talk about Jesus, let's remember that he was born to a Jewish mother in the ancient homeland of the Jews.

Secondly, if Anonymous BT wants to talk about the Holocaust, he should recall that the man who was widely accepted as the Palestinian leader both before and also for some time after WWII spent the war as "Hitler's Mufti", comfortable in Berlin, with the generous salary of a Wehrmacht Field Marshall, doing his very best to help the Nazis and plan for what would happen if they managed to "liberate" Palestine... Just this January, Palestinian President Abbas named the mufti as one of the historic Palestinian pioneers -- and later this year, a new book will come out on this much neglected and overlooked part of Palestinian history. Hopefully, Anonymous BT will read it to educate himself.

Moreover, Anonymous BT makes himself a spokesperson for the Palestinians, but unfortunately, he isn't any more reliable on this subject. For a reality check of his claims about how peace-loving and generally good-intentioned the Palestinians, we can consult countless polls that document Palestinian extremism. For brevity's sake, I'll just quote the Pew surveys that show that Osama bin Laden was nowhere more popular than among Palestinians: in 2003, some 75% saw him as somebody they'd trust to "do the right thing" in world affairs; by the end of the decade, it was still more than 50% of Palestinians who felt that way, and by 2011, when he was killed, it was still 33% -- i.e. every third Palestinian.

Last but not least, it is noteworthy that Anonymous BT doesn't want a Palestinian state -- something the Palestinians were offered repeatedly since 1947. Instead, he wants to see the successful Jewish state dissolved in a bi-national state where Jews would soon be again a minority. The current draft constitution for the Palestinian state describes it as an Arab and Muslim state where Sharia would be the source for legislation. We see in Gaza how nicely this works out.

Anonymous said...

I live in the north of Israel and just want to offer my support for what you are doing to get the truth out. I am disturbed by how many so-called intellectuals--such as Judith Butler--are enamored by totalitarian Islamic terrorists. It astounds me when liberals push aside their beliefs to align with reactionaries.
I hope you continue to get the truth out and I will do what I can to spread the word.
Diana Bletter

ann said...

If you love humanity so much, and feel so bad for Mr.and Mrs.Roth in the loss of their daughter, then why do you and the people in your town hail the coldhearted,evil woman who laughed about the murders of their daughter and 14 other innocent people as a hero who is to be emulated?

I know many Arab children have been killed in this conflict too, and that is very tragic,and I am sorry for the loss of your sister,it is tragic to lose a loved one at anytime,but the Palestinians act so cruel and heartless towards Israelis including little children who have did nothing to you. How can you possibly defend much less admire a woman who smiled when she found out she had murdered more children that she had thought?

Your sicko people put on a play at a college in Nablus reenacting the carnage at Sbarro bombing like it was all a big joke. How would you feel if your beloved child was cruelly murdered like the Roths, or your whole family was murdered like the Schivjschurders, and polls indicated most of the people your nation are trying to make peace with supported the murder of your precious child who never hurt anyone and was only kind,decent and tried to help people like Malki did in her short years in this world?

And while your still in shock and grief so bad,you don't know if you can even go on,you watched people cheering and handing out candy to celebrate your child, or family being murdered? I don't understand how you can actually think people really believe what your saying when you say you love humanity and peace when your actions show just the exact opposite.

Rachamim Slonim Dwek said...

Yesh Prebu: You state that Israel is reaping what it sows because of "Settlers." When the very first Arab appeared in history in 853 BCE/BC Jews already had a half a millenia on the very land you describe as "Occupied."

When the very first Arab arrived on the land in question in 636 CE/AD, Jews were on the land for 2,000 years, 1,200 of them sovereign.

Jews are the indigenous people of the land. The only "Settlers" are the Arabs whp exist on this land only by virtue of their ancestors incredibly violent and racist INVASION.

The particular village being discussed, Nabi Saleh (Prophet Saleh) was recreated by Arabs in the mid-20th Century. The village's very name is Jewish. It is the burial site of Shelach (Saleh in Arabic), son of Yehudah (Judah). Judah happens to be the ultimate soirce of the word "Jew."

What a bizarre perspective you have. A town named after a Jew, originally a Jewish village is now said to be "Palestinian."

As for Jews repeaing what they sow, I find it quite curious thay you seemed to not comprehend the fact that the village of 550 has prpduced 17 people killed while committing acts of terrorism. Now did you assimilate that 3 living men brutally tortured a Jew (Chaim Mizrachi) amd then tossed him into the boot of his car before setting it on fire and burning him to death. Nor did you catch the part about a female clam member having a role in a massive "Suicide Bombing" at a resturant.