Saturday, March 30, 2013

30-Mar-13: "To see the NY Times gloss over this travesty of justice is journalism of the most amoral sort"

Our daughter, Malki z"l. Murdered  at age 15
by the most prominent, celebrated and honored 
of Nabi Saleh's offspring.
The editors of the New York Times Magazine chose two weeks ago to publish a partisan, tendentious and extraordinarily selective piece of advocacy journalism about the village of Nabi Saleh. Located a few kilometers north of our home in Jerusalem, it's a place that holds significance for us since almost all its residents share the same surname: Tamimi.

One of those Tamimis is the person who engineered the massacre of women and children in which our much-loved child Malki was murdered at the age of fifteen in August 2001 at Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant.

We published a response to that article ["17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns"]. It evoked a response beyond anything else we have written before: many thousands of views here on our blog; thousands more on several other magazines and blogs that cross-posted it on their sites.

The editors of the New York Times did not respond to it.  Nor did they react to a letter that Frimet submitted to them ten days ago. Tomorrow's New York Times Magazine is now online, and with it the letters (3 of them) that the editors have chosen to publish. We assume they received many more. We're confident none would have spoken in the voice of a mother whose child was brutally killed by a woman from the village whose promoters revel in the use of the bogus descriptor "non-violent". It's the alleged non-violence of the village and its people that underpins the article's premise.

Here below is the letter Frimet submitted - and that was rejected at the New York Times. Please consider passing it along to your friends, particularly those friends who read the Times and fall victim to its highly selective presentation - over many years - of the realities of the conflict between the Arabs and Israel.
March 20, 2013 
The Editors,
NY Times 
Ben Ehrenreich's article ["Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?"] is a brazen quest for confirmation of his preconceptions about the Palestinian Israeli conflict: politics blended with fantasy and embellished with every tear-jerking cliche in the book. Smiling, frolicking children; poetic "activists"; generous hostesses plying their delicacies at every turn. It is a bucolic scene that is frequently painted in anti-Israel publications. But how does the NY Times publish a piece that plays so fast and loose with fact and history?

Sadly, I am well-equipped to offer some corrections and details omitted by Ehrenreich.

Ahlam Tamimi, the villager whom Ehrenreich described as a woman who "escorted a suicide bomber", is in fact the self-confessed engineer and planner of a bloody terrorist attack. By her own account and after several scouting forays, Tamimi selected a target: the Sbarro restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem, on a hot August afternoon in 2001.

Tamimi has said she chose it because she knew it would be teeming at the appointed hour with women and children. She transported the bomb, enhanced with nails and bolts to maximize the carnage, from Ramallah across the Qalandia security checkpoint and into Israel’s capital. Israeli soldiers still waived females through without inspection in those days.

Tamimi and her weapon, the bomber, both dressed in Western garb and chatting in English to appear as tourists, strolled through the city center. At the entrance to Sbarro, she briefed him on where and when to detonate, instructing that he wait 15 minutes to allow her a safe getaway.  Fifteen men, women and children were murdered that afternoon. My teenage daughter Malki was among them. Ehrenreich, who writes warmly about Nabi Saleh’s children, displays a cold detachment when relating to the bombing’s victims, the youngest of whom was two years old: “Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors.”

Tamimi, on the other hand, has focused hard on the children. Filmed in an Israeli prison, she smiled broadly when an interviewer informed her that 8 children were murdered, and not merely the 3 she had known about. Since her release in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, Tamimi has repeatedly and publicly boasted of her deed, adding: "I have no regrets. I would do it again."

Tamimi has always lived in Amman, other than two years in Nabi Saleh while attending university. Israel ‘exiled’ (to adopt Ehrenreich’s term) her to Jordan where her father and brothers reside. Since her release she married another Tamimi, also a convicted murderer freed in the Shalit deal. He too is a home-town hero in Nabi Saleh. The host of her own weekly show on Hamas TV, she travels freely throughout the Arab world to address her many fans, accepting accolades and trophies while urging others to follow in her footsteps.

For a mother to bury her loving, gentle child is torture. To watch the murderer walk triumphantly free and enjoy life rubs salt into that wound every day. But to see the NY Times gloss over this travesty of justice with a cover story that showcases this woman’s many admirers in Nabi Saleh – that is journalism of the most amoral sort. You ought to be ashamed of it.

Frimet Roth - Jerusalem
We would be grateful if you would also consider referring those friends to the op-ed ["17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns"] we posted here two weeks ago in the immediate wake of the NYT Magazine cover story.

POSTSCRIPT: Regular readers of the New York Times may recall that its editors provided an unsurpassed platform, and sickening prominence, to our daughter's murderer six years ago when she was still a prisoner serving multiple life terms (these days, she is out, free as a bird and newly married). We wrote about it here: "28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women", "5-Jul-07: A Balance of Views?" and "7-Jul-07: A Palestinian Terrorist". We were as outraged then as today by the ease with which they slid past the grotesque acts for which this woman and her fellow child-killers were responsible, and in which the citizens of bucolic Nabi Saleh take such unconcealed pride.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Roth,

Devorah from the "Mashiach is Coming" blog referred me to this blog, with a link to the letter the New York Times did not have the common decency to publish. It is the first time I have seen it. I am impressed with your ability to put into words what most of us Jewish Israel-supporters think, and even more than that, your stamina against ill-wishers (although they always say they mean well).

I am ashamed to say that I was first awakened to the fact that our enemies specifically target *CIVILIANS, including CHILDREN* because of the event that killed your daughter Malki. "Sorry" does not begin to describe how I feel, not only for your family's loss and ours, but also about how blind I was until then. At the time, I lived in the United States; in 2007 I made aliyah, and today I live in Yerushalayim.

To make up for that, just a little, I am referring this page to one of my favorite blogs, End of Days (, so that its readers may have access to your writing. Although its readership is relatively small as far as I know (I am not its administrator, nor do I personally know him), plenty of bloggers visit him and comment there. A theme that runs through this site like a leitmotif is the acquisition of common decency, a quality sadly lacking in the world when it comes to Jews, whether as a religion or as a people and, it seems to me, a lot of what you are promoting as well. They may already be familiar with you, but I do not know or see this, so I write this under the assumption that this is a new audience for you.

They know me as CDG, Yerushalayim. I am sincerely yours,

Chava Goldman, Yerushalayim

May you know no more sorrow, and may your family grow along with that of the rest of the Jewish People.

Fran said...

Whatever the motives of the NY Times in publishing articles like this, such disgraceful glamorising of terrorists can only have the effect of promoting terror.


aliyah06 said...

I posted your article on my FB page--I hope it gets passed on and the word gets out. I stopped reading the NYT when it devoted 4 pages to blaming Israel for Arafat's failure to make peace; it has only gone downhill since then.

I have followed your blog, often lurking, and have known about your loss, the world's loss, of Malki, and as the mother of a special needs child, I think of what a difference she would have made in children's lives.

I often hope that Tamimi receives what she so richly deserves.

Be well,

Anonymous said...

I have read about the ‘morbid’ attitude of the New York Times in a Dutch blog. I enclose the link so you can read it by Google translator
under the title The New York Times: a left wing Nightmare.

It seems the New York Times had learned nothing from 9/11. The editors fail to understand that the same people who are responsible for the death of nearly 3000 people at the Twin Towers are the same people who are living in the picturesque and idyllic ‘Village in the Hills’. They are living by the same rules and have the same goals: ‘killing as many as possible infidels’. The war between Israel and the Arabs, is not based on conflict between two countries. It is a religious global war with final goal: ruling the world and Sharia law from Timboektu to Hamerfest, from Tokyo to the Antarctica.

The reason why the New York Times does not response to your letter, it simple: MONEY. In the movie ‘Twins’ say’s Danny de Vito to Arnold Schwarzenegger “Where money talks, bullshit walks’. The same money that does finance terror activities in Israel and all over the world and build mosques worldwide is the same money that buy ‘infidel intellectuals in key positions’. It is well know that Arab and Islamic organizations have a substantial financial influence in leading universities and leading media. Their influence is steadily growing.

Alas I have to admit that the releasing of Ahlam Tamami is a disgrace. Every one wanted the release of Shalit. The only way not to release terror monsters with pints of blood on their hand is …not to let them live so long. Ahlam Tamami did not change her point of view and ideology, simply because she did not have bad time in prison. Most street girls in Sao Paulo or Bogotá do not enjoy the facilities Ahlam Tamami had in prison; they have no roof above their head and no free meals.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Ehrenreich who is such a disgrace to his name?

Fritz Wunderlich