Screen shot: Jordan's Ro'yaTV promo for their
popular "youth show", Caravan
She married another convicted Arab terrorist/murderer, Nizar Tamimi, in the summer of 2012. He is her cousin. (Another cousin is Ahed Tamimi, the 17 year old blondish "icon" of Palestinian "resistance" recently released from an Israeli prison.)
|The murdering Tamimi couple on the Caravan set as fulsome tribute is paid to the honor they bring to Jordan [Image Source: Screen capture]|
The United States Department of Justice unsealed terrorist charges against Ahlam Tamimi on March 14, 2017. That same day, her name was added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list and the US let it be known it was asking Jordan to extradite her to face charges in a Washington courtroom. The two countries have had an active extradition treaty since 1995.
Al-Tamimi was returned to Jordan upon her release from incarceration. Jordan’s courts, however, have ruled that their constitution forbids the extradition of Jordanian nationals. The U.S. has worked and will continue to work with its foreign partners to obtain custody of Al-Tamimi so she can be held accountable for her role in the terrorist bombing. The FBI also announced today that Al-Tamimi has been placed on its list of Most Wanted Terrorists. [DOJ media release, March 14, 2017]A few days after the announcement, Jordan announced that its courts had ruled that the 22 year old treaty was, under Jordanian law, of no legal effect. Consequently, Jordan said, it would not be handing Tamimi over to the Americans.
Tamimi, already a celebrity by that time across large parts of the Arab world as a result of her frequent appearances in the news and in front of live audiences, leveraged it as a platform to further cement her status among Arab-speaking audiences wherever the Alquds TV content can be seen - literally everywhere.
In addition to being broadcast over the air, the weekly program was distributed to global audiences via dozens, perhaps hundreds, of little-known websites specializing in streaming video content - meaning a viewer need only have a smartphone or laptop with Internet connection; no TV, no satellite dish, no impediment to achieving the widest imaginable influence.
Needless to say, she has never shown the slightest remorse for her savagery.
Caravan is a weekly TV show on Jordan’s privately-owned Ro'ya TV channel, evidently the most watched of Jordan’s TV channels. Caravan doesn't appear to have anything political to say. It aims explicitly at a young audience - not children - and gives the impression of trying hard to seem hip in a vaguely Western way.
In its October 23, 2018 edition, the show's attention was entirely given over to Ahlam and Nizar Tamimi, Jordan's best-known husband-and-wife team of convicted, unrepentant Palestinian Arab murderers. And as becomes painfully clear, a pair of well-loved Jordanian heroes whom 'everyone' knows and respects.
The Tamimis were on for 45 minutes. There wasn’t anything especially headline-worthy of anything they said. They never talked about their terrorist act, just their life in prison. You would think they had been sentenced to jail for parking tickets. The host of the show was fawning all over them, calling them special guests over and over again. The husband said “we are living the best life possible now”. The details of their so called heroic imprisonment were quite banal. How they smuggled letters to each other, how they got hope from programs such as the one they were on that talked about prisoners in Israeli jails. How they survived mentally by “challenging” the prison system... At one point, asked what her ambitions were at the age she became a terrorist, she rambled on but ended up praising Jordan and King Abdullah... Watching the show, I was literally cursing into my phone...
Ro'yaTV tweet: The obsequious Tamimi tribute received
heavy promotion on social media [Twitter]
There was also no reference to how she claims now to be innocent of all the charges brought against her by the Department of Justice; or of how she believes the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews, far from being about occupied territories and national self-determination is actually a "religious struggle".
- Presenter (Aya Al-Khayyat): [01:22] "There are many heroes behind bars. They have many stories and wars and a great struggle against the enemy and the occupier. Today in Caravan we are honored to be able to host a number of released prisoners to get to know their great story...
- Welcome Nizar Tamimi and Ahlam Tamimi... It is a great honor for us to host you in the Caravan studio. The first question is: How did you get to know one other and how did you get married?” [laughs]
- Nizar Tamimi says they met after he was already imprisoned in 1993. [Imprisoned? Why? Viewers are left to assume it may have been for a traffic offence; there's no hint given of the brutal murder of an Israeli man of which he and several other Tamimi cousins were convicted in 1993]. Ahlam, he says, was a Jordanian citizen who came to study in Palestine. At that time, visits by relatives, both second and third degree, to the prison were permitted. They were related (he doesn't say how - in reality they are related in several different ways since the Tamimis are deeply involved in marrying within their clan) and she came to visit him. They stayed in touch.
- Nizar Tamimi: [03:54] "Then in 2001, Ahlam was arrested because of her involvement in the struggle and jihad activity [Notice that the fifteen people she murdered, the sixteenth person who remains unconscious to this day - these are not important enough to be mentioned even once in this program] In prison, we were in contact... It was difficult to be in contact, it was not permitted, and the security conditions became more stringent after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Praise to Allah, in 2005 we managed to make a marriage pact while we were in prison... Praise God, we are now living well."
- Presenter asks Ahlam Tamimi how she felt when sentenced to multiple terms of life imprisonment.
- Ahlam Tamimi: "...A life sentence is not a logical thing. But the security establishment of the Zionists aims to compare [Translator: seeks to balance] the state of fear generated by the Palestinians via the struggle activities [Translator: operations] that we have been waging over the years – with life imprisonment. They consider that every dead Israeli should be answered with a life imprisonment sentence and in this way placate the anger of the Zionist families of those killed in the various operations... Nizar was arrested in 1993 and remained in prison for about 20 years [sic – in reality 18 years]. I was arrested in 2001 and I remained ten and a half years [sic – just barely ten years] in prison. Nizar got a life sentence, I received 16 life sentences! And that’s to be expected. When we choose to go on the path of struggle, we or any Palestinian, there are known scenarios [ahead]. Either you are arrested or you die as a shahid [martyr] or you get injured or you become a fugitive. When we choose to go on that path, we are ready for any possible scenario..."
- Presenter: [15:26] "This is admirable! You, the people of the struggle, elevate the name of Jordan!"
Abdullah Barghouti's mother sheds tears over her son's
sad fate - being locked away by the Zionists. No mention at all
of the 70 Israelis his terrorist bombs blew to pieces.
There's a break next - some coverage of a current art exhibition focusing, like the program, on prisoners. This includes an interview with Abdullah Barghouti's mother. She says he wants to be released, that he is optimistic and hopes to be released "in the next deal". [How did Barghouti get locked away in an Israeli cell? The answer isn't given; Barghouti built the exploding guitar that destroyed Sbarro along with other bombs that in total took erased 70 Israeli lives. He has boasted on American TV that, when eventually released, he will kill more Israelis.]
- Video grab (on the right): On display in the art exhibition, a portrait of Kuwaiti mass murderer Abdullah Barghouti, the Hamas master bomb-maker. His worried mother, speaking with considerable emotion, is interviewed live on the program and with maximum sympathy. She says she is optimistic he will be out of prison soon.
- Ahlam Tamimi [this segment of the interview is at the art exhibition]: [18:47] When we were in prisons of the occupation and we heard that one of the artists was painting us or writing us a poem or a story, it encouraged us a lot - that there are people who remember us. …
- [Back in the Caravan studio]
- Presenter: [20:23] Were you aware of [the Shalit deal] while you were still in prison?
- Ahlam relates that the Shalit Deal had been under discussion from the time Shalit was abducted in 2006 until the mass prisoner release in 2011. She notes that in this transaction, out of thousands of prisoners, only 1,450 prisoners were released [sic – in fact the number is 1,027]. And the others expected their names to be included in the list but unfortunately they did not leave. But, thank God, there is always hope, and the proof is that there will be another deal, inshallah. And with the help of Allah, all prisons will be emptied.
- Presenter: Inshallah.
- A member of the audience congratulates the program’s guests and asks whether the Jordanian government stays on top of the issue of Jordanian prisoners [in Israeli prisons]. Ahlam Tamimi answers that the embassy [in Israel] does take an interest in the prisoners, but it does so only to a minor degree, and it is to be hoped that this degree of interest [by Jordan] will grow.
- Presenter asks if they feel the support of the [Arab] street for them and for the Palestinian cause. Did they feel this support when they were in prison? Nizar Tamimi answers that there is radio and television in prison. This has happened thanks to the efforts of the prisoners, their protests and strikes. There are programs focusing on peace demands and so on for the prisoners. These strengthen and encourage the prisoners.
- Presenter asks Ahlam Tamimi what her aspirations in life are or were. The enemy's media [meaning Israel of course] disseminates the message that those who join the Palestinian resistance lack aspiration, lack a love of life apart from the desire to succeed in injuring their enemies.
- Ahlam Tamimi: [40:00] I was a student at Bir Zeit... This was one of the main universities in Palestine that produced most of the demonstrations and martyrs (shahids)... It set in motion a strong situation of struggle. Once the school day came to an end, the lecturers and the university administration would organize themselves according to the students' wishes. Once school was over, we would organize the Palestinian street according to our desires. Our aspiration in Palestine, from when we were youths right up until now, is to liberate our land. This is not just the aspiration of the Palestinians but of every Arab citizen. It’s an issue of the whole world - in every land where there is an occupation, it is unacceptable from a human standpoint... Palestine is an issue of the world, mainly of the Arab citizen, whenever he is found, especially when we’re speaking of the place of the Prophet's journey [refers to Jerusalem] who is the prophet of all Muslims. So it is very important that we try constantly to raise the problem of Palestine in the education of our children. How can we raise a generation of liberation if we do not educate our children about the Palestinian problem in the educational curriculum, in life, in the family and so on? How else will they know there is an occupied Palestine, and that they have to turn [their attention] to it? You in the universities [she turns her attention to the students in the audience] - it is highly important that you turn to actions – as students, in your clubs, and wherever you are found, actions in which you revitalize the Palestinian problem... Jordan is in the first line in this subject: our geography is one, our concern is one. His Majesty and the Hashemite monarchy never ever abandoned the Palestinian problem…
- Thus we hope there will be more activities by young people to support the issue of Jordanian prisoners and Palestinian prisoners. So that we can direct our words towards the Zionist Entity [Israel of course] saying: "No! To the matter of the prisoners there are consequences not only within Palestine but also extending out to Jordan, to Tunisia, to the entire Arab world.
Smiling faces, unconcealed admiration: Lavish tribute to the
murdering Tamimis on prime-time, mainstream Jordanian TV
It's evident the Tamimis, who in April 2017 began maintaining a relatively low profile, have now been given a signal to emerge and to take their place in Jordan's public spaces.
At the same time, they have taken care, or been carefully instructed, not to sound violent or directly threatening, though the female clearly does engage in incitement to terror and violence directed at the young audience that Caravan seeks.
It's worth underscoring the central point here: not a single word of the entire program addresses why the Tamimis were in prison, or the length of their sentences (multiple life terms). This is not “reality” programming but rather soft-focus, inspirational television, in some ways like certain religion-centric shows familiar to us in the West. But the people getting the adulation. the respect and the platform are not mere eccentrics or Bible thumpers. They're coldly enthusiastic murderers. Utterly unrepentant and embraced as role-models and heroes by mainstream Jordanians - and their mass media - because of that.