Palestine Through The Eyes of Dissenters

Source: Al Jazeera

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Up Front

The slapping of an Israeli soldier by a sixteen-year-old activist, Ahed Tamimi in December 2017 has become a new symbol of Palestinian resistance. 

While her cousin, Nour Tamimi had been released on bail for 5000 shekels (1400 USD), Ahed has been charged with twelve counts and if found guilty, could be convicted for a longer jail presence.

Her mother, who filmed the video has also been charged. In 2015, Ahed bit a hand of an Israeli soldier to try to stop the arrest of her brother.

This young activist comes from a prominent Tamimi family, residing in the village of Nabi Saleh, who are renowned for their political activism. Ahed’s father wants her to become the poster child of the most significant Palestinian peaceful resistance movement namely Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). 

To many, Ahed is seen as the West Bank’s Joan of Arc. Interestingly, the media has not given her as much worldwide attention, as Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai.

According to Middle East-based journalist, Caroline Glick, the Tamimi family has been leading the global war against Israel in recent times. The journalist claims that Tamimi’s have connections with the Israeli and American Left, the EU, Jordan, Hamas, PLO. They have claimed to enjoy support from all dissenting quarters of the globe.

But the family has also been involved in direct murders and not only political activism. Ahed’s aunt, Ahlam Tamimi plotted the massacre at a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. She chose this landmark place because it was popular among families with young children. She brought a suicide bomber to the restaurant where he blew himself up, killing 15 people, among them seven children, and wounded 130.

Ahlam and Nizar, Ahed’s extended family members, were released in 2011 as part of Israel’s “1,000-terrorists-for-one-hostage-soldier Gilad Schalit deal”. Ahed had been a part of their marriage ceremony and this wedding had been celebrated on the Jordanian media.

When Ahed Tamimi addressed three-year-old graders in New York, she sanctioned extremism against the Israeli state. The Turkish state also recently awarded the Tamimi family recognition in Ankara. Ahed has been awarded by Turkey for 'Hanzala Award For Courage'.

Making war seems so common with the Palestinians. It reflects their deepest sense of anger against the Israeli state. Palestinian teenagers typically face about six to nine months in prison for charges of stone throwing.
Prisoners' rights group, Addameer, has reported that stone throwing is the most common charge sanctioned against Palestinian children. In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians are governed by Israeli military law, and stone throwing in this territory is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The Adameer group believes that Israel routinely targets "the youngest and most vulnerable" members of politically active Palestinian families to "exert pressure on their family and the entire community to put an end to all social mobilisation."
Prof. Gerald Steinberg of the NGO monitor believes that the agenda “Cross-border Cooperation within the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI): Mediterranean Sea Basin Program 2014-2020” has been serving as an instrument for the EU to continue to transfer millions of euros each year to anti-Israel groups to carry out its war of subversion against Israel and its democratic system.

Since 1995, Steinberg noted: “ the EU has used previous versions of this agreement to transfer tens of millions of euros to terrorism-supporting groups and groups actively involved in Israeli politics and inciting Israel’s Arab community to join the war against the Jewish state.”

Palestine has been often called as the mother of all conflicts, because of its religious significance. 

The Israeli state is axing its toe, by provoking common Palestinians, time and again, who are also natives of this worn torn territory. Thousands have been killed, orphaned, injured and live a life of psychological despair in the brutalities of war. Air raids, food shortages and ceasefire violations still ravage the common life.

As most of the common Palestinians live in exile, Israel cannot afford to ‘theocratise’ its Jewish state policy further, based on its religious scriptures. It will further radicalise the Palestinians. The Israeli state needs to realise that the place has a religious significance for other faiths too.

In 2017 alone, Israel seized around 2,500 acres of Palestinian land. Israelis arrested more than 6000 Palestinians in the same year. Around 900 cases of violence have been reported in 2017, by the Israeli forces, in East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

The current Israeli policy is a policy against pluralism and is discriminating other communities. The central committee of Netanyahu’s Likud Party has recently backed a resolution where they intend to reinstate Israeli military occupation to all of the West Bank and initiate permanent settlement through construction.

It is believed that Israel wants to bring a number of settlers in the West Bank to a million in a short period of time, while half a million residents are currently living in Jewish settlements in Palestinian soil and 220,000 in the settlements in East Jerusalem.

Ironic it may seem, but the hopes of a two-state solution are also dwindling. The US state administration still fully supports the Israeli state policy. The important question still remains: where is the scope of a result-oriented political dialogue?


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