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November 06, 2012

Cheap Shots: Tamimi Girl Ups the Ante


Mahmoud Abbas congratulates A'hd (right) and her cousin Marah for their "bravery" (From the Nabi Sabeh Solidarity blog, first posted by Snapshots on Sept. 11, 2012)

It was just a question of time. Two months ago, CAMERA described in a Times of Israel Op-Ed ("Cheap Shots: Palestinians Put Kids in the Line of Fire") how A'hd Tamimi, 11, and her cousin Marah took a lead role in the Nabi Saleh demonstration against the Israeli army. The weekly clashes often result in violence. Photographs of the girls being restrained by Israeli soldiers (see below, for example), subsequently were featured in Australian newspapers illustrating alleged Israeli abuse of Palestinian children.

afp A'hd.jpg
This Aug. 24 AFP photograph of an Israeli soldiers restraining A'hd Tamimi, 11, was featured in Australian papers, and was all over Facebook

We noted in the Times Op-Ed:

A’hd is the daughter of Narimen and Bassem, prominent activists in the Popular Resistance, and Marah’s father is Naji, another leader in the weekly demonstrations.

In other words, the girls’ parents are among those who determine the protests’ strategies. Rather than keeping their children at a safe distance from the often-violent clashes, the parents encouraged their children to play highly visible roles in the confrontation with the army. . .

Though photographs of the crying and constrained A’hd and Marah are actually products of Palestinian manipulation and exploitation of children, the Australian media outlets publish them unquestioningly as ostensible evidence of Israeli abuse of Palestinian children.

In other words, the Tamimi girls pulled off a photographic coup, as their parents had hoped. For this, they were rewarded with a meeting with Laila Ghannam, the Palestinian Authority’s Governor of Ramallah, and President Mahmoud Abbas, who congratulated them for their “bravery.�?

Encouraged by their parents as well as their national leader, the Tamimi girls are back again in front of the cameras. But this time A'hd ups the ante, kicking and hitting soldiers, as photographers crowd around to shoot dramatic images of a young girl wearing her iconic "love" t-shirt (again) confronting armed soldiers:

Tamim a'hd fist Nov 2 2012.jpg
Palestinian protester during a protest against the expanding of Jewish settlements in Nabi Saleh village, near Ramallah on Nov. 2, 2012, the anniversary of the Balfour declaration. The Balfour Declaration was made on November 2, 1917, when then British Foreign Secretary James Balfour officially promised the leader of a Jewish community in a written letter to give the Jewish people all over the world a national homeland. Photo by Qais Abu Samra/AA/ABACAPRESS.COM

Update: Ynet reports:

A senior IDF source told Ynet that intelligence indicates that pro-Palestinian activists pay Palestinian children from Nabi Salih and the nearby villages to confront the soldiers.

The weekly protests in the areas used to involve hundreds of people, but over time the numbers have dwindled to just a few dozens. According to the officers, the majority of protesters are foreign pro-Palestinian activists.

"The soldiers are briefed on the fact that these protests are staged for the sake of provocation, so that they could be filmed acting violently and so that those videos could be distributed worldwide in an effort to harm the IDF's image," the officer explained.

Posted by TS at November 6, 2012 05:49 AM


The "love" t-shirt might be iconic. It is certainly ironic.

Posted by: Anonymous at November 6, 2012 01:02 PM

The BBC also distributes this Pallywood photo opportunity in Israel court jails Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi. Do they do this blindly or do they really not have a clue?

There’s plenty to complain about with this article, from the circumstances of Tamimi’s latest arrest to the gratuitous cut-and-paste illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this boilerplate. This is unfortunately old news.

The new news is their use of the staged scene to illustrate the article. It shows the blond child in apparent confrontation with an Israeli soldier and is captioned Bassem Tamimi has helped organise protests in Nabi Saleh against land seizures by settlers Could this be ironic? Is the BBC finally admitting that Tamimi incites children to confrontations with soldiers in the hope of a photo-op? Stealth edit to the caption on the way?

The BBC has a history of illustrating articles with dubious photographs, particularly against Israel, but how could supposed professional journalists and editors have missed the current controversial origin of this one?

Posted by: David Guy at November 7, 2012 06:02 AM

These unfortunate girls seem to be Christian and not Moslem, if their apparel (what there is of it) is anything to go by. They should be grateful that their provocative antics are against cool, humane Israeli soldiers and not wild, cold-blooded, quick-on-the-draw Syrian or other Arab soldiers as otherwise they'd already be 6 feet under. As it is, they should beware of their own parents who may very well one day tie bombs to their bodies and send them off to blow up Israelis....and themselves into the bargain.

Posted by: TeeGee at November 8, 2012 10:44 AM

David -- BBC Watch, a CAMERA affiliate, has this post about the article you flagged:

Posted by: TS at November 8, 2012 02:44 PM

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