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April 01, 2013

A Letter the New York Times Did Not Publish

Malki Roth 1999_Portrait.jpg
Malki Roth

The following letter was sent by Frimet Roth to the New York Times shortly after it published a one-sided magazine cover story, which one Ha'aretz reporter said could be seen as "encouraging a third intifada," about the town of Nabi Saleh.

A terrorist from Nabi Saleh murdered Frimet and Arnold Roth's daughter, Malki, several years ago. Be sure to also read this blog post by Arnold Roth, where the letter was first publicized.

Jerusalem 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

Posted by GI at April 1, 2013 12:20 PM

Comments

Malki was a good friend of one of my daughters. She eat with us, studied in my home and was a great loss. It's so very wrong that her murderer is walking free to continue her terror.

Posted by: Gail Le Vine at April 2, 2013 10:51 AM

Malki was beautiful both in appearance and I'm sure in personality traits as well. Keren Malki has continued to endow the world with tremendous deeds that are good and beautiful in Malki's name.

The New York Times on the other hand sometimes appears to be a blatantly anti-Semitic paper. And it therefore sometimes fosters hatred without knowing (or perhaps caring) about the ultimate acts that might be committed under the influence of its occasional "red journalism." It is does not seem interested in truth and its reporters often reflect that point of view.

But the two of you are to be greatly admired for continuing to fight for the reality of Malki's story regardless of the lack of response by a paper that has no moral underpinning. May you continue to have the strength to fight to change the narrative to one of truth. And may you continue to endow the world with beautiful acts of kindness in Malki's name.

Posted by: Batya at April 2, 2013 01:04 PM

Malki was beautiful both in appearance and I'm sure in personality traits as well. Keren Malki has continued to endow the world with tremendous deeds that are good and beautiful in Malki's name.

The New York Times on the other hand sometimes appears to be a blatantly anti-Semitic paper. And it therefore sometimes fosters hatred without knowing (or perhaps caring) about the ultimate acts that might be committed under the influence of its occasional "red journalism." It is does not seem interested in truth and its reporters often reflect that point of view.

But the two of you are to be greatly admired for continuing to fight for the reality of Malki's story regardless of the lack of response by a paper that has no moral underpinning. May you continue to have the strength to fight to change the narrative to one of truth. And may you continue to endow the world with beautiful acts of kindness in Malki's name.

Posted by: Batya at April 2, 2013 01:04 PM

These are the terrorist Arabs that the NY Times supports.
Its mind boggling that the NY Times gives Holocaust Denier Abbas, Munich Massacre financier and glorifier of murdering Israeli civilians a voice in the Times.

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=5581
PA TV honors Sbarro pizza shop terrorists
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Sept. 4, 2011
PA TV host sends “best wishes” to “our glorious” prisoner who transported suicide bomber to attack that killed 15, including 7 children.

Posted by: Barry Meridian at April 2, 2013 03:19 PM

Any possibility the Washington Post, or Chicago tribune or similar competitor might publish???

Posted by: jack chachkes at April 5, 2013 04:27 PM

This is a heartbreaking letter. The Times should be ashamed of that disgusting article glorifying people like that evil murderer Tamimi.

Posted by: Sara at April 7, 2013 12:08 AM

Ahlam Tamimi has lowered herself to that of an animal. She is doing harm to Jews, and Palestinians don't realize she is harming them, and supporting her is destroying their morality.

Doesn't somebody have friends in Jordan? Perhaps Ahlam can be whisked away to a place where she will be forced to enter in a confrontation with the Roth family , and will be confronted with Malki's picture. She will be confronted with evidence that will force her to apostate from Islam. She will learn that SHE is at fault for the suffering of the Palestinians.

Posted by: Tilly Masterson at May 30, 2013 02:09 PM

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