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New Yorkers rally in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi

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Through a bullhorn to cut through the hum of holiday shoppers, some forty people rallied in New York City’s Union Square Friday night in support and solidarity for Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old Palestinian girl arrested by Israeli soldiers during a December 19th pre-dawn raid of her family’s home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

The “Emergency Rally to End Child Detention” calling to “Free Ahed Tamimi!” was organized by NY4Palestine and c0-sponsored by other grassroots Palestine solidarity organizations including Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the New York and New Jersey chapters of American Muslims for Palestine and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

The mood was noticeably despondent, with many speakers expressing a sense of helplessness in the face of what is a particularly harsh injustice, even by the standards of the Israeli military.

Tamimi has appeared in photographs and video footage for much of her life — growing up in the gaze of an unsympathetic international media but at the fore of weekly demonstrations held by the residents of Nabi Saleh since a Jewish-only settlement confiscated their land and spring a decade ago. Images of Ahed confronting heavily armed soldiers, her eyes more serious than theirs, have captivated the global Palestine solidarity movement, turning Ahed into a symbol of defiance to the occupation of Palestine.

Members of the Tamimi family hold signs at New York rally calling on Israel to release Ahed and Nour Tamimi. (Photo: Jesse Rubin)

Tamimi’s father Bassem Tamimi, himself a renowned activist for the Palestinian cause, explained in a Facebook post how upset his daughter had been since she witnessed Israeli soldiers shoot her 14-year-old cousin Muhammed with a rubber coated — supposedly non-lethal — metal bullet at a demonstration the day before her arrest. Muhammed sustained such severe injury he had to be put into a medically induced coma.

Ahed was arrested on charges of allegedly assaulting a soldier and an officer when the day before she rebuffed harassment from soldiers from the front door of her home. When later in the day Nariman, Ahed’s mother and leader of weekly anti-occupation demonstrations, went to be present during her daughter’s interrogation, she herself was arrested.

Israeli law states clearly that a parent is rightfully allowed to accompany a child or minor during interrogation in the occupied West Bank, according to a leading Israeli civil rights organization.

The next day the Israeli military arrested Ahed’s 21-year-old cousin Nour Tamimi; then her father Bassem when he arrived at court for his incarcerated daughter’s and wife’s preliminary hearings.

At the Union Square rally, Al-Awda member Hureda, who declined to provide her last name out of fear of retribution, said that the situation is even more insipid than it appears, as the detention of these well known anti-occupation activists is simply the daily life of Palestinians and Palestinian children in general.

“[Child detention] happens so often that we don’t get to hear about it,” Hureda told Mondoweiss. “And when we do hear about it, we hear about it for maybe two minutes and then…we never hear about it again.”

According to a recent report from Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), the situation is only getting worse, particularly since earlier this month when the U.S. took the unprecedented step of formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

DCIP documented that the number of children detained at one Israeli military prison in the occupied West Bank has doubled in just the past few weeks since that decision.

Mariah Tamimi, one of the family’s New York relatives, called Ahed the best representative for her people, telling Mondoweiss “she inspires me; and I think she inspires the rest of Palestine.”

The Israeli customs agency recently denied Ahed a travel visa ahead of what was supposed to be a global tour to share her experiences and courage with others. And to make matters worse, Mariah continued, “not only did they detain a 16-year-old girl illegally, they took her phones, they took the TVs, they took every electronic that is valuable to them.” With the family already facing heavy legal fees, “it kicks them while they’re down.”

But buoyed by the turnout and show of solidarity, Mariah remained defiant:

“Nobody can silence me. I want justice for Ahed. I want justice for Palestine. I want justice for the Tamimi family because we deserve that. And I will stand for nothing but that.”

Ahed’s detainment has sparked solidarity demonstrations across the globe, including a march in Istanbul, a protest in London and a strong statement of support from South African Parlimentarian Mandla Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson.

A member of the Jewish Defense League. (Photo: Jesse Rubin)

At the New York rally, a small number of Jewish Defense League members showed up to counter protest, yelling slurs and calls to jail Ahed behind the protection of seven or eight NYPD officers.

At one point, more than twenty officers encircled the entire crowd, but stood by and no arrests were made.

Jesse Rubin

Jesse Rubin is a freelance journalist from New York. Twitter: @JesseJDRubin

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28 Responses

  1. Citizen on December 25, 2017, 5:55 pm

    Nothing on cable tv news about this.

    • Misterioso on December 26, 2017, 3:47 pm


      Short video:

      Ahed Tamimi – Living Resistance Tour

      “16 year old Ahed Tamimi reveals life under occupation in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine. This video was screened as part of the FOSNA Living Resistance Tour when Ahed was effectively denied a travel visa to speak in person. “

  2. Marnie on December 26, 2017, 12:00 am

    The GoI is scared to death of this teenager.

    The JDF is a terrorist organisation. How is it they get police protection? Oh, right.

  3. CigarGod on December 26, 2017, 12:06 am

    Thanks, Jesse.
    I was wondering what slurs JDL guys threw.
    Btw, I haven’t seen The Slap video, but when to Google Images to see a still photo.
    Nothing there. Not a single slap.
    I want an image to put on a t-shirt.

    • Misterioso on December 26, 2017, 11:42 am


      Well said.

      When I look at the photo of the hate-mongering, cowardly, racist, fascist JDL thug above, I find myself wondering what an elderly Jew who witnessed and/or experienced the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews would think. Utter shame and disgust come to mind.

    • genesto on December 26, 2017, 12:40 pm

      In the video, it seems clear that the soldier slapped Ahed first, just before she slapped back. Was I imagining this? If not, why hasn’t anyone made a point of it?

  4. Ossinev on December 26, 2017, 10:23 am

    IDF the most moral etc (puke).I wonder do they vet for “immoral tendecies” – I doubt it. Must be like heaven on earth for the paedophiles in their ranks.

  5. Ossinev on December 26, 2017, 11:07 am

    Apparently the court (LOL) has extended her detention. The Israeli “Police” apparently argued successfully(sic) that she “poses a danger”. They obviously have seen the video of the terrifying Goliath like Ahed slapping the courageous lightly armed IDF soldiers in an existentially threatening manner and are s…ting their pants at the thought of themselves (even more lightly armed) being brutally slapped. And their mommies and daddies in turn will be so worried about them. Bless !

    These Zionist morons really have no idea how ugly , bizarre , grotesque and medieval they have become. Can`t wait for the full force pariah status waiting in the wings for them once the civilised world (exc Trumpica) are obliged to confront an overtly Apartheid state.

    • genesto on December 26, 2017, 5:49 pm

      ‘These Zionist morons really have no idea how ugly , bizarre , grotesque and medieval they have become.’

      Let’s not forget ‘paranoiac’. THAT’S the most embarrassing thing about this whole incident, i.e. that an unarmed, 16-year old Palestinian girl can strike so much fear within the world’s 5th largest military!

    • NorthCascadian on December 28, 2017, 4:42 pm

      “These Zionist morons really have no idea how ugly , bizarre , grotesque and medieval they have become. Can`t wait for the full force pariah status…”
      Here in Portland I feel like I am living in parallel universes; where in the mind of the academics shilling for antifa the deadly virus of self confidence and assertion of opinion must be met with violent force. Which immediately flashes me to Ahed Tamimi, and how already she has become a metaphor for what is to come: ‘Self confidence and the assertion of the right to be’. There seems to be a continuum between the “bizarre, grotesque and medieval” actions of the Jewish army in Palestine and the writings and actions of the Antifa and their apologists.

  6. Misterioso on December 26, 2017, 11:23 am

    On Friday, December 22nd, 2017 in Blog, News.

    “A girl’s chutzpah”

    “Ahed Tamimi, 16, is a heroine, a Palestinian heroine. Maybe the intifada of slappings will succeed where all other methods of resistance have failed”

    By Gideon Levy | Dec. 20, 2017


    “Last Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot Hamed al-Masri, 15, in the head, wounding the unarmed boy from Salfit severely. On Friday, soldiers shot the unarmed Mohammed Tamimi, also 15, in the head, wounding the Nabi Saleh boy severely. Also on Friday, soldiers killed Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a double amputee, shooting him in the head, too. On the same day Ahed Tamimi, 16, stood in the courtyard of her home with her girlfriend and slapped an IDF officer who had invaded her home.

    “Israel woke from its slumber angry: How dare she. The three victims of the barbaric shooting didn’t interest Israelis, and the media didn’t even bother to report on them. But the slap (and kick) by Tamimi provoked rage. How dare she slap an IDF soldier? A soldier whose friends slap, beat, abduct and of course shoot Palestinians almost every day.

    “She really has chutzpah, Tamimi. She broke the rules. Slapping is permitted only by soldiers. She is the real provocation, not the soldier who invaded her house. She, who had three close relatives killed by the occupation, whose parents have been detained countless times and whose father was sentenced to four months in prison for participating in a demonstration at the entrance to a grocery store – she dared to resist a soldier. Palestinian chutzpah. Tamimi was supposed to fall in love with the soldier who invaded her house, to toss rice at him, but, ingrate that she is, she rewarded him with a slap. It’s all because of the ‘incitement.’ Otherwise she certainly wouldn’t hate her conqueror.

    “But there are other sources of the unbridled lust for revenge against Tamimi. (Education Minister Naftali Bennett: ‘She should finish her life in prison.’) The girl from Nabi Saleh shattered several myths for Israelis. Worst of all, she dared to damage the Israeli myth of masculinity. Suddenly it turns out that the heroic soldier, who watches over us day and night with daring and courage, is being pitted against a girl with empty hands. What’s going to happen to our machismo, which Tamimi shattered so easily, and our testosterone?

    “Suddenly Israelis saw the cruel, dangerous enemy they are confronting: a curly-haired 16-year-old girl. All the demonization and dehumanization in the sycophantic media were shattered at once when confronted by a girl in a blue sweater.”

    “Ahed Tamimi is a heroine, a Palestinian heroine. She succeeded in driving Israelis crazy. What will the military correspondents and right-wing inciters and security experts say? What good are 8200, Oketz, Duvdevan, Kfir and all these other special units if at the end of the day the IDF is confronting a helpless civilian population that is tired of the occupation, embodied by a girl with a kaffiyeh on her shoulder?

    “If only there were many more like her. Maybe girls like her will be able to shake Israelis up. Maybe the intifada of slappings will succeed where all other methods of resistance, violent and non-violent, have failed.

    “Meanwhile Israel has reacted the only way it knows how: a nighttime abduction from her home and detention with her mother. But in his heart of hearts, every decent Israeli likely knows not only who is right and who isn’t, but also who is strong and who is weak. The soldier armed from head to toe who invades a house that doesn’t belong to him, or the unarmed girl defending her home and her lost honor with her bare hands, with a slap?”

  7. Talkback on December 27, 2017, 2:55 am

    Slapping a member of an occupying force that just had shot a minor relative in his head is verboten.

    • CigarGod on December 27, 2017, 10:19 am

      So is the truth.
      Did you hear the BBC report that NPR played yesterday?
      The reporter said her brother was “hit” by a rubber bullet.
      Not that it had blown a hole in his eye/head and he was placed in a coma…but give the impression a rubber BB hit his jacket and bounced off without harm.
      NPR and BBC are quite sophisticated (criminal) in their propaganda. They go to a breathless reporter in Palestine and deliver their fabricated truth from there because we swallow it easier.

      • catalan on December 27, 2017, 11:22 am

        “NPR and BBC are quite sophisticated (criminal) in their propaganda. ” Cigargod
        I am also not a fan of taxpayer-funded media, since it promotes state propaganda. It would not be a big loss is NPR is shut down.

      • Mooser on December 27, 2017, 1:31 pm

        Something terrible has happened to NPR.

      • Kaisa of Finland on December 27, 2017, 3:02 pm

        “I am also not a fan of taxpayer-funded media, since it promotes state propaganda..”

        Häh?? WTF are you talking about??

        A taxpayer-funded media is a media owned by the taxpayers aka the ordinary citizens. So it can not take sides f.ex. in politics or it will be abolished by its only supporters aka the taxpayers. Also a taxpayer-funded media can not be bribed by any politicians or again it will be abolished by its owners, the taxpayers. So in a democratic country it is the best way to get a media which purpose is to represent as many different perspectives as possible on different issues.

      • annie on December 27, 2017, 3:59 pm

        kaisa, in finland that may be the case, but here in america taxpayer funded media works in a similar way as taxpayer funded military. for the most part, the people do not have a say in the choices being made.

      • Kaisa of Finland on December 27, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Addition to my previous comment: It is also the taxpayers responsibility to demand honest news coverage from their media.

      • annie on December 27, 2017, 4:06 pm

        demand? good luck with that. they can’t offend their big donors.

      • catalan on December 27, 2017, 4:18 pm

        Finland is different. Here in the US we hate each other so much that people get divorced, families fall apart over politics. If you mention something political at a family gathering, it will all end up will people leaving and never speaking to each other. See for example Annie and I are both American citizens, nonetheless we have absolutely zero in common. I would be scared if I agreed with her. If she said she liked dogs I would start thinking there is something wrong with dogs out of sheer fear that I am in agreement with her. So when one sides takes power they seek to destroy the other. That includes public radio, it’s totally biased (incidentally it’s very pro Democratic because the Republicans want to shut it down so it’s a bargaining chip). The United States is a zero sum game – gain for one is a loss for the other.

      • CigarGod on December 27, 2017, 4:37 pm

        An NPR homework assignment for Catalan:

        How much comes from fundraising drive, commercial sponsors, government?

      • Mooser on December 27, 2017, 5:17 pm

        “An NPR homework assignment for Catalan:”

        As you can see, he’s way past it. The allrightnik has become the Alt-right nut.

      • Kaisa of Finland on December 27, 2017, 5:40 pm


        If things are as you describe them, it sounds depressing. I like a Finnish saying: “Matters altercate(?*), not people”. Obviously I can get really irritated by someones opinions in a conversation, but still like the person after the discussion . (This actually happened to me few times in Israel too: Having a HUGE fight over the I/P situation and then sharing our shabbat meal together in peace. A bit absurd, but good too.)

        Since the Earth (the ground, the water, the air) is common, we just have to find a way to get along with eachother.

        *quarrel? (Sorry for the inaccurate translation).

      • Maghlawatan on December 27, 2017, 8:57 pm


        Polarization in the US is manufactured by the Kochs and their friends. All means to attract and distract so the looting can proceed.
        Take an issue like guns and blow it up so it becomes intractable.

        Israel is similar . It doesn’t have a popular base. Who need nihilistic Jews anyway ? Gosh.

        “The US needs “some sort of synthesis on the larger postindustrial/populism war. Over a century ago industrialisation brought on culture clash between agrarian populist and the genteel Victoria aristocrats.  Théodore Roosevelt transcended the fight by inventing a new kind of American nationalism. Meanwhile the progressives cleaned up elite corruption and nurtured a square deal for those left behind by technological change. Cultural leaders introduced new institutions and community forms like the Boy Scouts and the settlement house that drew from both cuktures replaced them.  Today we need another grand synthesis that can move us beyond the current divide, a synthesis that is neither redneck nor hipster but draws from both worlds to create a new social vision progress on guns will be possible when the culture war subsides, not before. “

  8. Kaisa of Finland on December 27, 2017, 4:19 pm

    “demand? good luck with that. they can’t offend their big donors..”

    Obviously the taxpayer-funded media means something else in U.S. Here it is funded by the taxpayers, not private donors, ’cause then it would not mean it is a taxpayers media anymore. I do not mean to be rude, but often when I read comments here, I think you Americans should take your country back to yourselves. Here it sounds like it has been sold to someone.. Like who sold it and when and on whose permission??

  9. Kaisa of Finland on December 27, 2017, 4:20 pm

    “for the most part, the people do not have a say in the choices being made..”

    But do you still call the U.S. a democracy?? Doesn’t democracy mean that the ordinary people “have a say” in the choices being made??

    • echinococcus on December 27, 2017, 8:57 pm

      Best and best-worded question of the year, hands down.
      Our “liberals” continue to believe that we are a democracy, though (“by and large” is always the qualifier, no matter how big a proof of the opposite is shoved in their face day after day.)
      Our alphabet-soup spy and assassin outfits concur.

    • Talkback on December 28, 2017, 4:47 am

      In theory. In practice democracy means that you hand over your voice to the party of your choice that is going to ignore it whenever it is convenient (for its donors).

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