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Ahed Tamimi should stay in prison because she might slap again — Israeli ethicist

on 45 Comments

One month after she slapped a soldier in occupied Nabi Saleh, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi faces a final bail hearing today at court.

Tamimi has been imprisoned since December 19 for the December 15 incident. The Israeli prosecution is trying to make Ahed Tamimi a terrorist.

And now Israel’s greatest ethical authority (not by me though), Professor Asa Kasher, has come to join the chorus.

Ahed Tamimi in Ofer military court, December 28, 2017. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti)

Yesterday, Kasher appeared as a commentator on Ahed’s case. In news coverage for the Dutch NOS Journaal, he is seen viewing a video of her slap (see link from 7:47).

Here’s the text of his short interview:

Kasher: “So she is permanently provocative. So I can understand the judge” [who has so far not released Ahed on bail, unlike her cousin Nour, ed].

Interviewer: “But she’s a minor. How can she be dangerous?”

Kasher: “Dangerous in the sense that she can slap the… slap another officer, and another… ‘Dangerous’ doesn’t need to mean jeopardizing life. It means breaking law and order. I mean, not acting properly, to the extent that disturbs the people from accomplishing their missions.”

Get it? Ahed has simply disturbed the soldiers from accomplishing their mission – which had included shooting her cousin Mohammed in the face earlier that day, and occupying their village as they do daily. That’s dangerous – because it’s a really important mission. And Ahed could slap again, and again. Who knows, one day she could come to slap the Chief of Staff, and then all hell would break loose.

But it is Asa Kasher who is far more dangerous than Ahed Tamimi. Because he is a kind of moral authority, and particularly where Israel’s military occupation is concerned, because he is the author of the Israel Defense Forces Ethics code (written in 1994). Kasher has recently also been commissioned by Education Minister Naftali Bennnett to write an ‘ethics code’ for Israeli universities, the main purpose of which was to stifle any discussion of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS ). The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as well as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) joined Israeli academics in condemning the document for its encroachment on academic freedom.

Kasher’s ethical sensibility can be downright shocking. In 2008, he was appointed an ‘objective expert’ (despite his work for the military) in a case involving military experimentation with nerve gas – on Israeli soldiers. Eighteen Israeli paratroopers had filed a petition against the army, asserting that their induction into the paratroops (back in early 1970’s) was conditioned on participating in the nerve gas experiment – with anthrax – an experiment that had failed at its first stage when it was conducted on animals. Kasher supported the principle of conducting such experiments.

“[T]he participation of soldiers in compulsory or reserve service in medical experiments in the military framework must be carried out in consideration of building the force or considerations of activating the force”, he said. He opined that this was balanced, because “It is permitted to endanger soldiers”, but only “on the condition that this is to save human lives”, he wrote.

Nonetheless, Kasher opined that there is no moral prohibition from hiding secret details about an experiment from soldiers. “It could be that certain aspects of the medical experiment are secret, based on considerations of national security. It is better that the enemy will not be familiar with the army’s abilities and its points of weakness”, he wrote.

So, it could be better not to tell the soldiers, according to Kasher, in case they tell “the enemy”.

“Some details of an experiment may be hidden from soldiers who have to decide whether to participate in it,” he continued. “Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent.” 

Wait, let me repeat that one:

“Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent”.

Wow, what ethics. You let someone decide if they want to drink water or not, and you keep it secret that the water is actually poisoned. For Kasher, the water is still kosher. It’s still “free consent” – the person just didn’t know about the poison. Their problem.

Such a person, with such atavistic, corrupt, skewed morals and ethics, with such political bias, should not be taken seriously by anyone. It is a wonder he is a professor. But in Israel, Kasher is taken very seriously. And he’s giving a kosher stamp not only for Ahed Tamimi’s treatment until now, but for what is to come next. He is manufacturing consent for her further incarceration. The man who commissioned Kasher to write the mentioned ‘ethics code’ for universities, Education Minister Bennett, has also suggested that Ahed Tamimi, as well as her cousin Nour, spend “the rest of their days in prison”.  

Will Bennett now commission Kasher to write a new ‘ethics code’ specifically legitimizing the indefinite detention of young girls for slapping soldiers? I am sure Kasher would be up to the challenge.

 H/t Allard de Rooi

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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45 Responses

  1. oldgeezer on January 15, 2018, 11:13 am

    It’s only reasonable that a people involved in illegal and immoral activities would pick someone like him to be a guide on ethics. His take on free consent tells anyone all they need to know about him.

  2. John O on January 15, 2018, 11:27 am

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ” (Lord Acton)

    With no restraint put upon Israel (other than when its wars threaten to spiral out of control), it is rotting from within.

  3. pabelmont on January 15, 2018, 11:50 am

    Interesting picture (second) above. Who are the “people-of-color” ? The Israeli guards. Who’s the person-of-white” ? Ahed al-Tamimi. And Trump and many other who-sometimes-appear-to-be-racists love and support the Israeli people-of-color and oppose al-Tamimi.

    So it goes! Racism is color-blond. And so-called anti-terrorism very often supports the biggest terrorists (USA and Israel much among them) and opposes their victims whose fighting-back is called terrorism.

    • Mooser on January 15, 2018, 1:02 pm

      ” Who are the “people-of-color” ? The Israeli guards. Who’s the person-of-white” ?”

      More than likely, the guard’s bosses and administrators. Might have to go a ways up, since theirs isn’t one of the more glamorous jobs in the occupation.

    • uh...clem on January 16, 2018, 2:03 pm

      The picture of Ahed Tamimi had to have been approved for publication by the higher authorities in Israel. Notice how well it is “staged”. It seems that it is partly an advertisement for “diversity” since nearly all the personnel in it appear to be POC. Israeli flag-waving knows no limits. As in the US there is lots of diversity the further down the class-structure you go.

      • DaBakr on January 16, 2018, 7:10 pm


        Why don’t you try reading the photographer credit before spouting your theory. Not that it’s far-fetched but if your going to accuse you should have the facts straight

      • oldgeezer on January 16, 2018, 9:47 pm


        Israel operates without an actual free press. It operates under military censorship and always has. The photo credits have nothing to with clems point that the picture was likely approved….. etc etc.

        Why do you always need to hide from the truth duhbaker? Are you afraid of it? Does it cause you cognitive dissonence to acknowledge that Israel is a shit hole of a country pretending to be a western style democracy?

      • DaBakr on January 16, 2018, 11:41 pm

        Your so paranoid you don’t even know it. You think the IDF set up the photo of tamimi to include an Israeli African guard to bait the palestinian photographer to snap images that they can approve.? With Isreal clogged with 100s of foreign reporters eager to to tear any bit of garbage off and spew against IDF it would hardly remain a secret if Israeli officers (who may well be African, mizrahi, Asian themselves) were picking guards based on racial profiles.

        It’s just the kind of bullshit that would get mentioned by folks on MW and then suddenly picked up as ‘fact’ in every other Israel hating blog in existence that would then be incessantly ‘linked’ to by other MW people’s as ‘back up’ for their initial fallacy. Major reason to not engage in futile and meaningless link dumps.

        And then…All of that plus, forgetting that the Tamimi clan is devoted to( read ANY Arab newspaper report or watch any Arab media interview where father Bassmm makes it abundantly clear he is very proud of his wife, daughter etc for creating “incidents” that sting the
        ‘occupying entity, and how Ahed will never take a plea deal because a prison sentence will work against Israel and his daughter will never”submit” etc etc..’ ) having daughter Ahed commit acts of resistance that are specifically committed to create scenes making the IDF look as badly as they possibly can. It’s not like it’s a big secret in Palestinian society. Arabs will gladly tell you to your face exactly what they know the Tamimis are famous for. They’ll tell you that many of their acts worked in the international press to the Palestinians (Immediate, not long term) interests.
        The whole thing, Ahed, the soldiers and the IDF command can tell you what an absurd and cynical cycle tis is but if you want to believe your own hackneyed analysis making Ahed into an angel /israel devil then your obviously, intellectually gone. Or your a paid Palestinian hasbara agent, (which is very likely)

      • annie on January 16, 2018, 11:51 pm

        Or your[sic] a paid Palestinian hasbara agent,

        do you have any supporting links wrt “paid Palestinian hasbara agent(s)”. because unlike paid bloggers for israel, of which there are several supporting links, i’ve never heard of people paid to blog for palestine. which would not be very economically smart because there are an over abundance of pro palestinian bloggers who do it for free.

        (which is very likely)

        even one article and advertisement/job opportunities?

      • Mooser on January 17, 2018, 1:17 am

        “Dabakr” why do you get so upset at the normal exigencies of the Zionist project?
        Can you name one single colonial regime which didn’t get a lot of bad publicity for imprisoning a popular resistance leader? Or for enforcing its occupation? For torture, and imprisoning children, too. It comes with (ha ha ha) the territory.

      • Talkback on January 17, 2018, 9:34 am

        DaBakr: “Ahed commit acts of resistance that are specifically committed to create scenes making the IDF look as badly as they possibly can.”

        ROFL. So the IDF doesn’t act as badly as they possibly can, but Ahed has the power to create scenes that make them look this way and the IDF is the real victim. Besides shooting her relative just moments ago and killing another in this year.

        Btw DaBakr, I don’t want to create scenes which make you look as disgusting as possible.

      • eljay on January 17, 2018, 9:49 am

        || @Ba: … daughter Ahed commit acts of resistance that are specifically committed to create scenes making the IDF look as badly as they possibly can. … ||

        Yup, it’s utterly shameful that the victims chained in the rapist’s basement refuse to create scenes that make the rapist look as good as he possible can.

      • amigo on January 17, 2018, 2:37 pm

        “Ahed commit acts of resistance that are specifically committed to create scenes making the IDF look as badly as they possibly can. “duhbakr

        Yeah , fella , how dare that cheeky untermenschen diminish the rogue regimes most moral army which it (Rogue Regime) has spent hundreds of millions paying hasbarists , (like you)to convince the world , it is as pure as the driven snow and is the only army to issue Halos as standard equipment.

        Holy hasbara dubakr , some people just wont get on the zionist bus.What,s a zio to do.

        Btw, if you think the fight is unfair then demand that she be taught how to drive a tank or fly an F 35 or better still , learn how to sit in a container and remotely fly drones to kill members of the worlds most moral army and avoid having to slap the brave B——s.

  4. Ossinev on January 15, 2018, 1:19 pm

    This hypocritical goon wouldn`t recogngise ethics if they slapped him in the face. As for the comment “Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent”. – truly absurd and bizarre but we are dealing with lunatic Zionists here not normal civilised people. I wonder if it has occured to the so called “ethics professor” that the Nazis were practicing similar “secrecy” when they put those “Arbeit Macht Frei” signs at the entrance to the Holocaust slaughter camps ?

  5. on January 15, 2018, 1:28 pm

    If Kasher was willing to argue that subjecting Israeli paratroopers to nerve gas experimentation without their fully informed consent was ethical what chance would any Palestinian have in arguing that the most moral army in the world acted unethically/criminally.

    • Citizen on January 16, 2018, 8:54 am

      None. During the Second World War, the government subjected thousands of troops to mustard gas tests – and kept it a secret. The US military experimented on about 60,000 enlisted soldiers to study the effects of mustard gas, exposure that affected the health of veterans for the rest of their lives.

  6. eljay on January 15, 2018, 3:11 pm

    Kasher: “So she is permanently provocative. So I can understand the judge” [who has so far not released Ahed on bail, unlike her cousin Nour, ed].

    Interviewer: “But she’s a minor. How can she be dangerous?”

    Kasher: “Dangerous in the sense that she can slap the… slap another officer, and another… ‘Dangerous’ doesn’t need to mean jeopardizing life. It means breaking law and order. I mean, not acting properly, to the extent that disturbs the people from accomplishing their missions.” …

    It sounds as though Mr. Kasher would like Ms. Tamimi to act like an Israeli so that she won’t be perceived as a demographic threat and Jewish Israelis will breed with her.

    Mr. Kasher sounds disturbingly like the sort of person who would like Ms. Tamimi to “learn the hard way” that her behaviour was unacceptable and that a “price should be collected” from her “in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”.

    • John O on January 15, 2018, 3:39 pm

      That’s the other meaning of ‘provocative’, isn’t it?

    • inbound39 on January 15, 2018, 5:08 pm

      Seems to me that Israel is rapidly becoming an open air Mental Institution for the criminally insane. Israel’s excuses no longer fly and they are looking crazier and crazier.

  7. lonely rico on January 15, 2018, 4:39 pm

    > Kasher

    It means breaking law and order.

    “law and order” as in –

    enforcing an ILLEGAL military occupation,
    of the Palestinians

    Ah. That sort of “law and order” ?

    • annie on January 15, 2018, 5:15 pm

      speaking of law and order. MLK:

      “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.“

      • CigarGod on January 15, 2018, 6:27 pm

        Exactly, especially since Israeli courts have demonstrated they are no more just than Apartheid South Africa’s were.

      • DaBakr on January 16, 2018, 11:51 pm

        You folks are just never going to get over the fact that MLK was an ardent supporter of israel. You can’t scrub his letters and speeches. You can’t guess wether he would have changed his stance 40+ years after he was killed. You can try and manipulate his messages into pseudo anti-zionist babble. But you can’t change the historical record. He was a man and prophet. He suffered and sacrificed and the he was murdered by an assassin. Wether he would have changed his stance on Israel or wether had he survived he would have changed the stance of the rotten corrupt PLO is not to be known by any of us

      • Sibiriak on January 17, 2018, 2:58 am

        DaBakr : You folks are just never going to get over the fact that MLK was an ardent supporter of israel

        MLK was wrong about Israel and Zionism. So what? Why is that a big deal?

      • annie on January 17, 2018, 4:43 am

        jeez, i post a quote of martin’s on mlk day and he goes off on some rant. pff.

      • eljay on January 17, 2018, 7:18 am

        || DaBakr: You folks are just never going to get over the fact that MLK was an ardent supporter of israel. … He was a man and prophet. … ||

        He was a man and, like all men, he was fallible. So there’s nothing to “get over” about his poor judgement regarding Jewish supremacism in/and the religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • ritzl on January 15, 2018, 8:51 pm


      It really is incredible that Jewish-Israelis simply don’t see occupied Palestinians.

      It’s not that they don’t see them as humans, which they certainly do not. It’s that they do NOT see them AT ALL.

      When I read this kind of Kasher-crap, I DO always try to put myself in the mindset of the writer, just to sift through how someone can be so completely oblivious, or not. Maybe there’s a tingle of a semi-legit reason there/something I don’t understand. WRT the Jewish-Israeli cesspool of rationalizing oppression of Palestinians in Palestine, no tingles yet.

      NOONE would put up with how the Israelis treat Palestinians in Palestine for a second, ESPECIALLY the people doing it.

      The void of self-awareness in Jewish-Israel is hermetic.

      Books will be written…

      • ritzl on January 15, 2018, 9:03 pm

        Having said that, Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and some of the folks at 972+Mag are notable exceptions to Jewish-Israeli lack of self-awareness. Truth-tellers, all.

        But such lonely, lonely voices…

  8. JosephA on January 15, 2018, 6:42 pm

    Asa Kasher really is the Israeli version of Dr. Josef Mengele! I am disgusted with his poor excuses for ethics.

  9. Kay24 on January 15, 2018, 7:11 pm

    When it comes to justifying the crimes against the Palestinians, the excuses seem to be getting more and more feeble. How about those thuggish illegal settler women? I have seen them spit and verbally attack Palestinians in videos, do they belong in jail too, or are they seen as entitled, and privileged, in the so called Israeli judicial system? Ahed Tammy is only a kid, and it is unbelievable that world outrage is not loud enough.

    • Marnie on January 16, 2018, 3:15 am

      The settler women, their husbands and their spawn can kill without paying any price only because they’re jewish and will be seen as heroes. #FUCKISRAEL

  10. Sisyphus on January 15, 2018, 8:27 pm

    I wonder if the Prof. Kasher has read Hannah Arendt’s thoughts on ‘the banality of evil’?
    Arendt thought Eichmann a clown for his unwillingness to think things through … to see things from the perspective of another. He explained himself with clichés, without thought and without perspective.
    Kasher may be an ethicist, but really he is a rationalizer; his main function seems to have been to rationalize the Israeli norm. He is performing for his ideological masters. In the end he is framing what is normal with the ethical normality of Israel’s government. Talk about banality – these ordinary people behaving without imagination, without thinking through. How very ordinary they all want to seem … how banal they are becoming.

    • ritzl on January 15, 2018, 11:27 pm

      I think it may apply as a response, but I’m not sure… A few years back here someone pointed out that Israel is a VOLUNTARY totalitarian state. Maybe the first ever.

      I didn’t get it then, but have come to believe that that observation was unbelieveably accurate.

      Tru dat.

      Totalitarian is totalitarian.

  11. Edward Q on January 15, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Kasher is telling Israelis what they want to hear.

  12. ritzl on January 15, 2018, 8:37 pm

    “Israeli ethicist”… yeah buddy. That can happen, yeah you betcha.


    Still, I suppose it’s good to point out that those two words don’t really coexist in any meaningful way. More “Israeli rationalizer”, no?

  13. iResistDe4iAm on January 15, 2018, 9:26 pm

    Professor Asa Kasher’s job title should reflect his true role ==> Chief Fatwa Issuer for liberal Zionism

  14. gamal on January 16, 2018, 12:31 am

    “Chief Fatwa Issuer for liberal Zionism”

    Because his victim is a Muslim child?

    or what do you mean?

    • gamal on January 16, 2018, 3:16 am

      i wonder if this might help you untangle yourself iresist from your repellent complicity with a system of denigration that feeds into the very attitude you seem to be objecting to in the Israeli Jewish gentleman, if not think…i don’t answer questions, why don’t you think before you write or are Muslims just the lowest thing you could think to compare to this Jewish Israeli White gentleman to while he is victimizing Muslims, including this child.

      sinking to the level of Iranians or Muslims is obviously something to be deplored, Rene thought at least he said he did you should try it, it has its place even in resistance.

    • iResistDe4iAm on January 16, 2018, 9:47 am

      I’m sorry if you misunderstood my comment. It’s not intended to denigrate Islam or Muslims.

      I’m using the word fatwa in a similar way that Angry Arab uses it below…

      “Where are the Christian leaders and organizations? Why can’t they just issue a fatwa and take full responsibility for the actions of this Christian terrorist militia?”

      “When will Buddhist leaders issue a fatwa against the religious agitation and mobilization by hateful Buddhist monks?”

      • gamal on January 16, 2018, 10:32 am

        You are not able to see the difference in his usage and yours? you are not able to understand the tone deaf insolence of your usage especially in this context?

      • iResistDe4iAm on January 17, 2018, 8:21 am

        “You are not able to see the difference in his usage and yours?”

        I can see the difference, but I can also see the similarities. One glaring similarity in the Buddhist link quoted above is that the victims are Myanmar Rohingya, who happen to be Muslim.

        I have quoted examples from Angry Arab (Asad AbuKhalil) because I follow his blog regularly. There are many more examples where he mocks Islamic “kooks” and “Muftititis” (his words), and their “kooky fatwawa”s (his words), but you can look them up yourself.

        If you’re going to suggest that Angry Arab blog is Islamophobic because he mocks “kooks” and “fatwawas”, and associates the concept of fatwa with non-Muslims (including those who kill Muslims), then let’s just agree to disagree.

  15. Marnie on January 16, 2018, 12:31 am

    An ‘ethicist’ who refuses to see the humanity in Ahed al-Tamimi has no business calling himself something he clearly is incapable of understanding. A grown man afraid of being taken down by a slap and a kick from a teenager? Is that all it takes?

  16. JLewisDickerson on January 16, 2018, 5:17 am

    RE “Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent”. ~ Professor Asa Kasher

    MY COMMENT: Professor Asa Kasher is Israel’s John Yoo (of ‘Torture Memo(s)’ fame)!

  17. Vera Gottlieb on January 16, 2018, 9:50 am

    And she should slap him too, until blood comes out of his cheeks.

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