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Haaretz smears the Tamimi family to counter worldwide solidarity with 16-year-old Ahed

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Promote the blood libel? Check. Glorify terrorism? Check. Celebrate Israeli deaths? Check. Ahed Tamimi and her family aren’t fighting for peace, and they’re not just fighting the occupation: They’re fighting to destroy Israel, and their fight is seasoned with Jew-hatred

~ Haaretz 1/4/18

That is how Petra Marquardt-Bigman begins her article published yesterday in Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal news outlet.

Titled Ahed Tamimi and Her Family Aren’t the Palestinian Saints You Want Them to Be, the author builds a case against the entire Tamimi family and lays out a history rife with supposed Jew-hatred, terrorist-cheerleading, and overall anti-Israel and anti-peace naughtiness.

And just like with any bit of quasi-respectable modern-day trolling and professional bloggery, Marquardt-Bigman adorns it with a set of screenshots from Twitter (apparently now deleted), eye-witness accounts and videos as evidence for this malice.

As if extracted from a Hasbara manual or the syllabus of a PoliSci101 class on propaganda, the article uses an array of fear mongering techniques to present a decontextualized and one-sided narrative in which the Tamimis in general and Ahed in particular deserve everything that is coming to them at the hands of Israeli forces, and then some.

Nothing about the occupation or international law, zero words about the Tamimis’ many tragedies at the hands of Israeli soldiers, no mention of the entirety of the incident that led to Ahed’s arrest, i.e. the soldier’s shoving prior to Ahed’s notorious slap. The article exists in the Zionist reality in which the Jews (represented by the Israeli soldiers) were viciously hounded and attacked by a little Palestinian snake, enemy of the state number one and of the Jewish people, no less – Ahed Tamimi.

And it is an especially effective piece of propaganda for three reasons:

  1. The piece was published in Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal outlet, right after Israel indicted Ahed Tamimi with a range of offenses, including the grave charge of “incitement”. It is thus meant to quell any kind of Israeli and Jewish resistance to her charges and ongoing incarceration, which may last for many years, especially coming from liberals and centrists who comprise the majority of Haaretz’s readership.
  2. In contrast to the blatantly misogynist coverage and outrageous statements made by Ben Caspit in the right-wing Ma’ariv media outlet about Ahed Tamimi herself, Marquardt-Bigman tries to tarnish the reputation of the entire Tamimi family, and by extension implicating Ahed. She does so by using an array of fear-mongering techniques, which include accusations of terrorism and Nazi sympathy. This technique mirrors Israel’s villainization of all Palestinians as “terrorists” , “snakes” and even “cancer”, while failing to present their resistance within its appropriate historical context and thus assume responsibility for the crimes of Zionism.
  3. Marquardt-Bigman attempts to tarnish all of Ahed’s supporters as terrorist supporters by implicating pro-Palestinian Israeli activist Miko Peled. Notably, the author has a history of smearing Peled.

But Marquardt-Bigman is no stranger to attacking opponents of Israel and Zionism. In fact, she has made a career out of it. Typical of run-of-the-mill Hasbara propagandists, she frequently conflates anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and regularly publishes articles flimsy in actual historical facts and rich in hyperbole and ad hominem attacks.

In a recent article published in The Algemeiner, she blames Max Blumenthal of having:

“…fans on neo-Nazi forums and many other outlets that cater to Jew-haters”.

But it is in fact Marquardt-Bigman, who toes the Zionist line that has served as inspiration for far-right groups in Europe and alt-right fascists in the United States such as Richard Spencer, who has called himself a “White Zionist”.

Her infatuation with Nazis is further expressed in the same piece, where she also goes after Columbia University historian Joseph Massad, who speaks with Blumenthal about the Zionist-Nazi collaboration in the 1930s known as the Haavara agreement. Marquardt-Bigman presents zero evidence to refute Massad’s claims, but instead goes on to call him a “Jew-baiting professor”, and maliciously twist his words, stating that:

“The obvious implication of Massad’s view is that it’s a pity that the Nazis killed only six million Jews — after all, if those evil Zionist Jews hadn’t escaped Europe on time and did whatever they could to enable others to join them, the Nazis might have succeeded in killing some more.”

The question is why is Haaretz, a supposedly liberal outlet, publishing a one-sided, decontextualized smear piece on the Tamimis by a known propagandist at this present time, i.e. when Ahed and Nariman Tamimi are still in jail?

The answer appears to be that Haaretz is desperately attempting to appear “balanced” by catering to readers on the right. But in effect what Haaretz is doing is preparing public opinion for the potentially dystopic reality in which a Palestinian 16-year-old teenage girl may go to jail for the crime of slapping her oppressor for a much longer period than Elor Azaria – an IDF soldier who was filmed summarily executing an unarmed and incapacitated Palestinian man and will likely be released very soon to receive a hero’s welcome.

Marquardt-Bigman’s piece is a response to the broad and growing support for the Tamimis in general and for Ahed in particular. It is an attempt to minimize resistance from Zionist liberals in the case of the continued incarceration of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi. What’s more, it villainizes those who have adopted Ahed as a symbol of resistance as enemies of Jews, Zionists and the state of Israel.

Liberal Jews everywhere must make a choice – support Zionist fear-mongering, oppression and propaganda, which openly colludes with the rise of neo-fascistic forces worldwide, or embrace the call for equality and justice for Palestinians and all oppressed peoples.

Yoav Litvin

Yoav Litvin is a doctor of psychology/behavioral neuroscience, a documentary photographer and writer living in New York City. You can find him at

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51 Responses

  1. oldgeezer on January 5, 2018, 2:07 pm

    PMB has always been a vitriolic propagandist for zionism. I remember her well from years ago. Twisting and distorting facts when not conveniently ignoring them. Unable to hide the dark depths of her racism against Palestinians and Arabs. Nothing she says can be a surprise to anyone. While red wine is beneficial in small doses pmb’s putrid hate is best ignored.

  2. pabelmont on January 5, 2018, 2:34 pm


    It might even be worse than “giving permission” to liberal Zionists to hate Tamimi; it may be telling them that it is their duty (to join right-wingers and) to trash Tamimi. “We can lie, we can spout the usual propaganda, and you will let us do it and you will join us in doing it. You know your Zionist duty. It is us against them, and the IDF and the occupation are holy. Act as though you believe all these things!”

    Indeed, perhaps the IDF and the occupation are the only things holy to Israeli-Jews.

    • Citizen on January 5, 2018, 8:53 pm

      Yes, Haaretz is more concerned with its international audience than its domestic Israeli one, which is tiny. Haaretz, unable to exercise any meaningful influence on domestic politics uses its English-language website and print newspaper to encourage external pressure on Israel. But in this case, Haaretz is frightened by the inflamed world movement supporting Ahed & her family, so in said article it does its best to squelch that movement.

  3. ritzl on January 5, 2018, 3:38 pm

    I really don’t get it. I mean even IF Tamimi’s views are founded in “Jew hatred”, so what? Her entire life has been an exercise in being HARMED physically and psychologically by JEWS, for NO DISCERNABLE REASON other than to make her life more miserable.

    If she does harbor “Jew hatred” it’s just a normal reaction to daily reality.

    Deal with it. Or f’g DO something to STOP it. Just don’t opine (in a Israeli/LibZio political sous vide bath of complete lack of self-awareness and self-pity) it’s existence. No sympathy here.

    If she does feel this way, I agree. Tough sh*t. Deal.

    • ritzl on January 5, 2018, 3:51 pm

      Rant prompted by this article appearing in Haaretz FFS.

      • eljay on January 5, 2018, 10:21 pm

        Abused by her father and, later, violently abused by the Bob the Rapist, the victim chained in the basement and awaiting further abuse lashes out at her captor. Researcher Mr. Urquhart-Smallville – who believes that the Male People have a right to “self-determine” themselves in women – explains that “man-hatred” is behind the victim’s desire to harm the world’s only Bob the Rapist.

    • Marnie on January 6, 2018, 1:02 am

      Exactly! So quick to label antisemite or whatever; not so quick to look at possible solutions to problems. You might be able to kick your dog ever day and think it still loves you; however, that only works for dogs (so I’m told). You can’t keep kicking a people down, trying to grind them into dust, make them forget who they are and accept you as lord and master and not get major blowback. You might really want to look at the affect the zionist overlord, master of all, apologize to no one and keeper of the nazi tranditions of evil, torture and murder; how all of this is affecting your zionist offspring.

      Book review: how Israeli school textbooks teach kids to hate | The ……kids-hate/11571

      WATCH: Israeli teens brandish racism after Palestinian children die | + …

      This video is from 2012 – most of these children are in the IOF now.

      • annie on January 6, 2018, 2:45 am

        it’s like a disneyland theme park — killing is so fun!

      • annie on January 6, 2018, 2:59 am

        marnie, the channel 10 video of racist israeli teens in your 2nd link has been wiped out. but some sceenshots of the aftermath, israelis jubilating the cremations of palestinian kindergartners, have been captured here

      • Marnie on January 6, 2018, 8:55 am

        Ugh. There is no way anyone with even half a brain can look at israel and see nothing but evil. However, money buys a lot of love, money and blackmail, so maybe that helps to explain the blinders on politicians.

      • Sibiriak on January 7, 2018, 9:12 am

        Marnie: . There is no way anyone with even half a brain can look at israel and see nothing but evil.

        I think notions of pure evil like that are themselves evil (but not entirely so, of course.)

  4. annie on January 5, 2018, 3:44 pm

    thank you Yoav!

  5. eljay on January 5, 2018, 3:55 pm

    “German-Israeli researcher” Petra Marquardt-Bigman is troubled by the actions of the Tamimi family but has nothing to say about decades worth of past and on-going oppression, military occupation, colonialism and (war) crimes committed with impunity by Jewish supremacists (Zionists) just like her in geographic Palestine.

    Ms. M-B points out that the Tamimis “have always wanted the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state”, as if to suggest that it’s immoral for them to oppose a supremacist state in Palestine.

    The German side of “German-Israeli researcher” Petra Marquardt-Bigman should appreciate the fact that one of any kind of supremacist construct is one too many and that opposition to supremacism is a moral stance.

    Unfortunately, Ms. Petra Marquardt-Bigman’s Zionist side – hateful, immoral, hypocritical – is the dominant one.

  6. JWalters on January 5, 2018, 8:35 pm

    Thanks for documenting the utterly dishonest tactics of the Zionists in this case. To understand their deep-seated deceit we must keep in mind that Zionists believe their deceit and brutal crimes are sanctioned by God.

    On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour letter to Walter Rothschild, his nephew Jacob Rothschild gave a speech on the “miracle” of Israel, referring to “that sacred goal, the return of Israel to its ancestral homeland” (8:50 in video).

    He had no concern for the Palestinian people sacrificed by the Zionists in pursuit of their “sacred goal”. I deny this goal is sacred in any way whatsoever. Their “sacred goal” reflects a deep pathology that must be eliminated from the planet.

  7. JosephA on January 6, 2018, 12:24 am

    I am surprised that this racist garbage would be in Haaretz. If they keep up this trash, I may have to cancel my subscription.

    • Marnie on January 6, 2018, 12:51 am

      Agreed. I thought I was reading Arutz Sheva; it was a disgusting attempt at character assasination. I wonder does the author of that piece realize the only one she’s really hurt is herself and people like herself? WTF Haaretz?!

    • Eric on January 7, 2018, 12:03 am

      You’re surprised “racist garbage” is in a “Liberal Zionist” publication? Aren’t racism and Jewish supremacism core elements of Zionism, even if cloaked in phony liberalism? Are you also surprised when you see gambling taking place in casinos?

  8. DaBakr on January 6, 2018, 12:57 am

    “… Desperately trying to appear unbiased….” . Imagine that. The nerve of Ha’artz. Lol!

  9. on January 6, 2018, 2:10 am

    Will liberal Jews choose justice over zionism? Apparently not Haaretz .

    Informative read on Haaretz and their biased coverage

  10. Darcha on January 6, 2018, 5:36 am

    To lighten things up, here’s a bit of dialogue from Episode 2 of Netflix’s ‘The End of the F***ing World’:
    Girl: It’s run by the Man.
    Boy: ?
    Girl: The Man! The man who owns all the oil, makes Chinese children build smartphones, hates Palestine…’

  11. Talkback on January 6, 2018, 8:36 am

    Israel shoots teens to intimidate them:

    • Talkback on January 7, 2018, 2:48 pm

      I forgot to mention that this boy who has lost a third of his brain is Ahed’s relative that was shot in the head.

      • MHughes976 on January 7, 2018, 5:33 pm

        The story is, I believe, that he had been throwing stones at passing traffic.

      • kma on January 8, 2018, 3:09 pm

        MHughes976: “he had been throwing stones at passing traffic”

        So, he was threatening harm to his neighbors in Palestine, in Nabi Saleh? You’d think Israeli soldiers would support that kind of thing, considering the projectiles they shoot at the population…

  12. jon s on January 6, 2018, 10:42 am

    Haaretz allows various opinions. It also published a piece by Uri Avnery who compared Ahed Tamimi to Joan of Arc:

  13. Jasonius Maximus on January 6, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Haaretz do try, but even their own in-house writers still trip and fall into the trap of using the language of occupation and the government. Just the other day they had headlines referencing the “terror tunnels”! Come on! That’s straight out of the right-wing propaganda lexicon, Haaretz! They should know better!

    Yes, Hamas uses those tunnels for ill and their military when tensions flare, but 99% of the time those tunnels are used for moving much needed goods, food and medicines into the strip that would otherwise have been stopped at the border gate by Israeli security for no other reason than straight up malice.

    When Israeli forces mobilize there tanks, no one reports on them as “terror tanks”, even though their only purpose is to kill.

    • RoHa on January 7, 2018, 1:55 am

      Incidentally, there is a report that ISIS has declared war on Hamas.

      Apparently it’s Hamas’s fault that Trump made his Jerusalem declaration.

      Of course, ISIS never lifts a finger against Israel.

    • jon s on January 7, 2018, 7:04 am

      Jasonius, Tunnels penetrating Israeli territory are, indeed terror tunnels. They are not used for moving goods food and medicine into the strip, not 99% of the time, not 1% of the time, never.

      • eljay on January 7, 2018, 10:29 am

        || jon s: Jasonius, Tunnels penetrating Israeli territory are, indeed terror tunnels. They are not used for moving goods food and medicine into the strip, not 99% of the time, not 1% of the time, never. ||

        Israeli forces…
        – penetrating not-Israeli territory;
        – militarily-occupying not-Israeli territory;
        – defending and enabling the on-going colonization of not-Israeli territory; and
        – oppressing, maiming and killing not-Israelis,
        …are, indeed terror forces.

        They are not used for moving goods food and medicine into Israel, not 99% of the time, not 1% of the time, never.

      • Talkback on January 7, 2018, 2:52 pm

        Oh, so Israeli soldiers and settlers, tanks, fighters, drones and ships penetrating into the occupied territories, its airspace and its coastal waters are indeed terrorists, terror tanks, terror fighters, terror drones and terror ships.

  14. Talkback on January 7, 2018, 3:37 am

    Yes, that’s Haaretz. The Guardian article gives some background on the background of occupation:
    Palestinian 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is the latest child victim of Israel’s occupation

    Her cousin Manal Tamimi claims “that clashes broke out in the village during Tuesday’s raid, with Israeli forces shooting tear-gas canisters at homes in the village.”

    Her father claims that the video was shot “after Israeli forces fired tear-gas canisters directly at their home, which broke several windows.”

    A translation of the video by Partisangirl confirms this. Someone (camera woman?) says: “They are hitting us with gas.”

  15. Talkback on January 7, 2018, 3:58 am

    Miko Peled:
    Ahed Tamimi Stood Up to Israel While the Rest of the World Bows

    (Quotes from her cousin and father in my comment above from:

    Both comments can be merged.

  16. Ossinev on January 7, 2018, 8:50 am

    “Jasonius, Tunnels penetrating Israeli territory are, indeed terror tunnels. ”
    And the tanks are indeed terror tanks – yes/no/not sure/difficult to say/unlike the tunnels I don`t have the full information blah blah.

    • jon s on January 7, 2018, 11:07 am

      If the tanks are being used in a defensive role they are not “terror tanks”.

      • Talkback on January 7, 2018, 2:41 pm

        An occupation force is not acting in defense.

      • amigo on January 7, 2018, 3:30 pm

        “If the tanks are being used in a defensive role they are not “terror tanks”.” Jon S

        I see what you mean.Israel being attacked by a fully armed mobile Gaza Terror Greenhouse manned by catapult wielding Palestinians heading for the nascent only Jewish state.

        “Ye Yahwes–The Arabs are coming.”Man the tanks.

  17. Maghlawatan on January 7, 2018, 12:03 pm

    PMB is a bot. She writes occasionally in the Guardian. The purest bilge.

  18. Talkback on January 7, 2018, 3:13 pm

    Yesh Din:

    “In late December 2017, Yesh Din published its annual data sheet on law enforcement on Israeli civilians suspected of ideologically motivated crime against Palestinians in the West Bank. The figures presented in the data sheet are based on Yesh Din’s monitoring of over 1,200 investigations opened since 2005 by the Judea and Samaria (JS) Police, the Israel Police district in charge of the West Bank, following complaints filed by Palestinian crime victims. The data shows that only 3% of investigations of ideologically motivated crime against Palestinians have resulted in a conviction. In addition, only 8.1% of the investigation files monitored by Yesh Din during this period (94 of 1163 concluded files) have led to indictments.”

    Reminds me of this Haaretz video: Ahed Tamimi did none of these things

    • annie on January 7, 2018, 3:32 pm

      talkback, same report. this is sad.

      Another striking trend is the increase in the number of Palestinian crime victims who do not wish to file a police complaint. In 2016, Yesh Din documented 113 incidents of ideologically motivated crime against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank. In 48 of these cases (42%) the crime victims told Yesh Din they were not interested in filing a complaint with the Israel Police. This, compared to 30% of the victims in cases documented by Yesh Din between 2013 and 2015.

      they fear themselves and their families may become targets if they file a report.

      • Talkback on January 7, 2018, 4:40 pm

        Did you watch the video? It has a twist.

      • annie on January 7, 2018, 5:30 pm

        actually i had not, i was responding to the yesh din link. but i’ve seen it now and read something comparing them the other day. that settler is gross. speaking videos with a twist, did you see this video put out by haaretz? it seems like an advertisement for the pro israel ap but i’m not completely sure what they mean at the end in the reference to the trolls. what’s your take on it?

      • Talkback on January 8, 2018, 12:29 pm

        My understanding is that the Hasbarats were accusing pro Palestinians of trolling and Haaretz was trying to make the point that the app users are the real trolls.

        What happened when a Jewish settler slapped an Israeli soldier

      • annie on January 8, 2018, 12:42 pm

        ah, yeah that was sort of what i thought but it wasn’t altogether clear and it was such a short segment at the end. i think there’s an element about it that could be perceived otherwise if one wasn’t carefully paying attention. but thanks for getting back to me on it. i will share that with the person who sent it to me because she was a tad unsure herself.

  19. Marnie on January 8, 2018, 1:29 am
  20. traintosiberia on January 13, 2018, 10:44 am

    There is this ever changing standard to which people have to measure up for acceptance and legitimacy, to escape repression persecution and taste freedom . In that standard a neo nazi might be accepted to day but a not an ex nazi hunter . A cry might go out lamenting “there is no Palestinian Gandhi ” and a rebuke might emanate from the same sources saying Ghandism is the excuse that we should not fall for . It has more resonance with the corporate habit of labeling or calling domestic democratic movements and demands as an expression of mob culture and populism while calling mob violence by puny numbers as an expression of democratic rights when it occurs abroad in the enemy lands.

    It is no different than saying 911 is an unique event and 911 justifies the measures taken abroad and at home . While same 911 happening periodically in Syria or Iran or Libya or Venezuela are not and shouldn’t be accepted as an excuse for repression .

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