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The emperor’s new terrorist

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The Israeli occupation prosecutors have been working arduously for two months, like the tailors in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, to tailor a case for Ahed Tamimi, in order to make her a terrorist.

After her arrest, it was ruled that she must be kept in prison until the end of proceedings, because, God forbid, she might slap again.

After indicting her on some rather ridiculous charges such as “interfering with a soldier carrying out his duties”, her trial was to actually begin on her 17th birthday, the 31st of January – but it was delayed a week, and then another week. The prosecutors needed more time to tailor the final, invisible touches to this amazing case.

Finally, last week, the trial started, and we were meant to witness it. But alas, after a few minutes, the judge suddenly ordered all spectators except family members to leave and announced that the proceedings would continue behind closed doors. He said he was acting in the best interest of a juvenile defendant.  

That was not in the interest of Ahed Tamimi, nor of her family. “The court decided what is best for the court, and not what is good for Ahed,” Ahed’s defense attorney Gaby Lasky told reporters, and said that the judge was trying to keep the world from watching.

But the occupation judge knows best. Better than Ahed’s parents, better than Ahed herself – what is best for Ahed. More fairytales. 

And this reminds me of another fairytale – Rapunzel – in Disney’s rendering called “Tangled”. In the song called “Mother knows best”, Rapunzel is kidnapped by the fake “Mother Gothel” who wants to benefit from the magical power of her hair. Gothel sings to her that it’s best for her to remain imprisoned because of what’s awaiting outside – because mother knows best. 

So the military court apparently thinks that it is best for Ahed that her case would be handled “in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, just as Israeli journalist Ben Caspit had opined would be best.

Of course, the Israeli occupation court only wants Ahed’s best. Why should we not believe that, or any other fairy tale?

But in the real world, as Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard tells us, Israeli military law “is set up to label every act of resistance, violent or nonviolent, as criminal” and the military court system is just another branch of an occupying army. “It is not about justice,” he said. “Its main objective is to curb any attempt of resistance and enhance the control over the population.” 

Of course the military court thinks it is best for Ahed to learn not to resist. Resistance can be dangerous for you. This is something that Israel’s military occupation knows best.

Ahed’s next hearing is set for March 11th. Yet Attorney Lasky noted after the last hearing that she is still waiting to receive case material from the prosecutor. Meanwhile Ahed remains in prison. There’s time – the prosecution tailors are working. Patience.

The military prosecution is working hard to tailor a “just” case from its intrinsic corruption, but the thread has no substance, it is invisible. That’s why they have to close the court doors, just like in The Emperor’s New Clothes, until the final moment where they would present to the world the final sentence. Ahed might not get life in prison as Education Minister Bennett had suggested, but a villain they will no doubt attempt to make of her. And the Israelis who cannot accept the slap Ahed gave the soldier, they will go “oh”, and “ah”, “we knew there was something wrong with her”, they will totally see it.

But this case will have an ironic twist. Israel thinks it is tailoring the case for Ahed – but actually it is preparing transparent clothing for itself. Israel is the Emperor, and it will eventually go out in broad daylight, displaying its ridiculous oppression for the whole world to see.

And it will only take a little boy to finally shout: “But they haven’t got anything on”.

Jonathan Ofir

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

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6 Responses

  1. eljay on February 19, 2018, 1:12 pm

    … Israel is the Emperor, and it will eventually go out in broad daylight, displaying its ridiculous oppression for the whole world to see.

    And it will only takes a little boy to finally shout: “But they haven’t got anything on”.

    Israel has been naked for quite some time and many little boys (and girls) have been shouting it out. Unfortunately, Israel’s supporters have succeeded in drowning out their cries with accusations of anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred”. Will anything change if the “Jewish State” submits Ms. Tamimi to injustice? I hope it will, but I fear it won’t.

    • Paranam Kid on February 20, 2018, 8:41 am

      Like the US, Israel is in decline but refuses to see it. This is just another issue that is pushing Israel a bit faster down that slope.

      I personally have come to realise that all the bad news about the Ziofascist state is actually good news for the Palestinians because the Jewish state-as-is is doomed in the longer term. The country as such will continue to exist, but, like apartheid South Africa & Nazi Germany, it has no legitimacy and therefore its current racist polity will be dismantled.

      The 2-state solution is dead, so the country, after annexation of the rest of the stolen Palestinian territories, will have to make the Palestinians an equal part of the society to avoid becoming a complete pariah state due to apartheid.

      But, for the Palestinians, things will become worse still before they get better. Ahed will eventually be released, and it seems to me that a girl like that will become a major force to be reckoned with, a true leader.

  2. Brewer on February 19, 2018, 10:16 pm

    One can lie and claim that an Iranian drone on Israel’s border is a brazen form of baiting, while routine Israeli bombing doesn’t violate anything. One can claim that the Israeli film Foxtrot is anti-Israeli without having seen it, because lying is allowed. One can say the Tamimi family is a terror family and call a girl who slaps an armed soldier a “terrorist,” because lying is allowed. The police commissioner can falsely accuse a teacher, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, of being a “disgusting terrorist” linked to the Islamic State, because lying is allowed.

    Huge amounts of money can be transferred to the settlements because lying is permitted and necessary, and so is stealing. It can be claimed that the tunnels from Gaza are an existential threat and that Hamas endangers Israel’s existence; that we’ve left Gaza and it’s free, and that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an anti-Semite. Of course it can, it’s all lies…………
    …….And what’s the claim that the country that controls the lives of 4.5 million subjects without rights is democratic if not the mother of all lies? And equality of Israel’s Arab citizens – that’s not a lie? The High Court of Justice controls the country, there’s no increased religiosity, there’s no discrimination against the Mizrahim, all the Arabs fled in 1948 and all the wars have been wars of no choice – all lies. The right can’t do without them. Israel can’t do without them by now.

    – Gideon Levy

  3. inbound39 on February 19, 2018, 10:26 pm

    For Evil to prosper…..Good Men need do nothing.

  4. Citizen on February 20, 2018, 12:29 am

    Gee, where’s Jimmy Kimmel et al on this young “protest icon”? Any celebs joining Sarah Silverman on this?

  5. Misterioso on February 20, 2018, 12:06 pm


    Avner Gvaryahu, Breaking the Silence’s executive director, interviewed on BBC’s HARDtalk by Stephen Sackur. Feb. 15/18

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