Ahed Tamimi and her mother were freed from prison on Sunday and Ray McGovern looks back on when he met the Tamimi family last year in their West Bank village and reflects on the spirit that drives them.
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
When they left prison on Sunday Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman received a hard-earned heros’ welcome from Palestinians and others opposed to Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands seized in 1948 and enlarged by the Israeli army in 1967.
Ahed is 16 years old. Last December, an Israeli soldier shot her cousin in the face. The next day Israeli soldiers menacingly showed up at her house the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. What would you do?
Ahed slapped one of the armed-to-the-teeth soldiers. While some Israeli politicians said she should be put away for life and others demanded a sentence of at least ten years, the Israeli occupiers sentenced her to eight months for the slap seen around the world. Her mother Nariman filmed the incident and was thrown in jail too, this time for incitement. (It was not the activist Nariman’s first time in an Israeli prison.)
Most Americans — except for the relatively few who have spent more than a few days in Israeli-occupied territories — find it hard to understand why Palestinians like Nariman and Ahed “persist.” Most people in the U.S. are blissfully unaware of the history of Palestine and of the continuing injustices inflicted on its people today. The explanation for this lies largely in the way the U.S. mass media reports the story, almost entirely from the Israelis’ point of view.
For those malnourished on Establishment media, here’s a bit of history, without which it is impossible to understand the anger and the courage-against-all-odds shown by those who continue to use what they have — even their open palms — to make clear that they will never acquiesce in Israeli occupation.
How a Homeland Gets Occupied
The Israeli attack starting the Six-Day War in early June 1967 fits snugly into the category of “war of…