Israel Victim-Blames 16-Year-Old Ahed Tamimi

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi.Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi. (Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg)It’s been called the “slap heard around the world.” For wielding a bare handed slap, Israeli soldiers ripped 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi out of her bed in the middle of the night, threw her into the back of a military jeep and locked her up in a small, cold prison isolation cell. This week, the Israeli military court — notorious for its 99.7 percent conviction rate  — indicted Ahed on twelve charges.

Israel claims Ahed is a violent and dangerous criminal. The crimes she is charged with, such as assault of a soldier, stone throwing and so-called incitement, could result in a lengthy prison sentence.  

Before we consider whether Ahed deserves a life behind bars, we must first take a closer look at what is a criminal action and what is a life of enduring state violence. Is the criminal a 16-year-old girl who dares to raise her hand to a fully armed Israeli soldier or an ongoing illegal occupation that places soldiers in the lives of unarmed teenage girls.

In 2011, Ahed Tamimi was 10-years-old when Israeli soldiers arrested her father and charged him with the crime of organizing weekly demonstrations in their village to oppose the theft of its land for the benefit of a neighboring Israeli settlement. It would be 13 months before he was released and she would see her father again.

That same year, Israeli soldiers shot Mustafa Tamimi, Ahed’s 28-year-old cousin, in the face with a high velocity tear gas canister. Half of Mustafa’s face was destroyed. He passed away the next morning at the hospital.

The following year, when Ahed was 11 years old, Israeli soldiers shot her uncle, Rushdi Tamimi, in his lower back with live ammunition. The bullet lodged in his stomach and he died the next morning in the hospital.

Ahed was 13 when Israeli soldiers shot her mother, Nariman Tamimi, in the leg with a 22-caliber bullet. Ahed stood by, crying in the arms of her father, as her mother was placed in the back of an…

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