Bassem Tamimi Honors His Courageous Young Daughter Ahed
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Later on Friday, Israel’s rubber-stamp military court will likely extend 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi’s illegal detention.
Under military rule, she can be held indefinitely uncharged and untried, for maximum six-month periods, renewed as often as Israel wishes to keep Palestinians imprisoned.
If Ahed faces charges, what’s most likely, she could be imprisoned longterm – despite guilty of no crimes.
She’s a redoubtable figure, extraordinary for her age, heroically resisting brutal Israeli occupation.
A video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral on social media. Omitted from the footage shown was Ahed being slapped hard first in response to her gently pushing and demanding soldiers twice her size leave her family property.
Seconds later, she responded by slapping one of the soldiers hard. Western and Israeli media lied about restrained soldiers, trained to be violent and abusive against Palestinians.
With her daughter in custody, Bassem Tamimi wrote a moving commentary, titled “My Daughter, These Are Tears of Struggle, saying:
“I’m proud of my daughter. She is a freedom fighter who, in the coming years, will lead the resistance to Israeli rule.”
He commented on Israel’s pre-dawn raid on his home, repeating what they did many other times, dozens of soldiers involved in the latest incident, breaking in violently, arresting Ahed, his wife Nariman, and cousin Nour.
Bassem: “Although it is Ahed’s first arrest, she is no stranger to (Israeli) prisons.”
She “spent her whole life under the heavy shadow of the Israeli prison – from my lengthy incarcerations throughout her childhood, to the repeated arrests of her mother, brother and friends, to the covert-overt threat implied by (Israeli) soldiers’ ongoing presence in our lives.”
“So her own arrest was just a matter of time. An inevitable tragedy waiting to happen.” The slapping incident initiated by a hostile soldier and her response in kind did no harm – other than embarrassing Israel on videotape.
Yet it was used as a convenient pretext to arrest her, maybe intending to imprison her longterm.
On a visit to South Africa months earlier, Bassem and Ahed presented a video, documenting the struggle of their village home, Nabi Saleh, its residents tormented under brutal occupation conditions.
After the airing, Ahed addressed the audience, saying:
“We may be victims of the Israeli regime, but we are just as proud of our choice to fight for our cause, despite the known cost,” adding:
“We knew where this path would lead us, but our identity, as a people and as individuals, is planted in the struggle, and draws its inspiration from there.”
“Beyond the suffering and daily oppression of the prisoners, the wounded and the killed, we also know the tremendous power that comes from belonging to a resistance movement; the dedication, the love, the small sublime moments that come from the choice to shatter the invisible walls of passivity.”
“I don’t want to be perceived as a victim, and I won’t give their actions the power to define who I am and what I’ll be. I choose to decide for myself how you will see me. We don’t want you to support us because of some photogenic tears, but because we chose the struggle and our struggle is just. This is the only way that we’ll be able to stop crying one day.”
Imagine this eloquence and passion from a young 16-year-old girl, involved in the Palestinian liberation struggle since age-10, extraordinarily mature and committed for justice – why Israel wants her punished and silenced, the way all rogue states operate.
Ahed’s courage in standing up to abusive Israeli soldiers wasn’t because of a single incident affecting the lives of her family members, Bassem explained.
“She stood there before them because this is our way, because freedom isn’t given as charity, and because despite the heavy price, we are ready to pay it,” he stressed, adding:
Ahed represents “a new generation of our people…young freedom fighters” resisting occupation harshness.
“Ahed is one of many young women who in the coming years will lead the resistance to Israeli rule. She is not interested in the spotlight currently being aimed at her due to her arrest, but in genuine change.”
Addressing his daughter personally, Bassem said:
“…Ahed, no one could be prouder than I am of you.You and your generation are courageous enough, at last, to win. Your actions and courage fill me with awe and bring tears to my eyes.”
They’re “tears of struggle, (not) sadness or regret.”
Bassem and his wife Nariman are longtime Palestinian activists for long-denied justice.
Ahed carries the family torch for a new generation – imprisoned or free committed to confront a ruthless occupier.
Give credit where it’s due. Haaretz published Bassem’s moving commentary and tribute to his courageous daughter – remarks almost never permitted by Western media, especially in America, one-sidedly supporting Israel’s worst crimes.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”