There are other political lionesses with giant hair, but only one female anti-Israel activist bears an uncanny facial resemblance to the late lamented Shrek The Sheep.
The Tamimis are professional anti-Israel agitators, and members of the extended Tamimi family have developed full-blown careers out of their activities, which range from world-wide public speaking engagements, to creating candid camera set-ups in collaboration with the B’Tselem Camera Project, to blowing up civilians in Israeli Pizzerias.
The most widely publicised film clips of little Ahed date back to the days when she was a mere pipsqueak. Aged about 9, she was filmed while thcreaming and thcreaming and waving her tiny fists at IDF soldiers and earning herself the affectionate nick-name Shirley Temper. The family are extremely passionate about rock-throwing, non-violently.
It’s tragi-comic, unless you’re concerned with the way the BBC has been reporting the aftermath of the Tamimi’s latest stunt, which you will know, began with a small Pallywood production which didn’t seem to go exactly to plan. The idea was for Ahed and her mates to set-upon two IDF soldiers with a flurry of pushes and non-violent slaps and punches in the hope of capturing some juicy propagandistic footage, while Mrs T filmed the action on her phone.
Here, we ought to speculate about a potentially different outcome. What if the soldiers had responded with equally non-violent slaps, punches or heaven forbid, non-violent real bullets? Would that have been considered a more successful outcome? Of course there wasn’t much risk of that, which, as we all know, is why little Ahed went ahead. The real triumph for the Tamimis is the arrest and trial of little Ms Temper.
People who believe that all Palestinian violence is justified because of the occupation will never be satisfied until Israel is disbanded. Others believe that if the Tamimi clan and its ilk gave up their interminable struggle against Zionism, stopped hating Jews and started thinking positively about everyone’s future, there would be a better outcome, if not actually ‘peace’.
BBC Watch examines some of the BBC’s reporting. On 3rd January 2018 a newly appointed Today Programme presenter cuts her teeth with a shaky interview with MK Dr. Michael Oren and Yael Stein of B’Tselem. Ms. Gracie admonishes Dr. Oren for applying the term “beat up” to Ahed’s assault, which I tentatively attribute to the UK / US language barrier. I think Brits reserve the expression for serious altercations, as in ‘beaten to a pulp’ whereas Yanks mean ‘to hurt’. Anyway, it’s the kind of slip-up that doesn’t do anyone any favours.
Yolande Knell’s approach is all too predictable. On 8th Jan 2018 John Humphrys introduces the item.
Knell pays lip service to impartiality by allowing some air time to the Israeli point of view, but we can tell where her sympathies lie by the way she introduces and speaks to Bassem Tamimi. He’s “making coffee", she tells us, subtly humanising the man whom some regard as a monster.
The video in which Ahed Tamimi advocates ‘martyrdom-seeking operations’ is less well known. but never mind. There is a plethora of exploitative anti-Israel propaganda on YouTube, some starring Ached Tamimi’s 11 year old cousin “the youngest journalist in the world”. As a journalist and propagandist precocious little Janna Jihad is shaping up nicely.