Palestinian celebrity and media darling Ahed Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in jail two weeks ago by an Israeli military court. The blonde, curly-haired teenager (nicknamed “Shirley Temper”) had herself filmed by her mother while punching, kicking and slapping two Israeli soldiers in the now-viral video.
Tamimi’s subsequent detention by Israeli security forces unleashed an energetic campaign demanding her release. Hollywood actors such as Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson condemned Israel, while comedian Sarah Silverman criticized Jewish people as a whole for Tamimi’s arrest. The London-based NGO Amnesty International lauded Tamimi and her family’s so-called bravery against Israel, promoting the false image that they are activists dedicated to peaceful, non-violent resistance.
Which members of the Tamimi family does the organization consider brave? Perhaps it’s Ahed’s beloved aunt Ahlam Tamimi, the unrepentant mastermind behind the 2001 Sbarro pizza suicide-bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15 civilians, including eight children and a pregnant woman, while wounding 130 other people with nails, nuts, bolts and burns while they were eating lunch.
“I admit that I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped for a larger toll,” said Ahlam in an interview shortly after being released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange. When she first learned from a journalist who interviewed her in jail that she had murdered eight children, she smiled broadly and continued with the interview.
Or perhaps Amnesty is praising Manal Tamimi, a raging anti-Jewish bigot who expressed adoration for Adolf Hitler and rejects any Jewish history or link to the Land of Israel?
But where are Ahed’s parents in all of this? Nariman Tamimi, her mother, praised female Palestinian terrorists who collectively murdered 55 Israelis, including 21 children, and wounded more than 300 people. When the so-called “stabbing intifada” began in late 2015, Nariman shared graphic instructions for prospective Palestinian terrorists on where to aim their knives in order to achieve the most lethal outcome.
Then there is Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, who regularly promotes some of the most vile anti-Semitic conspiracies. These include allegations that Israelis detain Palestinian children to steal their organs, and that Zionists who control the media suppress this information. But Amnesty International considered this man to be of such upstanding character that the NGO sponsored a U.S. speaking tour for him in 2015, which included a stop in a third-grade classroom.
Is it any wonder, then, that Ahed herself has loyally followed her family’s example, even calling on Palestinians to murder Israelis through “martyrdom-seeking operations” (i.e., suicide bombings), stabbing attacks and throwing stones?
The incitement of Palestinian children to hate Israel is widespread. Palestinian children are regularly featured on Palestinian media demonizing Jews as the “most evil among creations,” glorifying Palestinian terrorists and calling for the genocide of Jews. Palestinian schools turn terrorists into role models to the point where 75 Palestinian Authority schools are even named after terrorists and Nazi collaborators.
The Palestinian tactic of baiting Israeli soldiers is not new. For example, a Palestinian man urged Israeli soldiers to kill his toddler son so he could capture the shooting on camera. The father shoved the young boy towards an armed soldier, who responded by giving the child a high-five. In another case, a Palestinian boy was shoved into an Israeli soldier in an attempt to provoke a violent response.
Ahed is indeed a victim, but not because of Israel. The tragedy is that a young girl’s mind has been poisoned since birth by her abusive family—to a point where she has become a danger to herself and to others. Rather than continue to promote a false narrative that Ahed is a victim of the so-called “Israeli occupation,” these self-righteous Hollywood actors and NGOs should put pressure on Palestinians, like the Tamimi clan, to love their children more than their desire to hate Israel.
Bradley Martin is a senior fellow with the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center and deputy editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.