A TASMANIAN senator has delivered a scathing diatribe of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi amid a sea of differing narratives surrounding her arrest and trial.
Tamimi, who was arrested after slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home in the West Bank, last week accepted a plea deal that will see her serve eight months in prison.
“Those promoting her cause would have us believe that Ms Tamimi is the poor victim of Israeli brutality,” Senator David Bushby told the chamber on March 19.
“The reality is very different. For the last five years Ahed Tamimi, and, to a lesser extent, her siblings, have become notorious for their constant efforts to provoke Israeli soldiers … The typical and often repeated modus operandi is for a Tamimi child to approach Israeli soldiers and slap, hit, kick, spit at and insult them, while the Tamimi family adults wait with camera in hand for the provoked soldiers to retaliate.”
He continued: “This poster girl for Palestinian innocence called for stabbing attacks, suicide bombings and the throwing of rocks.
“Sadly, it would appear likely that Ahed has been raised to seek and glorify violence. Her parents, Bassem and Nariman, are also well-known for their anti-Semitic social media posts glorifying terror attacks.
“Other members of the family are convicted terrorists, including the mastermind of the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in 2001, which killed 15 people including [Australian] Malki Roth.”
He went on to highlight the many peace offers rejected by the Palestinian Authority and addressed why Israel has had to resort to security measures such as night-time arrests, the security barriers and checkpoints, taking firm aim at Palestinian incitement.
“Palestinian children like Ahed Tamimi are subjected to nonstop incitement and glorification of terror from the Palestinian National Authority, Israel’s supposed peace partner,” he said.
“The Palestinian Authority names streets, public squares, community facilities and even children’s soccer tournaments after Palestinian terrorists who have killed Israelis. Palestinian terrorists who are captured by Israel are paid generous lifetime pensions.”
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin commended Senator Bushby “for addressing the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a clear and honest fashion”.
“There has been a relentless campaign to sanitise the image of Ahed Tamimi and present her as some romantic figure of resistance,” he said. “She is an exploited teenager from the first family of Palestinian terrorism who preaches suicide bombings against civilians.
“We hope that Senator Bushby’s remarks serve to neutralise the propaganda being disseminated by groups like Amnesty International and sections of the media and will encourage a reasoned and balanced discussion of the conflict and its causes.”