Amnesty International Defends Palestinian Who Uses His Children to Provoke Israeli Soldiers
How would you like your children being taught about human rights by a veteran Palestinian activist who has pushed his own children for years to confront and provoke IDF soldiers in order to film the encounters? An activist who is only too happy to promote any dramatic footage he might get showing his own children terrified and crying if they successfully provoked a reaction? An activist who then celebrates the outpouring of global sympathy with his supporters by gloating that it is child’s play to “shatter the myth of the Zionist army”? An activist who counts among his family members convicted murderers and terrorists, who endorses the promotion of the Hamas-affiliated Al Qassam Brigades on his daughter’s Facebook page — while his wife, the girl’s mother, glorifies the mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria massacre in Jerusalem?
If you object to having third-graders in a U.S. school being taught about human rights by an activist like Bassem Tamimi, Amnesty International will rush to his defense, protesting that he faces an “undeserved backlash.”
Indeed, Amnesty International is a co-sponsor of Bassem Tamimi’s month-long U.S. speaking tour, which included his visit at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, New York. Apparently, Amnesty International is not bothered by the fact that the responsible Superintendent of Schools of the Ithaca (NY) City School District has acknowledged that the event with Tamimi was inappropriate.
But what is clearly much worse is that Amnesty International is apparently neither bothered by Bassem Tamimi’s cynical exploitation of his children, nor by his openly stated determination to end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, or his thinly veiled support for terrorism.
Amnesty International might prefer not to have it spelled out, but promoting Bassem Tamimi as a “human rights defender” committed to non-violence is utterly disingenuous. Supporting Bassem Tamimi inevitably means supporting his openly declared ambition to start a “third intifada.” Tamimi likes to invoke the Palestinian “right to resist,” and he has made clear that this includes “armed resistance.” While Tamimi often explains in interviews that the “armed resistance” that made the second intifada (2000-2005) so bloody is in his view unlikely to lead to success, he also usually refuses to condemn terrorism, and he and other members of his clan reportedly resent “being asked to forswear bloodshed.” Indeed, those Tamimi family members who have shed the blood of Israeli Jews – including the unrepentant mastermind of the Sbarro bombing – “remain much-loved” in Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh.
Moreover, there is obviously nothing “non-violent” about the throwing of stones and rocks that Bassem Tamimi promotes so passionately as “part” of Palestinian “culture,” and as an integral feature of an “authentic” popular struggle. So far, 15 Israelis – including three Arabs mistaken for Jews – have been killed by Palestinian rock-throwers.
In this context, it is also important to understand that the goal Bassem Tamimi pursues is not the peaceful co-existence of the Jewish state of Israel and an Arab-Muslim Palestinian state. In various interviews published on sites that oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish state – such as the “hate site” Mondoweiss and The Electronic Intifada (from where an interview conducted by the notorious Max Blumenthal was even cross-posted on the website of the Al-Qassam Brigades), Bassem Tamimi has indicated that he is a determined proponent of the so-called “one-state-solution” that would replace the world’s only Jewish state with yet another Arab-Muslim majority state.
While Bassem Tamimi’s frequently stated views illustrate how preposterous it is for Amnesty International and other groups to promote him as a “human rights activist” worthy of everyone’s support and admiration, I have documented in considerable detail that the publicly accessible Facebook activity of Bassem Tamimi and his family – who are important participants in and supporters of his activism – provide plenty of additional evidence that the Tamimis are quite open about their disdain for non-violence. There are “Likes” for pages and posts promoting Hamas and the jihadist Al-Qassam Brigades; several notorious terrorists who together killed more than 50 Israeli civilians – including many children – and wounded hundreds more are celebrated as admirable “rebels;” and perhaps most disturbingly, there is relentless pressure put on the Tamimi children to provoke the IDF in order to achieve either “victory or martyrdom.”
It seems that as long as you send out your own and other people’s children to “shatter the myth of the Zionist army,” lip service to human rights and the ability to manipulate the media are all it takes to get Amnesty’s unwavering support. And if Bassem Tamimi succeeds in his quest to start a third intifada by urging his own children and other youngsters to provoke clashes with the IDF, Amnesty will no doubt repeat its accusations that Israeli security forces are showing “a callous disregard for human life.”