Sarah Silverman Faces Twitter Rebuke for Calling on Jews to Defend Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi
American comedian Sarah Silverman faced a flurry of criticism from Twitter users over the weekend after she urged fellow Jews to support the release of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager facing trial in Israel for repeatedly assaulting IDF soldiers.
“Jews have to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government,” Silverman tweeted on Thursday, along with a link to an Amnesty International campaign protesting Tamimi’s detention by Israel’s security forces.
In response, Frimet and Arnold Roth, parents of 15-year-old terror victim Malki Roth — killed in the infamous Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria bombing in August 2001 — berated Silverman for “exploiting” her fame, and asked, “Sarah, did you stand up for our daughter Malki and the other 15 Jewish lives extinguished by Ahlam Tamimi, Ahed’s cousin and role-model-in-life? Do you stand with Ahed’s call to kill?”
Silverman tweeted back, “Awful. For every story like this, might there be a Palestinian one? I’m genuinely asking – this is not snark.”
Shahar Azani, a senior executive at pro-Israel group StandWithUS, wrote, “Beware Sarah Silverman whom you champion. Indeed, to the undiscerning eye this villain might seem like a hero, but dig even a little and you will find blood libels of old against the Jewish people, naked anti-Zionism and rampant antisemitism. We should all stand for #Peace not hate.”
International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky responded to Silverman’s Twitter post, saying, “Dear Sarah Silverman, please stick to comedy and stay out of politics. This girl,
#AhedTamimi, whom you profess support for, is a notorious provocateur, who hit Israeli soldiers and wished to be a ‘martyr.’” Zionist activist Chloe Valdary also rebuked the comedian saying, “there’s so much more to this story, this tweet is irresponsible.”
Ostrovsky and activist Ido Daniel urged Silverman to recognize the daily threats faced by Israel due to Palestinian terrorism, and noted that Palestinians in Gaza are “oppressed” by the “genocidal terrorist organization” Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave.
Daniel also advised Silverman to learn more about Tamimi’s background before calling on people to defend the teen. He told Silverman, “That girl you tweeted about a few days ago is part of a well orchestrated propaganda machine, her entire family are literally working in this. Don’t fall for it, please. Always ask, always doubt.”
Tamimi has an extensive history of provoking confrontations with Israeli soldiers and publicly offering support for terrorism. The 17-year-old’s family also includes several convicted murderers, and her parents routinely laud various terror figures. Tamimi’s aunt, Ahlam Tamimi, planned and helped carry out the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing that killed 15 people and injured some 130.
Tamimi has remained in Israeli custody since her arrest on December 19.