The Murder of Malki Roth, and Jordan’s Refusal to Extradite Her Killer
Losing a child is devastating for any parent. But for Arnold and Frimet Roth, their loss is truly intolerable because the smiling murderer of their daughter Malki lives a life of freedom and comfort — protected by the Jordanian government.
Malki was only 15 years old when Ahlam Tamimi masterminded the terror attack that killed her at Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant on August 9, 2001. Fourteen other innocents, including seven children, were murdered, and 122 others wounded.
In 2011, Tamimi, a cousin of the notorious Ahed Tamimi, was freed from an Israeli prison under the terms of the controversial Gilad Shalit deal. She was whisked away to Jordan, where she has been courted ever since by Arab and Western media as some sort of heroic “resistance fighter.”
Tamimi’s life is one of luxury and privilege, thanks to the lucrative salary she receives from Hamas, which is indirectly financed by Western governments who contribute to the corrupt United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA). Tamimi has never denied her role in the Sbarro terror attack, and her pride in slaughtering Jews is on display for anyone to see when she parades herself on television.
After a long campaign by the Roths to seek justice for Malki, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) officially filed charges against Tamimi in 2017, and announced that they would seek her extradition to stand trial in the US. The FBI also added her to their most wanted list of terrorists.
For those who thought that justice would finally be achieved, Jordan’s reaction was a shock. Despite having established a mutual extradition treaty with the US in 1995, the Jordanian government claimed that the treaty hadn’t been ratified in their parliament — and have thus denied the request.
Arnold’s blog on this topic makes for sobering reading. Jordan likes to present a friendly face to the West, but the truth is anything but. Yahya Al-Saud, a Jordanian MP, was recently feted in the UK parliament by members of the institutionally antisemitic Labour Party. Al-Saud has called Israel a “Jewish tumor” and advocates jihad against the Jewish state.
Dima Tahboub, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front party in Jordan, praised a Jordanian border guard who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, and said they deserved to be killed because they mocked Islam.
Tamimi’s Islamist ideology is perfectly aligned with theirs.
Jordan is also seemingly fearful of both Hamas, which instructed it to protect Tamimi, and of terrorists and disruptive elements within its borders. Relatively untouched by the Arab Spring, the Jordanian government prefers to placate Islamic terrorists rather than honor their agreement with the US.
Malki was an American citizen. So why is the US government so silent on this travesty? Perhaps they don’t want to antagonize Jordan, as they need King Abdullah’s support for Jared Kushner’s peace plan.
If so, then President Donald Trump’s administration is ignoring justice in favor of placating the Jordanian king.
The game is up for Jordan. With the 18th anniversary of the heinous Sbarro slaughter coming up in a few weeks, it’s time for the Trump administration to find its voice and call for justice. Tamimi must be extradited to the US to stand trial for her evil deed. Arnold and Frimet Roth should not need to wait any longer. They have suffered enough.
Karen Harradine is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on politics and antisemitism. Born in South Africa, Karen has lived in Singapore, Canada and the UK.