Sunday, August 7th | 10 Av 5782

October 16, 2020 10:54 am

Should the BBC Be Sympathizing With the Sbarro Monster?

avatar by Frimet Roth


US-wanted Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Despite my American heritage, I’ve always equated the BBC, more than any of its competitors, with authoritative, reliable reporting. 

So I was blindsided to learn that BBC Arabic championed the cause of my daughter’s murderer.

It has posted a video titled “BBC_Trending – A radio station cut off a phone call with Ahlam Tamimi because of her appeal to King of Jordan during a live broadcast.” 

So the BBC rushed to the rescue of the woman who was cut off by a talk show. On the video clip, BBC staff “reached out to Ahlam” (their words), providing her a platform for an aborted “appeal to the King.” 

Here it is:

I, Jordanian citizen, Ahlam Tamimi, turn once again to his Majesty King Abdullah II in order to be united with my husband Nizar Tamimi on the blessed land of Jordan. It is my right to be beside my husband.

In its background profile, the BBC describes Tamimi this way:

The Jordanian prisoner (who) has returned to the headlines following the expulsion of her husband, Nizar Tamimi… She was born in Zarqa in Jordan to Palestinian parents in 1980 and was the first woman who joined the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. The Israeli forces arrested her in 2001. She was accused of participating in the bombing operation. She was sentenced to 16 life sentences that add up to 1,584 years. She and her husband were released in a deal that included 1,047 [in reality, 1,027] Palestinian prisoners… In 2013 [in reality, in 2017] she was put on the wanted terrorists list of the US Department of Justice [in reality the FBI] due to her involvement in the deaths of Americans… The Jordanian authorities have rejected America’s extradition requests.

This proud terrorist, Ahlam Tamimi, confessed to murdering not only my precious 15-year-old daughter Malki but seven other children and babies and eight innocent adults as well. She also left a sixteenth victim, a young mother, in a permanent vegetative state. 

And unlike many other vicious mass murderers, this one has not only refused to express remorse; she has boasted of her “accomplishment” and has urged others to emulate her. She has been video-taped smiling contentedly upon learning that she had murdered more children than she had presumed. 

It is this monster that the BBC has singled out for empathy. 

The BBC has embraced Tamimi without once reminding its listeners why she is newsworthy. Her “accomplishment” is ignored. My Malki, her friend, Michal who stood beside her on line for a pizza, and all the other innocent victims of Tamimi’s hatred and bloodthirst, did not even warrant a mention. 

Often, in such cases, wronged parties demand an apology. But I don’t want one. I understand that the BBC did not inadvertently commit this outrage. It didn’t “misspeak” or “overlook” anything. Avoiding any mention of the oceans of grief and separation Tamimi has inflicted on us was deliberate. An apology would be insincere and worthless.

I only hope that the BBC’s condoning of the murder of innocent Jews will be widely publicized and condemned.

Frimet Roth is a freelance writer in Jerusalem. Her daughter Malki was murdered at the age of 15 in the 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing. With her husband Arnold she founded the Malki Foundation ( in their daughter’s name. It provides concrete support for Israeli families of all faiths who care at home for a special-needs child.

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