Ahed Tamimi’s Military Trial Begins Behind Closed Doors
Israel wants its ruthless persecution of a courageous Palestinian teenager hidden from public view.
Her lawyer Gaby Lasky’s request for an open trial was denied. Earlier she said:
“Most people don’t know that the occupier has courts that put on trial people living under occupation just because they don’t follow (repressive) rules of the occupier.”
They prosecute, convict and imprison Palestinians for wanting to live free on their own land in their own country, for opposing Israeli viciousness, for wanting fundamental rights affirmed under international law observed to the letter for everyone – for wanting what everyone deserves.
Following today’s kangaroo court proceeding, the military judge “extended (Ahed’s) trial to March 11,” according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).
Ahead of her trial, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick portrayed her as a superhero, drawing her inspiring image in front of a Palestinian flag, calling her “a Real Wonder Woman” – mature and heroic far beyond her years, an iconic world figure for challenging occupation harshness.
Fitzpatrick earlier gained recognition for his iconic 1968 Che Guevara poster, honoring Ahed the same way.
Israel’s arrest, detention and prosecution of Ahed flagrantly violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Arresting, detaining or imprisoning a minor must only be a last resort for the shortest period of time.
Ahed is guilty of extraordinary heroism, for being an Arab Muslim, not Jewish, for refusing to tolerate occupation harshness. She committed no crimes.
Joint (Arab) List MK Yusef Jabarin’s request to visit her was denied.
“It is my right as a member of Knesset to visit Tamimi and examine the conditions of her imprisonment and her treatment,” Jabarin explained, adding:
“She is a minor whose detention requires continued public criticism. The Prison Service’s refusal to allow me to visit her is arbitrary and vindictive, and is also intended to put pressure on Tamimi and her family.”
B’Tselem said “(r)emand in custody – even of minors – is part of the routine of oppression that Israel employs against Palestinians, with the full backing of the military courts, a system in which both judges and prosecutors are always military personnel, the defendants always Palestinian, and the conviction rate almost 100%.”
Ahed’s father Bassem, a former Israeli political prisoner, said “(w)e don’t expect justice from this court. They are trying to maximize the charge so they can maximize the sentence because they are controlled by extreme right Israeli public opinion.”
Around 350 Palestinian children languish in Israel’s gulag – subjected to torture, other abuses, intimidation, threats, solitary confinement, and harsh interrogations without counsel or family members present.
Over two dozen celebrities signed a Dream Defenders letter in solidarity with Ahed. It states in part:
“From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi – racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures.”
“We the undersigned call on all US representatives to sign this bill and protect the lives and childhoods of Palestinian children.”
“The Tamimi family stands up to Israel’s brutality because they believe Palestinians, like ALL people, should be free.”
“Dream Defenders stands with them and all Palestinians in their righteous struggle. Now, and always, we commit to building a more just and loving world for us all.”
Marc Lamont Hill
Gary Clark Jr.
Robin DG Kelley
Dream Defenders calls itself “an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing.”
“The Dream Defenders develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power.”
Ahed is an extraordinary young woman. I stand in solidarity with her courageous struggle for justice.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."