Cheap Shots: Palestinians put kids in the line of fire

This is cross posted by Tamar Sternthal (director of the Israel office of CAMERA), and originally published at Times of Israel

There’s nothing like a photograph of an innocent child caught up in military conflict to elicit sympathy, rage, and at times, international intervention. In 2000, the iconic footage of 11-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura enflamed the Muslim world against Israel and generated world-wide outrage. By the time the evidence emerged, proving that the Israeli army could not have killed the boy, the damage had been done.

In the 1997 fictional film “Wag the Dog,” a Hollywood producer and a Washington spin doctor fabricate violence in Albania in order to divert attention from the president’s sex scandal. To persuade the country of the need for war, they manufacture footage of a young orphan girl fleeing from mayhem.

On a media stage far away from Hollywood, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, where photographers gather every Friday to document repetitious scenes of Palestinian residents and international activists clashing with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian activists are placing their children in ever-more-visible roles. Unlike scenes in “Wag the Dog,” a black comedy, there’s nothing funny about parents exploiting their own children to score propaganda points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Unfortunately, that’s just what happened on Friday, August 24, when A’hd Tamimi, and her cousin Marah Tamimi, both 11, were photographed by Agence France-Presse tearfully being restrained by Israeli soldiers.

Days later, photos of the distraught girls appeared in Australia’s Fairfax media outlets alongside a Page-1 article charging the Israeli army with the routine abuse of Palestinian children. “An Israeli soldier restrains a Palestinian girl crying over the arrest of her mother during a protest over land confiscation in al-Nabi Saleh,” stated one caption in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Slamming the article’s “unnamed sources, hearsay and propaganda,” Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, also charged that the Palestinian leadership “blatantly use[s] children” and “presents a fable where Israel’s curtailing of violence is tantamount to abuse of children.”

Chester was not specifically addressing the photographs of the appealing young Tamimi girls under the thumb of the Israeli military, but he may as well have been.

A’hd is the daughter of Narimen and Bassem, prominent activists in the Popular Resistance, and Marah’s father is Naji, another leader in the weekly demonstrations.

In other words, the girls’ parents are among those who determine the protests’ strategies. Rather than keeping their children at a safe distance from the often-violent clashes, the parents encouraged their children to play highly visible roles in the confrontation with the army.

Narimen is a participant in B’Tselem’s video project, in which the prominent Israeli NGO distributes video cameras to Palestinians to “present the reality of their lives to the Israeli and the international public.”

This is not the first time she has exploited children and distorted reality. In a 2011 video of the arrest of an 11-year-old stone-thrower, Narimen filmed as a Palestinian man instructed the boy’s mother not to join him on the police vehicle, even while Israeli authorities repeatedly asked her to board the van. Later media reports falsely claimed that the Israeli police forbade his parents from accompanying him.

Despite complaints about her cynical exploitation of Palestinian children in order to produce anti-Israel propaganda, Narimen has not stopped using children as props. To the contrary, she has since enlisted her own daughter.

In a 16-minute video posted on the Nabi Saleh Solidarity blog, the two girls can be seen leading a crowd marching toward a spring that the army has deemed off-limits. A’hd and Marah are filmed at length, cursing the soldiers and trying to get around them. Marah can be seen running some distance to approach and confront soldiers. And when Narimen and two other women are arrested, the girls refuse to let go, interfering with the arrests. An army spokesman later said that the detainees, who were held for a few hours, had been throwing rocks.

Though photographs of the crying and constrained A’hd and Marah are actually products of Palestinian manipulation and exploitation of children, the Australian media outlets publish them unquestioningly as ostensible evidence of Israeli abuse of Palestinian children.

In other words, the Tamimi girls pulled off a photographic coup, as their parents had hoped. For this, they were rewarded with a meeting with Laila Ghannam, the Palestinian Authority’s Governor of Ramallah, and President Mahmoud Abbas, who congratulated them for their “bravery.”

But what if next time their parents send them out into a violent confrontation they are injured, or worse? This would be tragic — but think of the pictures and articles incriminating Israel in the next day’s paper.

88 replies »

  1. When you teach two year olds to become suicide bombers what do we expect? From Tripoli to Aleppo to Kandahar people have no constructive input. And the few who do are often killed or must go into exile.

    • What on earth are Israeli soldiers doing in Nabi Saleh, in the middle of the Palestinian territory?

      What on earth are Israeli settlers doing in Halamish, the illegal settlement built directly on Nabi Saleh’s land? Why don’t they get a job and live in Israel like everyone?

      These two Palestinian children have the right to live free in their own land, rather than under the rule of religious settlers.

      • They have every right to roam free out of school when they feel like it and throw rocks on anything that resembles a Yahud.

        You see, in england these attitudes (kids having no cosntructive enviornment) cause the youth gang wars we have been seeing in the last 8 years.

      • Nat, so many self-righteous questions that DEMAND an answer from the iniquitous Zionists. You really have them in a corner! From lentils to coriander there is no moral justification. Every other conflict, injustice, tyranny and genocide pales into insignificance when compared to the heinous crimes of the Israelis. Only someone with your moral compass can see through these distractions and get straight to the crux of the matter – the Israeli denial of coriander to the victims of Gaza! What a self-centred, middle-class, sanctimonious, parochial pile of shit your moral outrage represents.

        • Groovy, you keep avoiding my question: why did the Government of Israel ban chocolate, music instruments and coriander from entering Gaza?

          • Nat, I didn’t know you’d asked me directly. I don’t know, its not a policy I would agree with, but I suggest you seek medical help for obsessive compulsive disorder. I think it’s an illness afflicting the middle class and self-righteous, who can’t comprehend a life without coriander but couldn’t give a shit about the lives of the countless millions who suffer and die under real tyranny and terror. Your humanitarian concern is shallow and self-serving.

    • ” In 2000, the iconic footage of 11-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura enflamed the Muslim world against Israel and generated world-wide outrage. By the time the evidence emerged, proving that the Israeli army could not have killed the boy, the damage had been done.”

      All evidence in the case points to the conclusion that this innocent child was mistakenly killed by Israeli fire during crossfire.

      The handful of French nutcases who pretend to thee contrary have been repeatedly convicted by tribunals. Tsahal never denied being responsible for the death of this child in crossfire.

    • I am looking forward to reading CIF Watch’s post on how some Israeli settlers expose their children to danger, with their children harassing or throwing stones at Palestinian civilians and even, sometimes, Israeli soldiers.

  2. Hideous in the extreme is the calculated manipulation of public opinion that this barbarism is meant to provoke.

    How many times have half-witted Palestinian men, no doubt cranked up by having their two minutes of fame and actually being taken notice of, told us that they will sacrifice their children in order to see the end of Israel? In other circumstances we might tell ourselves that this is a figure of speech. Now I am coming to believe that these animals really mean it.

    If nothing else proves it, this charade does – that Arab children are mere objects and extensions of their parents to be exploited as the parents please.

    • You are catching on, Avram … (I think…)

      But note the difference in the inferences between your choice of comparison and the subject of this article.

      Wrong again, aren’t you?

  3. And very recently, two Palestinian parents engineered their 12 year old daughter’s death from cancer just so they could photograph the IDF attacking the funeral.

  4. The sex and birth politics of the Palestinian Islamists care nothing for the individual child, only for the numbers and the possibility of their exploitation as symbols.
    Especially the Gaza strip shows the problems generated by these reactionary politics, the unsustainable population increase leads to low income and education, food, water and energy crisis and dependance. Without the subvention of the world and the terror financing by Islamic countries they quickly would deposit the Islamists and the other terrorists reigning in Gaza strip and conclude peace with Israel.
    Mass producing children is only possible by suppressing women with force and a superstitious belief to legitimate force and birth. They don`t need education for these children as they are considered as tools of war by the Islamists.

    • Your utterly racist comments are doing wonders to destroy any credibility CiFWatch has.

      Perplexing though, that Adam hasn’t banned you.

    • Agreed, Fritz. The Pal leadership always have an eye for the main chance and how they can exploit their women and children, and useful idiots like Rachel Corrie to feed rubbish to the gullible like those who post on CiF and other fools like Avram and Nat who displace their animus with Jews/Israel/the whole world/whatever onto Jews and Israel.

      Having a large family need not necessarily suppress a woman, but it can leave her with less time to concentrate on wider issues than childrearing. Add to the Muslim mass production the general attitude to women in Islam and this can make for considerable psychological difficulties with bonding and all the ensuing difficulties for the social, cognitive, emotional and psychological development for the child.

      Dr Wafa Sultan writes about the Arab/Muslim perception/depersonalisation of women and children, and the Jew-hatred inculcated into them almost with mothers’ milk, in her book, “A God Who Hates”

    • Good read in the NYT on Aza and this man who has two wives seventeen children and no roof over his head . Incredible.

    • “Mass producing children is only possible by suppressing women with force and a superstitious belief to legitimate force and birth.”

      Fritz… are you referring to Israel’s ultra-orthodox community?

      I heard some of them even have two wives thanks to the Agunah system.

      • What an anti-Semit is likely to hear is of no interest. Be a woman/man, live with your patriarchical Islamists, not in the bad and degenerated West with all comfort.

  5. “the Muslim mass production”

    Brilliant. Textbook, pure racism.

    Adam, I can’t see PollDaddy any more, could you give this 5 stars for me.

  6. Nobody’s perfect, Avram. Not Fritz, not you, not me, not even CifWatch.
    I’m glad, however, to see your evident concern for CifWatch’s credibility.

  7. Question of Avram, I am not going to give hits to your blog, but do you report Islamic antisemitism on it? Post extracts here, if you do. If not, then aren’t you racist too?

  8. — Khalid Muhammad, current member of the New Black Panthers Party and former spokesman for the Nation of Islam, 13 August 2012

    “”If they are white kill ‘em all. Why kill the women? Why kill the babies? They are just innocent blue-eyed babies? Because god dammit they are going to grow up one day to rule your babies. Kill them now. Why kill the women in South Africa? I say kill the women because the women are the military manufacturing center. And every nine months they lay down on their backs and reinforcement rolls out from between their legs, so shut down the military manufacturing center by killing the white woman. Why kill the older crackers? The old crippled crackers in South Africa. How in the hell you think they got old? They got old oppressing and killing black people. Kill ’em all. Kill the faggot. Kill the lesbian. And after you’ve killed them all. I say then you go to the god damn grave, and dig ’em up, and then kill ’em a-god-damn gain because they didn’t die hard enough.” (emphasis added)

    Question of Avram: “If they are white, kill ’em all….” Isn’t this racist? Note the reference to “military manufacturing center” above, from this Islamist.

    You think you are a clever fellow. Why haven’t you drawn our attention to this statement before now? I’ll bet it’s not on your blog either.

    Motes and beams, old chap.

  9. No I am merely illustrating your one-eyed, antisemitic and ignorant take on this in your focus on alleged Jewish racism to the exclusion of where racism really exists.

    And I should have made clear that this sick b****rd is dead, but that the speech was broadcast on 13 August 2012 on the New Black Panther radio station.

    Questions: Do you agree with Motormouth Choudary? Why do you think he said what he said?

    • Your decision to model yourself on an extreme racist is your business. I can’t and won’t tell you what to do. I can’t tell you to stop listening to New Black Panther radio station.

      Can you provide an example of your having criticised anti-Muslim racism?

      The difference is, my intellectually stunted friend, that I can condemn racism whenever, wherever from whoever. I don’t have to promote one kind of racism to defend from another kind of racism. That’s idiocy.

      Let’s face it, your determination to find anti-Semitism wherever possible, whilst ignoring the massive anti-Muslim racism in Israel and the West says more about you than it does about the anti-Semites that you rightly criticise.

      • You are the living embodiment of the facilitating conditions for Jew-hatred who has the nerve to lecture people here!

        Someone could write a psychological thesis about you and get it widely published, but why waste their time?

        • I oppose all racism Sarah. That means all. Anti-Jew, anti-Muslim, anti-black, anti-whatever.

          I also oppose the exploitation of Jewish suffering by those seeking to defend Israeli policy. I make no apology for that.

          • Not from what you’ve written here and, I gather, on your blog, which obsesses non-stop and only negatively about Israel (if not post a link here). If you really do believe what you are telling me now, then you really are deluded, or cynically trying to manipulate me.

            But I’m not playing.

            • I spend much less time looking at anti-Jewish racism. I also spend much less time looking at, say, anti-Black racism. So why?

              Many of the forms of racism have reached the level of taboo in the West. Anti-Jewish racism has, for obvious reasons. Anti-black racism likewise – they are largely self-condemning.

              And I’m not saying anti-Jewish racism doesn’t exist, nor that anti-Black racism doesn’t exist. But because they are taboo, they are pushed more towards the fringe.

              Anti-Muslim racism is the last major form of racism that is not taboo. It is still acceptable, and often applauded. This is largely why it gets more of my attention.

              It was telling that American racists who didn’t want a black president were unable to state their racism openly, *because* of the taboo associated with anti-black racism.

              So what happened? The smear machines started alleging he was a Muslim, because being anti-Muslim is still acceptable.

              So polls have shown that 15%-20% of Americans, and 30%-34% of Republicans think that Obama is a Muslim. Perfectly acceptable in the US.


              And you saw the recent ads by the Geller-Spencer hate machine?


              Can you think of any other form of racism that would be so overtly trumpeted and support so widely in the US?

      • How “massive”?
        Cmon, give us some believable data.

        Does Muslim teaching order that the Jews should be treated with respect, Avram?

        • Sarah, you may think that promoting anti-Muslim racism is the best way to combat anti-Jewish racism, or the best way to defend Israel. I do not. I cannot follow you there, it is the language of cowardice.

          Let’s look at some research.

          Around 30 percent of Americans had a positive opinion of Islam in August 2010, down from 41 percent in July 2005.

          Source: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1706/poll-americans-views-of-muslims-object-to-new-york-islamic-center-islam-violence

          There’s also very sad reading in the Berkeley report “Same Hate, New Target”:


          From Time: “28 percent of voters do not believe Muslims should be eligible to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, while nearly 1/3 of the country thinks that adherents of Islam should be barred from running for President.”


          Or this from CBS: “55 percent of Americans know someone who has negative feelings toward Muslims as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with approximately 1 in 5 saying that they themselves had these feelings.”


          Gallup poll: “43% of Americans admit to feeling some prejudice toward followers of Islam” – Not a typo – 43%!!!


          Don’t try to down-play anti-Muslim hatred in the US. It is dishonest, and doesn’t help your cause.

          • Are you a disinterested observer Avram? By what right do you lecture anyone here?

            I held my breath and went to your blog…..

            It’s every bit as much of a hate site as you allege this is.

            I am amazed that you haven’t argued, a la Inayat Bunglawala, Jew-hater general and ignorant spokesman for the MCB in the UK, that Muslims are the “new Jews”

            And your solipsistic ramblings impress very few and certainly not me.

            For example, how can you assume that SarahLeah was talking about the US?

            I live in the UK and I can assure you that Islamist-driven Jew hatred is very much on the rise.

            • Is anyone a disinterested observer, Charles?

              I’m curious to know what you used in particular to characterise my Spartan website as a “hate” site. I barely have time to write anything.

              What was it? A translation of a French newspaper article? Was that hateful? A textual analysis of an op ed? A review of a speech by Begin?

          • This is a very moderate result bearing in mind the many attacks of Muslims and the hate propaganda in Muslim countries against the USA since fifty years..
            The internet shows and informs the American on a daily basis what Muslims actually think of them, so it is a surprising result in favour of the USA.

            • The internet shows and informs the American on a daily basis what Muslims actually think of them

              The Internet only shows what certain individual Muslims think of the US.

              You might as well claim that CiFWatch – BTL – “shows” what Jewish bigots think of goys. Is the poster Daniel representative?

              Of course not.

              • Certain individuals pretzel… like in Benghazi, Cairo and we are waiting th news from Pakistan and Iran..

                • Judith Butler received the city of Frankfurt’s Adorno Prize. I think that says a great deal about how some Europeans are insensitive about people who think Hamas and Hezbollah are ‘on the left’.

              • Pretzl,
                Peter wrote this only yesterday. You need to take stuff on board, and truly listen.


                If you don’t understand pretzel then try to remeber your posts explaining that the Guardian can’t be antisemite because some of its employees are Jews, because it doesn’t publish every day articles inciting against and delegitimizing Israel. When anybody mentions here the reemerging European leftwing and Muslim antisemitism then you start to cry racism saying that in Europe it is only and insignificant minority when everyone with the minimal knowledge of Europe knows that this is a very serious and clear problem even it is the defining factor of the international or local actions of some European country or significant political party, minority group, academy and establishment. Maybe you should practice some more modesty before you teach people about things they know much more than you ever will to learn – simply because they experienced personally while you are just babbling about Israeli settlements obviously knowing nothing about them apart what you read in the party newsletters. (Not to forget your amazing and laughable ignorance regarding AKUS’ claims about him/her being a descendant of Aaron the priest).

              • Reading lesson for Pretzel:
                “what Muslims actually …”
                I didn`t give any numbers, your sloppy (I hope that it isn`t anything worse) reading is all yours.
                If you can single out the certain individual Muslims I congratulate you in advance for centuries of lasting work, Methusalem.

      • You didn’t answer Mitnaged’s question.

        Choudary is, his followers say, the embodiment of the true Muslim.

        Do you agree with what he said?

        Can you find us some links which disagree with him?

        • I am increasingly uncomfortable with the tone of discussion and comment below the line on this site. Not specifically the comment to which I am replying, but generally. It (the tone) is becoming increasingly nasty, aggressive, mean, bitter and ill-spirited – from all sides of the argument – from those who will not hear a bad word about anything in Israel to those whose world view paints all things Israeli in the worst possible shade. Even those few somewhere in the middle are often drawn in to the spiteful name-calling.

          By the way – I do not absolve myself of guilt in this regard.

          When a teenager’s hormones get the better of him, the best thing is for him to go and calm down on his own somewhere.

          I will take this advice – and absent myself from CifWatch for a while. Goodbye, and I wish a Shana Tova (a happy, healthy and above all, peaceful new year) to those of you for whom that is appropriate.

        • Why then is he allowed to get away with it? CiF Watch surely doesn’t need the low calibre hits from him? Enough people post here with sensible things to say.

      • Avram,

        You run amok here calling people racists and “intellectually stunted.”
        Your comments have the earmarks of an arrested adolescence.

  10. Pallywood in Jenin in 2002.
    The greatest example of Pallywood, was the Palestinians having fake funerals staged for the media to believe they were killed by Israel. Watch this video of a supposedly dead Palestinian the PLO said was killed in Jenin until the “corpse” falls off and magically regains consciousness.

  11. I’m proudly bringing to your attention our new strategic success:
    Iranian president says Tehran’s enemies hatched sinister plan to prevent rain clouds from reaching Iran, causing drought

    And Nat I’m begging you not to start your reply with “Please explain to me…”
    I’m not trained to teach mentally retarted individuals and certainly all of my attempts to make you understand anything would be a futile and unsuccessful waste of time.

  12. Speaking of adults putting their children at risk, last time I checked the Middle East is populated with Jew-hating Islamofascist barbarians. So of course we can hold all the Zionist adults responsible for putting their children at risk, especially those who make aliyah. Really now, you don’t move your kids to Poland while it’s occupied by the Wehrmacht, so who in their right mind would move to the Middle East while it’s full of Muslim Arabs?

    • Israel, that little island of sanity, is in the Jewish Middle East (get used to it). They’re neither occupied by the Wehrmacht nor the Arab Muslims.

  13. Learn histoy, imbecile.
    1. Moving to the future Israel during the Ottoman reign and the British mandate saved the life of a lot of Jews. At this time an Arab Middle East didn`t exist.
    2. When were the first and second aliyah?
    3. Jews fled the countries occupied by the Wehrmacht, not moved in.
    4. Even if some Muslim Arabs like the mufti supported the Nazi genocide of Jews it was not common politics of Arabs at this time to kill all dhimmis, because France and Great Britain ruled, not Arabs. The difference explains a lot.
    5. Thank you for publishing your knowledge of nothing.
    Only anti-Semites dare to publish their knowledge of nothing because they are used to get away with it.

    Applied causality and chronology, tools much denounced by the postmodernist/structuralist/colonialists etc., because of illuminating and proving irrationalism like the one of andrew.

    • 1. The Ottomans were still Muslims and again, last I heard (Get used to that phrase) Muslims have been killing infidels since the 7th century. So anyone with half a brain would know the Jews were risking their necks moving to a Muslim territory.

      2. See above

      3. I don’t think too many Jews were able to leave the country once it was occupied by the Germans.

      4. And how long was that gonna last? So you admit Zionist colonization of Palestine relied on military occupation by a non-Muslim power and counted on that occupation being indefinite.

      5. What’s with the hostility. I’m agreeing with you and most cifwatchers that Muslims are evil and since Jews need to be safe, they should stay away from the Muslim Middle East. Whatever, you just can’t please anybody.

      • The British were mandated with this territory, as victors. The Ottoman Empire, a long existing colonial power suppressing f.e. Christian, Bulgarian, Greek and Serb minorities in the Balkans and East Europe and occupying their land for centuries vanished.
        In those times land reward was the rule.
        The confidence in their own abilities was important, not the considerations of cowards or nonbrains who don`t know history, logic and humanity.
        The abilities of your Islamist friends look limited.