The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We were disturbed to see that the Ithaca Voice reprinted the publicity release about Bassem al-Tamimi, a propaganda piece full of falsehoods and distortions.
Tamimi has a long and well-documented history of using children to provoke confrontations with Israelis, especially soldiers, which then are filmed and photographed and selectively edited for propaganda purposes. Two of the most infamous incidents were a 2012 film of Tamimi’s daughter Ahed screaming and pushing soldiers to get them to react [http://is.gd/F7NgMm] and a 2015 incident [http://is.gd/j3iCma] in which Tamimi’s son Mohammed threw rocks at Israeli soldiers.
Tamimi is also well-known for distorting the truth, such as when he and his wife repeatedly lied about how his son broke his arm. They told different stories that blamed the injury on Israeli soldiers when in fact the boy had broken his arm throwing rocks at Israelis, an activity that the Tamimis encourage and promote. Bassem’s wife Nariman responded to concerns about the well-being of their child with the comment “Either victory or martyrdom and everything is going to be OK.”
Note that in many states in the U.S., the crime of rock throwing is classified as a felony or attempted murder. Such dangerous exploitation of children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict violates the principles set forth in The Convention on the Rights of the Child, and would, of course, violate American domestic child protection laws if the conduct took place here.
Tamimi is unapologetic about the risks to his own and others’ children, recently telling the Jerusalem Post that it is the “duty” of children to engage in acts of resistance. Tamimi’s expressed hope is that the viral media moments will inflame the Israeli Palestinian and Arab conflict, provoking further violence and pushing peaceful reconciliation further away.
Deliberately placing children in harm’s way in order to generate viral media moments should be condemned by all people of good faith, regardless of where they stand on the divide, along with the commonsense recognition that provoking additional violence is no way to resolve conflict.
Linda Glaser and Ruth Collins Co-Chairs, Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East
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