US support for Israeli forces detaining Palestinian children is inhumane

coloredited_sharonpan_ahedtamimi
Sharon Pan/Staff

On Dec. 19, while many of us were spending time at home with our families and loved ones, Israel Defense Forces troops were raiding the home of Ahed Tamimi in order to arrest her. Her crime? A slap in the face of an Israeli soldier who represents the occupying force that has dictated every aspect of her life since birth. Only an hour earlier, a soldier — part of the same force — shot her cousin Mohammed, putting him in a coma.

A 17-year-old girl from Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine, Tamimi has spent every second of her life resisting the Israeli occupation. In her words: “I see settlers every day, sitting, swimming and playing on my land while I am afraid one of us will be killed.”

After being arrested in the middle of the night, the family’s computers and cameras were confiscated from their home; Tamimi’s brother and mother were also allegedly beat during the raid. Tamimi is now being held at Ofer Prison, an Israeli detention facility. To make matters worse, without a permit from the Israeli government, her own father cannot visit her. As if to steal even more of her childhood away from her, Israeli courts originally first set her trial for Jan. 31 — Tamimi’s 17th birthday. Her birthday present this year was a delayed trial now rescheduled for Feb. 13.

Israeli forces didn’t stop with just Tamimi; following her arrest, Tamimi’s mother Nariman and cousins Mohammed, Nour, Izz and Moatasem, as well as her father Bassem have also been arrested.

Tamimi’s case is not an isolated incident. In our opinion, it is representative of the policies implemented to systematically ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land. In a mockery of “due process”, Israeli military courts have a near 100 percent conviction rate. From January to May 2017, 331 Palestinian children have been jailed by Israel, some even without charge or trial. These children’s “crimes”? Defending their families’ homes, their lives and their dignity.

We are grateful to Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, for co-sponsoring the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, but more must be done. U.S. tax dollars fund and maintain the structure of violence that Tamimi was subjected to. We cannot stay silent while these injustices take place; we demand that our elected representatives vocally address the issues of human rights violations, mass incarceration and military occupations of indigenous peoples in the United States and around the world. We ask that Lee work proactively to pass this bill and use her position to spread awareness about the United States’ direct complicity in Tamimi’s case and others like her.

If the UC Board of Regents had any form of accountability to the students it claims to represent, we would also call on them to divest from companies that profit from and are complicit in the Israeli apartheid regime. With a tuition hike looming on the horizons, it’s important to understand that this is where our tuition dollars are going. Let’s put our money where our mouth is and divest from companies and regimes that fundamentally go against everything we stand for as individuals. Tamimi’s slap in the face of the Israeli soldier should really be a slap in the face for us all — a much-needed wake up call out of apathy, silence and complicity. If any of us can claim to care about human rights, now is the time to act: for Tamimi and her family, for every child suffering under the violence of occupation and for every Palestinian who dares to demand justice for themselves.

Sandra Alberts, Michael Andrews, Alice Thomas, and Natalie Anderson are undergraduate students at UC Berkeley.

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  • Shlomo Ben Hungstein

    Hamas just lost some “workers” in the latest terror tunnel collapse which means Hamas has some new job openings for Cal Berkeley students. Hardly a surprise patty Hearst went to Berkeley.

  • Man with Axe

    You can better show your displeasure by going to Gaza and slapping the face of a Palestinian guardsman.

    Let us know where you want your remains to be sent.

  • general major

    American support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank well provides substantial rationale for attacks on both parties.

    • JB Don’t Dance

      Are you suggesting that Americans and Israelis can be physically attacked and it’s justified? So the Arabs can reject any peace offer (as they have repeatedly if it involved acknowledging a permanent Jewish state) and then justify the status quo as rationale for murder? By this logic you have let’s-keep-killing-Jews-and-Americans-until-there-is-no-Jewish-state which conveniently is the Hamas charter.

      • general major

        Are you suggesting that Palestinians can be physically attacked and it’s justified? So the Americans and Israelis can reject any end to their violent occupation, and then justify the status quo as rationale for murder and ethnic cleansing? By this logic you have let’s-keep-killing-Palestinians-until-there-is-no-Palestine which conveniently is the American and Israeli policy.

        • lspanker

          The murder and ethnic cleansing you bewail are being conducted by the Palestinians themselves. Please educate yourself before spewing abject nonsense here.

          • thompson_richard

            Rabin was assassinated by a fanatic Jew; a teenage girl out promoting tolerance of homosexuals on a parade… in Israel was assassinated by another nut job.

          • lspanker

            You’re referring to a couple of outlier incidents, which are statistically insignificant compared the thousands of suicide bomber victims over the decades.

    • lspanker

      There’s a reason the West Bank is still occupied, and it has to do with what happened when the Israelis turned over the Gaza Strip to Palestinian self-rule in 2005. Do a little reading and educate yourself as to what happened there, and perhaps we can have an intelligent discussion on the subject after that.

  • SamXie

    Ahed Tamimi’s crime was “Incitement”. She was arrested her mother taped and broadcast Ahed’s call for suicide bombings and stabbings directed towards Israelis. In many countries, a call to genocide is a crime. The fact that a 17 year old uttered the hateful words is irrelevant.

  • ESPM360

    The following is the best argument I have heard on the subject at a UCLA student council meeting. The speaker was alumni Ben Shaprio. Ben walked away with a standing ovation and the student council voted against divestment.

    “There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing
    Saudi Arabia. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not
    discussing Iran. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and
    not discussing Palestine. There is only one reason we are discussing
    Israel and not discussing the vast bevy of human rights violations that
    happen every day in the Middle East, exponentially worse that what
    happens in Israel.

    Any gay or lesbian that is targeting Israel in this room seems to have
    forgotten how high they hang gays from cranes in Iran. Every person of
    liberal bent who suggests that Israel is the problem in the Middle East
    seems to have forgotten that there is only one country in the Middle
    East that actually has any sort of religious diversity in it. The
    countries that are apartheid countries are those that are Judenrein —
    like, for example, Palestine.

    So, for us to sit here and pretend that Israel is somehow on a lower
    moral plane is a direct manifestation of anti-Semitism. And to hold Jews
    to a different moral standard than any other country or group on the
    face of the earth represents nothing but an age-old and historic hatred
    for the Jewish people. All the folks here who are pretending that the
    B.D.S is about anything other than that, I would like to see a poll of
    those folks, and see how many of them actually believe in the existence
    of a Jewish state, qua-Jewish state, not as a state like any other, but
    as a Jewish state. They don’t. They don’t acknowledge that existence.
    They don’t believe in that existence. They don’t believe in peace. All
    this is about, pure and simple, is a desire to target the Jewish people.”

  • if (military aged 15-18y/o) children attack uniformed soldiers, are the soldiers expected to just ignore them?

    • JB Don’t Dance

      Only if the soldier is Jewish is the soldier expected to tolerate being attacked in any manner. Can you imagine a male Iranian or Egyptian soldier slapped by a teenage female showing any restraint?

  • lspanker

    Hmm, are we back to removing or disallowing comments that run counter to the editorial position of the article?

    • SamXie

      They are still censoring my comments

    • ESPM360

      It appears that my comment from four days ago was taken down by the writers of this article. I suspect they are embarrassed by their ignorance.

      My comment was about UCLA alumnus Ben Shapiro. Ben was given a few minutes to speak at a UCLA student council meeting concerning divestment. Ben was given a standing ovation and the council voted against divestment. Following is some of Ben’s comment.

      There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Saudi Arabia. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Iran. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Palestine. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing the vast bevy of human rights violations that happen every day in the Middle East, exponentially worse that what happens in Israel.

      Any gay or lesbian that is targeting Israel in this room seems to have forgotten how high they hang gays from cranes in Iran. Every person of liberal bent who suggests that Israel is the problem in the Middle East seems to have forgotten that there is only one country in the Middle East that actually has any sort of religious diversity in it. The countries that are apartheid countries are those that are Judenrein[free of Jews] – like, for example, Palestine.

      So, for us to sit here and pretend that Israel is somehow on a lower moral plane is a direct manifestation of anti-Semitism. And to hold Jews to a different moral standard than any other country or group on the face of the earth represents nothing but an age-old and historic hatred for the Jewish people. All the folks here who are pretending that the B.D.S is about anything other than that – I would like to see a poll of those folks, and see how many of them actually believe in the existence of a Jewish state, qua-Jewish state, not as a state like any other, but as a Jewish state. They don’t. They don’t acknowledge that existence. They don’t believe in that existence. They don’t believe in peace. All this is about, pure and simple, is a desire to target the Jewish people.