This week, the Tamimi clan from Nabi Saleh beset Israel once again. Ahed Tamimi, the family’s teenaged golden girl, and her mother, Nariman, once again posted videos of themselves slapping and cursing hapless IDF soldiers.
The photogenic Ahed has been doing this number since she was a little girl.
There are two components of the Palestinian war to annihilate Israel: terrorism and propaganda. The two are integrally linked. The ties are nowhere more apparent than in the actions of the Tamimi family.
Six weeks after Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, Chaim Mizrahi from Beit El went to buy eggs from a farmer in Ramallah, as he had every week for years.
Two of Ahed’s cousins, Said and Nizar Tamimi, were there. They stabbed Mizrahi, stuffed him in the trunk of his car and burned him alive.
In August 2001, Ahed’s aunt Ahlam Tamimi masterminded the massacre at a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. She chose Sbarro because it was popular among families with young children. She brought the suicide bomber to the restaurant and he blew himself up, killing 15 people, among them seven children, and wounded 130.
Today all three of the Tamimi murderers are out of jail. The Obama administration forced Israel to release Said along with several hundred other terrorists to prove it was committed to peace in 2013.
Ahlam and Nizar were released in 2011 as part of Israel’s 1,000-terrorists-for-one-hostage-soldier Gilad Schalit deal.
Ahlam and Nizar were deported to Jordan and they got married soon after. The two wed in a fancy ceremony that was posted online. Ahed, Bassem and Nariman feature prominently in the wedding.
The video shows Nariman and Ahed standing on a stage with Ahlam as Ahed gazes worshipfully at her baby-killing aunt.
Shortly after she set up shop in Amman, Ahlam began hosting a TV show on Hamas’s terror channel.
She is also celebrated by the Jordanian regime.
As Arnold Roth, whose daughter Malki was among the seven children murdered at Sbarro, reported on his website, Jordanian Prince Ali’s wife, former CNN reporter Princess Rym Ali raised donations from the governments of Europe, Australia and Canada to establish a journalism school in Amman. On every page of the Jordanian Media Institute’s website, Ahlam Tamimi is presented as a “Success Model.”
Three of Ahlam’s victims were US citizens. King Abdullah has rejected repeated US requests to extradite her for trial.
Back in Nabi Saleh, Nariman and Bassem and their kids man the barricades against Israel, for their sponsors.
In 2012, Bassam was convicted of inciting a riot against IDF soldiers. An observer from the EU was present throughout his trial.
Then-EU foreign affairs commissioner Catherine Ashton touted Bassem as a “human rights defender.”
Bassem and Nariman are “volunteers” in B’Tselem’s “camera project.”
B’Tselem, an anti-Israel political warfare group funded by the EU, EU member governments, the State Department and far-left American groups, distributes video cameras to Palestinians and trains them to use them. It then posts their films online to advance its one-sided propaganda offensive against Israel.
In 2015, a consortium of anti-Israel groups including Amnesty International, Code Pink and Jewish Voices for Peace brought Bassem Tamimi to the US on a speaking tour.
In one particularly hair-raising episode, reported by Legal Insurrection at the time, Tamimi addressed an audience of third-graders in Ithaca, New York.
He urged the children to support terrorism against Israel and to join the war against the Jewish state.
Videos of Ahed were a prominent component of his presentation.
The Turkish government is also a big supporter of the Tamimi brood. After a past video of Ahed hitting and cursing Israeli forces was posted online, she and her parents were brought to Ankara to receive recognition from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In a very real sense, the Tamimi family is at the nexus of a global war against Israel.
The Tamimis have connections with nearly every government and group involved in that war. The Israeli and American Left, the EU, Jordan and Turkey and of course Hamas and the PLO all support them.
The IDF arrested Ahed and Nariman three days after they posted their latest assault film online. On Wednesday, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Bassem Tamimi to congratulate him on his daughter’s performance and to inquire about her welfare.
This then brings us to Abbas, the moderate Palestinian man of peace.
Since he succeeded Yasser Arafat as head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority in 2004, Abbas has been touted as a moderate man of peace by everybody who is anybody – including by successive Israeli governments. This appraisal was never been based on discernible reality. Abbas refused generous offers of peace and Palestinian statehood both from then-prime minister Ehud Olmert in 2008 and from then-president Barack Obama in 2014. He has refused to negotiate with Israel for the past nine years. And he has continuously sponsored, rewarded, funded, incited and ordered terrorist attacks against Israel. In addition has led the international political war against Israel on every available stage worldwide for decades.
And now, Abbas, the flimsy fig leaf of imaginary Palestinian moderation, is about to exit the stage.
Both his apparatchiks and his enemies believe that the 84-year-old dictator is not long for this world.
So the time has arrived for Israel to think about what happens after he exits the stage. How are we supposed to contemplate our post-Abbas relations with the Palestinians? This brings us to UNRWA, and demography.
This week, the Lebanese and Palestinian census bureaus published a joint census of the number of Palestinians in Lebanon. According to UNRWA, the UN agency charged with subsidizing so-called Palestinian refugees, there are 449,957 Palestinians in Lebanon. Yet according to the Lebanese and the Palestinians themselves, there are only 174,535 Palestinians in the country. In other words, the actual number of Palestinians in Lebanon is a mere 38% of what UNRWA claims.
These data are important not merely because they show that UNRWA has been defrauding its donors, since it receives funding based on the number of Palestinians it cares for. The data are important because they highlight the fraudulent nature of Palestinian demographic data.
Just as UNRWA massively exaggerated the number of Palestinians in Lebanon, so the PA massively exaggerated the number of Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria.
According to the American-Israel Demographic Research Group, a group of volunteer researchers who studied PA population data 12 years ago, the PA deliberately exaggerates the number of Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza by more than a million people.
The PA counts Jerusalem’s Arabs even though they are included in Israel’s population data. It includes some 400,000 Palestinians who live abroad in its population rolls.
The PA pretends there is no emigration from the PA despite the fact that some 17,000 Palestinians emigrate annually.
And it overstates Palestinian birthrates.
Through these false data, the PA manufactured the argument that the number of Arabs living west of the Jordan River is equal to the number of Jews.
Israel adopted this claim wholesale in the 1990s as a means to persuade the public that Israel has no option other than withdrawing from the territories if it wishes to remain a state where Jews are the majority of the population.
Despite the fact that leading international demographers have accepted the American-Israel Demographic Research Group’s findings, successive Israeli governments have refused to question the PA’s data or to carry out an independent assessment of the size of the Palestinian population either in Gaza or in Judea and Samaria.
Consequently, for the past 20 years, Israel’s public discourse, like the discourse throughout the West regarding the Palestinian conflict with Israel, is based on demographic data that is demonstrably inflated in order to present Israel with a binary choice.
Israel can remain in Judea and Samaria and choose between ceasing to be a democracy or ceasing to be a Jewish state; or it can quit the areas and retain its Jewish, democratic character.
The UNRWA fraud in Lebanon show that the fallacious PA population data are part of a larger strategy of inflating the number of Palestinians for political and monetary gain. They also show that the binary options Israel has accepted for 20 years are far from the only options it faces. The only thing Israel needs to do to develop those other options is to decide it wishes to do so. And its first step toward accomplishing the goal is to conduct a credible assessment of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria.
Israel needs to act now not merely because Abbas is not long for this world. It is urgent as well because as Israel sits on its hands, other key players are making it clear where they fall on this issue.
The EU for one, knows what it wants.
This week the government narrowly averted a major diplomatic blunder when Culture Minister Miri Regev blocked the government from automatically approving a new agreement with the EU.
Regev rejected its automatic approval, citing the fact that the EU insists that Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria and their residents cannot participate in the program covered by the agreement.
As NGO Monitor president Prof. Gerald Steinberg reported in Israel Hayom this week, if approved, the “Cross-border Cooperation within the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI): Mediterranean Sea Basin Program 2014-2020” will serve as an instrument for the EU to continue to transfer millions of euros each year to anti-Israel groups to carry out its war of subversion against Israel and its democratic system.
Steinberg noted that since 1995, the EU has used previous versions of this agreement to transfer tens of millions of euros to terrorism-supporting groups and groups actively involved in Israeli politics and inciting Israel’s Arab community to join the war against the Jewish state.
Given the EU’s record, it can be taken for granted that the EU will only support a successor to Abbas who, like Abbas, will advance the EU’s campaigns to weaken Israel and delegitimize its very existence.
Is this what Israel wants, too? For decades, by not taking a firm stand against the EU’s hostility, by going along with the fiction that there are 3 million Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, by accepting the lie that Abbas is a moderate and the PLO isn’t a terrorist organization, Israel has chosen to follow the herd. Israel has chosen not to think about its long-term interests. It has chosen not to determine its destiny.
At certain points this policy of passivity made sense. But the day is rapidly approaching where the price for not choosing will far outstrip the advantages of keeping our heads down. If we don’t want to end up with a Tamimi regime in Ramallah, the time to consider our true options is upon us.