Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace is sponsoring two events in Ithaca and Cortland, NY, honoring and celebrating Bassem Tamimi.

The first event, in Ithaca, is at 5:30 p.m. today, September 17, 2015.

http://bassemtamimi2015speakingtour.weebly.com/

The “host” of the event is Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine, run by the same people who run Ithaca JVP. They use various group names for various purposes to create the appearance they are a larger movement than they are. They recently also formed a group called Vegans Against The Occupation (seriously), using as their featured image in the left sidebar Ariel Gold, the leader of Ithaca JVP.  The anti-Israel movement in Ithaca is very interconnected, and run by a handful of activists.

Why is Ithaca JVP celebrating and glorifying Bassem Tamimi?

Tamimi, you may recall, has perfected the art of using children (including his own) to confront Israeli soldiers to create viral photos and video.  We set forth the evidence in great detail in two prior posts:

Tamimi’s daughter, Ahed was featured in a video in 2012 which has many millions of views, in which she screamed at Israeli soldiers and shook her fist at them, as other children gathered around trying to provoke a reaction. It all was a set up for the cameras, as the video below exposes.

The blond girl is Ahed; the child pushed into the soldiers to try to get a reaction is believed to be Mohammed Tamimi:

Tamimi was recently quoted in the Jerusalem Post arguing that it is the “duty” of children to engage in acts of resistence (video here).

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Father-of-Palestinian-boy-at-heart-of-clash-with-IDF-Our-children-are-doing-their-duty-413723

[Bassem Tamimi on children’s duty to engage in resistance – Image by Bilal Tamimi]

Tamimi also has posted Facebook images not only of his own children engaged in such acts but also generally glorifying using children in such manner:

BTamimi using little kids

According to a professional translator, the red caption under the picture reads: “Oh child, from whose shoes history is born when he walks [marches].” The comment added by Tamimi reads: “Oh, the generation of the coming victory, keep attacking, so that the homeland does not stay a hostage [pawn] in trembling hands” [i.e. probably the “trembling hands” of older people].

Tamimi’s most famous media moment came just before he left for his U.S. Speaking Tour, when Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Tamimi’s son Mohammed for rock throwing, only to be confronted by women and children. Tamimi’s daughter Ahed received a second dose of internet fame with this image of her biting the hand of an Israeli soldier (who did not, by the way, retaliate against the women and children).

The video and photos received widespread attention, though it was tempered somewhat when media learned of the Tamimi clan’s past media exploits.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3214441/Remarkable-moment-young-girl-bites-Israeli-soldier-two-women-overpower-puts-Palestinian-boy-broken-arm-headlock-gunpoint-clashes-West-Bank.html

Tamimi continues to exploit his daughter’s fame not just on his speaking tour, but also on Facebook, where he has posted a photo montage comparing Ahed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and an (unidentified) American Indian:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206806559634874&set=a.4332333398837.2162107.1602330832&type=1&permPage=1

Contrast those peace-loving figures with how Tamimi presents his daughter in this image he posted of Ahed as a Warrior Princess:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206845165840005&set=a.4332333398837.2162107.1602330832&type=1&theater

This is the type of exploitation that Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace is celebrating and honoring.

The Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East, has condemned this glorification of child exploitation:

https://www.facebook.com/IthacaCoalition/photos/a.796337670444844.1073741828.796335893778355/806270159451595/?type=1&theater

ICUC-ME Condemns Dangerous Use of Children for Political Purposes

The Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East (ICUC-ME) calls for a rejection of the dangerous use of children for political purposes by Bassem al-Tamimi, a Palestinian well-known for exploiting children by placing them in harm’s way in order to generate media opportunities. He is scheduled to speak in Ithaca and Cortland in September.

Bassem Tamimi has a long and well-documented history of using of children to provoke confrontations with Israelis, especially soldiers, which then are filmed and photographed and selectively edited. 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.

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.

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 overall conflict.

ICUC-ME calls upon the organizations sponsoring Tamimi’s appearance, including the local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace and the Unitarian Church’s Social Justice Committee, to publicly reject Tamimi’s exploitation of children for political purposes.

Background:

The Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East (ICUC-ME) is a grass-roots anti-racist community organization working to bring a constructive approach into dialogue about Israel and the Greater Middle East. As a non-partisan organization, we embrace fact-based, respectful dialogue, mutual recognition, and cooperation to promote understanding and support peace in the region.

None of this is really surprising.

Ithaca has become a center of anti-Israel (NOT just “anti-occupation”) activism, mostly through the obsessive actions of this small membership of Ithaca JVP.

You will recall that this group of people, operating under the name Central NY Coalition for Justice in Palestine (since renamed as Ithaca Coalition for Justice in Palestine, the host of the Tamimi appearances), posted a disgusting image of Auschwitz concentration camp inmates carrying anti-Israel signs (it was taken down ONLY after I called attention to it at Legal Insurrection and people began to complain).

I Acknowledge Apartheid Exists Facebook Image Holocaust Survivors with Anti-Israel Signs - Central NY Committee

The leader of the group, Ariel Gold, also posted at the group’s website a false accusation that Sabra Hummus (made in the U.S.) was named after the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Lebanon by Christian Militias (the post was removed after I called attention to it at Legal Insurrection).

Sabra Boycott Poster top half

Additional false and misleading anti-Israel information was distributed by this group as part of the failed effort to get the local GreenStar Food Coop to boycott Israeli products as well as Sabra Hummus. For that effort, the same group of people used the name Ithaca for Food Justice for Palestine Campaign:

https://www.facebook.com/IthacaFoodJustice/photos/a.1612520405635944.1073741825.1612519568969361/1645060669048584/?type=1&theater

The Ithaca JVP branch reflects, in many ways, the ills of the national JVP, which uses “Jewish” in its title to provide cover and to serve as a shield, as we documented in these posts:

Child exploitation should be condemned. Instead, Ithaca JVP glorifies it.

There is no way there can be peace when children not only are taught to hate, but also are exploited for photo ops and media moments. By welcoming Bassem Tamimi, Ithaca JVP has shed any pretense of seeking peace.

Here’s where this all leads: