Jewish Voice for Peace is co-sponsor of Tamimi’s U.S. tour and defends appearance in 3rd Grade class
Incitement on social media is fueling the current epidemic of knifings, firebombings and stonings against Israeli Jews.
The incitement involves not only fabricated claims of Israeli intentions as to the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Mosque, but also false claims which portray Palestinian attackers as random innocent victims of Israeli aggression.
The cumulative effect is to so inflame young Palestinians, including children, that they attack Jews for being Jews.
Now a famous Palestinian activist has joined in.
Bassem Tamimi is the internationally-famous Palestinian activist from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh who is best known for the viral videos and photos he creates by sending children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers.
Tamimi, who argues that it is the “duty” of children to engage in acts of resistance, is on a U.S. national tour co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, which is at the forefront of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Tamimi is nearing the end of a 25 city U.S. Speaking Tour co-sponsored by JVP.
During the tour, Tamimi also was a speaker at the annual meeting in late September of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation:
A storm of controversy erupted during Tamimi’s tour when the Ithaca, NY, chapter of JVP brought Tamimi to a third grade class. Tamimi concluded the event by calling for the third graders to become “freedom fighters” for Palestine.
The Superintendent of the Ithaca school district, after an investigation, denounced the visit, finding that Tamimi was not invited by the school and the event was “not developmentally appropriate for third graders, nor aligned with the New York State standards. The statements were politically skewed, inflammatory, and not endorsed by the Ithaca City School District.”
Nonetheless, JVP stood by Tamimi. JVP defended the third grade event and launched a campaign claiming that the Superintendent’s criticism of the third grade event was proof that pro-Palestinian voices were being “silenced and threatened.”
But this Facebook entry by Tamimi, in which he spreads the claim that Israel arrests Palestinian children in order to harvest their organs, takes the incitement to a new level:
While I can’t verify the origin of the photo Tamimi shared, it appears to be a stock photo used in many articles for many countries. It was used, for example, in a 2012 International Business Times article, which doesn’t mention Israel, about illegal international trade in kidneys.
Note that that one of the authorities in the original Facebook post is to a website run by Alision Weir, If Americans Knew.
It was that theory, among others, that made Weir so toxic that JVP and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation severed ties with Weir. (The other link to Honest Reporting actually contradicts the theory, as it reports on the retraction by Time Magazine of such allegations.)
There is no indication in Tamimi’s sharing of the post that Tamimi disagreed.
This claim appears to be part of the ongoing incitement of violence as part of the current surge in stabbings and other attacks against Israelis. The original Facebook post Tamimi shared, by someone using the name Faisal Hussain, has been shared over 1200 times as of this writing.
As with many blood libels, the start of this claim is based on a twisting of history.
There was an issue of the Israeli Ministry of Health performing organ donation on deceased people whose families had consented to autopsies, but not specifically organ donation. But that practice ended in the 1990’s and was not specific to Palestinians, it included Israeli civilians and soldiers. Now, specific organ donation approval is needed. Additionally, there have been individual, Israelis involved in the illegal international organ trade, as there are from other countries. Israel has prosecuted people involved in this trade.
The false organ harvesting libel is made against Israel elsewhere as well, in what the Anti-Defamation League calls The Big Lie Of Israeli ‘Organ Harvesting’.
That is pure incitement to violence, much like Mahmoud Abbas’ false claim on national television last night that Israel executed a 13 year old who stabbed an Israeli child.
Will Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to end the Occpation stand by Tamimi as he spreads the type of blood libels that caused them to distance themselves from Alison Weir?