Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has spoken out against her mistreatment in Israeli prison—and called for a single Palestinian state for Arabs and Jews.
Ahed was released last week after spending eight months in prison.
She was just 16 years old when she was arrested after standing up to an Israeli soldier who had entered the yard in front of her house.
Footage of her slapping the soldier spread around the world as an inspiring act of defiance against a heavily armed enforcer of a military occupation.
In an interview with Channel 4 news last week Ahed said that during her questioning, “The interrogator violated my rights.
“He threatened me and told me that if I didn’t confess they would arrest some of my family. He named them.
“I didn’t have a female soldier, family member or a lawyer with me”.
Ahed’s treatment drew attention to imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. Some 291 Palestinian children were being held in prison at the end of May this year.
Supporters of Israel responded to Ahed’s release with vitriol. On the Facebook page of prominent Israeli support group Stand With Us, several people called her a “terrorist”.
Others claimed she had been treated too well.
Some mocked her weight and physical appearance, suggesting she had been well fed while in jail.
Ahed called for an end to the Israeli occupation and for a free Palestine based on the borders that existed before Israel’s creation in 1948. Asked about what would happen to Jewish people in Palestine she said, “I’m not talking about kicking them out.
“I want it back the way it was. A country for three religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam because we are not against the Jewish people, we are against Zionism”.
Ahed is one of many Palestinians who want to return to the land they were expelled from, and live in a single Palestinian state with equal rights for all. This doesn’t mean expelling Jewish people from Palestine.
Yet that vision would be considered antisemitic under the IHRA definition because it implies an end to the state of Israel.
New Nation State law bias against Druze population
A new racist law in Israel has caused uproar among an ethnic minority seen as loyal to the Israeli state.
As many as 50,000 Druze people protested in Tel Aviv against the recently-passed Nation State law.
This says that only Jewish people have the right to self-determination in Israel.
The Druze are an Arabic-speaking people who have a separate status to other Palestinians in Israel, and serve in the Israeli army.
Despite their loyalty to Israel, Druze face racism in Israeli society. Now they say Israel’s new law has made them second class citizens.
Sheik Mowafaq Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, told the protest Druze had been “proud” to have served Israel’s military.
“Despite our loyalty, the state did not see us as equals,” he said.