Ben Ehrenreich’s obscene empathy with the terror-supporting Tamimis

You might think it’s an uphill battle to promote a book glorifying Palestinian terror-supporters at a time when Palestinian terrorists stab Israelis on the streets, gun down people at a café in Tel Aviv and even murder a sleeping Jewish teenager in her bed. But you would be very wrong: the American writer Ben Ehrenreich is doing just fine promoting his new book that prominently features the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh, who don’t even try to hide their admiration for their own murderous relatives and openly cheer every terror act committed against Israelis.

I have documented the Tamimis’ support for terrorism as well as their seething Jew-hatred and their ambition to instigate a “third intifada” with the eventual goal to “delete Israel” in considerable detail, notably in an article published last November at The Tower, but also in several additional blog posts (see e.g. here and here). Given the rather high percentage of recent terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinian teenagers (including yesterday’s murderous attack  by a 17-year-old Palestinian), it is particularly important to understand that the Tamimis have long advocated and cheered the participation of children and teenagers in what they like to call “resistance.”

So here is Nariman Tamimi – a prominent figure in Ehrenreich’s new book – sharing a Facebook post from a family member honoring the teenaged terrorist who just killed the 13-year-old sleeping Hallel Yaffa Ariel after breaking into her home. As far as the Tamimis are concerned, the murder of Hallel Yaffa helped “to return to the homeland its awe/reverence.” (Translation courtesy of Ibn Boutrous).

NTamimi cheers 13yo murder

And here is another image Nariman Tamimi shared last fall, soon after Palestinian terrorists began targeting Israelis with a wave of stabbing attacks.

NTamimi stabbing instructions

Another prominent figure in Ehrenreich’s new book is Manal Tamimi, the family’s representative on Twitter, where she not only cheers terror attacks, but also freely expresses her hatred for Israel and Jews.

MTamimi vampire zionists Yom Kippur

[“Kebore” = Yom Kippur]

There are countless similar social media posts by the Tamimis, and one of the most egregious examples of recent Tamimi incitement has been widely reported and condemned. But downplaying or ignoring this so openly expressed hatred and support for terror has brought Ehrenreich much praise. According to the book’s Amazon page, writer Adam Shatz feels that Ehrenreich has produced “a freedom song, burning with humanity,” while the artist and writer Molly Crabapple praises Ehrenreich’s “portraits of Palestinian resistance” as “luminous”; Crabapple is also impressed by Ehrenreich’s “nuanced empathy that slashes through the best funded government propaganda.”

Similarly, a glowing review in The Economist praised Ehrenreich’s book as an “elegant and moving account of the trials of the Tamimi family,” highlighting that “[it] is in the author’s descriptions of the Tamimis that the hope, and the love, are to be found.”

So let’s have a closer look at one telling example of the “hope” and “love” felt by the Tamimis. As Ehrenreich himself acknowledged in his fawning tribute to the Tamimis that disgraced the New York Times Magazine cover some three years ago, two Tamimi murderers “remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.” The first is Said Tamimi, who is according to Ehrenreich one of the Tamimis who participated in the 1993 murder and subsequent burning of Chaim Mizrachi; the second “much-loved” and much more prominent Tamimi murderer is Ahlam Tamimi, the proud mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of 16 people (including a pregnant woman and 7 children), and injured over 130.

I can confirm that Ahlam Tamimi remains indeed “much-loved” by her clan: as I have documented, all the prominent Tamimi family members mentioned in Ehrenreichs NYT tribute and now featured in his new book are “friends” with a Facebook page that clearly belongs to Ahlam Tamimi, who hides behind the pseudonym “Princess of the Free,” but displays as her profile picture and cover picture images of Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, the terrorist who exploded himself in the crowded Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001.

Sbarro bomber FB page2

As I have also shown, Nariman Tamimi has shared Facebook posts inciting terror attacks from Ahlam Tamimi; she has also rejected labeling her a terrorist, insisting that she is an admirable “rebel;” and she explicitly stated in an interview last year that the Sbarro massacre “was an integral part of the [Palestinian] struggle,” emphasizing her support for “every form of uprising.”

NTamimi no terrorists

Yesterday’s murder of a sleeping 13-year-old Jewish girl by a teenaged Palestinian terrorist was just one of countless other murderous terror attacks that the Tamimis have cheered. Meanwhile, Ben Ehrenreich is presumably getting ready for yet another event promoting his obscene glorification of these relentless inciters and supporters of terrorism who proudly count among their family members one of the most notorious terrorists.

It is arguably rather telling that three years ago, when Ehrenreich’s appalling tribute to the Tamimis appeared in the NYT magazine, the “hate siteMondoweiss gushed that “it contains an implicit argument for violent resistance.” Ehrenreich’s new book would surely deserve the same “praise,” but given the ongoing wave of deadly terror attacks, both Mondoweiss and Ehrenreich now seem to feel it’s more prudent to pretend that it’s “only” about stone-throwing.

Yet Ehrenreich and Mondoweiss know full well that it’s about stone-throwers who already count several murderers among their “much-loved” family members – and since there’s so much about love, let’s not leave out a true Tamimi-style love story: as you can read at the Hamas mouthpiece Middle East Monitor (MEMO), both the “much-loved” Sbarro massacre mastermind Ahlam Tamimi and the presumably equally loved murderer Nizar Tamimi, who helped his dear Tamimi relatives to kill and burn Chaim Mizrahi in 1993, were released in the controversial deal for Gilad Shalit and got engaged and married soon afterwards. As one Tamimi family member told MEMO on this happy occasion:

“The engagement of Nizar and my aunt Ahlam is the greatest proof of the unity of the Palestinians, with Nizar being a Fatah supporter and Ahlam backing Hamas. This is a model of the hope, love and unity of the Palestinian people.”

Jew-killers for Fatah and Hamas united means lots of “hope” and “love” – it seems that those who praise Ehrenreich’s book (in particular at The Economist) couldn’t agree more.

Last but not least, it should be noted that – not unlike the Tamimis – Ehrenreich has long believed that “Zionism is the problem,” as he explained in the Los Angeles Times back in 2009. But if you believe that “Zionism is the problem” and that the world’s only Jewish state has therefore no right to exist, you will almost inevitably feel the need to support your view by demonizing Israel. The Tamimis do this regularly, and Ehrenreich has also done his share: he has produced an award-winning contribution to the popular “water libel”-genre of writings that accuse Israel of stealing and/or poisoning Palestinian water supplies; and as Mondoweiss rightly noted, he provided an “implicit argument for violent resistance” with his NYT tribute to the Tamimis. Judging from a recent article based on his new book, Ehrenreich is now eager to offer rather explicit arguments for violent “resistance” – and as blogger Elder of Ziyon has shown, he is basing these arguments on completely unsubstantiated horror stories about Israeli wrongdoings that require his readers to believe “that religious Jews would allow (or, as implied, encourage) their children to urinate and set fires in this sacred spot [i.e. the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron].” Elder rightly notes that this is “beyond absurd.” But experience shows that Israel-haters rarely find a story that supports their hate too absurd. At the same time, they can’t quite see the absurdity – and obscenity – of feeling all fuzzy with “hope” and “love” when they encounter people who cheer and love terrorists who kill Jews.

About the Author
Petra Marquardt-Bigman is a politically homeless lapsed leftist who can’t get used to living in a time when the Nazi slogan “The Jews are our misfortune” is considered quite acceptable in its 21st century version “The Jewish state is our misfortune.” She therefore writes mostly about antisemitism, anti-Israel activism and BDS, i.e. Bigoted Double Standards. She grew up in Germany and has a Ph.D. in contemporary history.
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