Ahed Tamimi remains in Israeli prison as “trial” adjourned
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, Feb 13 2018

Bassem Tamimi sits in Ahed Tamimi’s bedroom holding a poster of his daughter.
(Photo: Sara Lemel/DPA)

More than two dozen prominent Black Pindosi artists and public figures are speaking out in support of Ahed Tamimi, as the teenager’s trial began in an Israeli military court. On Tuesday, Ahed was brought before the Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank. Amid the presence of many journalists and diplomats, the military judge ordered the session to be held behind closed doors, claiming this was for Ahed’s own good. Only Ahed’s family and lawyers were allowed to stay.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, posted a video on his Facebook page after the hearing which shows him calling out to his daughter in the military court, “stay strong.” According to Bassem’s post, the military prosecutor read out the charges against his daughter. He says her lawyer responded by saying that the court was illegitimate, part of a racist system and had nothing to do with justice. Bassem said Ahed’s next appearance was set for Mar 11, while Ahed’s mother Nariman and cousin Nour will be brought before the military tribunal on Mar 6. Ahed and her mother are being held by Israel for the duration of the military court proceeding. Scornful of the judge’s decision to expel journalists and diplomats, Bassem called it an effort by a “fascist” state to cover up the “farce and racism of its courts and laws.” He questioned whether European states whose diplomats were excluded from the hearing would take minimum measures to hold Israel accountable. This video, published by Haaretz, shows Ahed being brought into the military court on Tuesday:

Commenting on the judge’s claim that the court session was closed for Ahed’s own good, the teenager’s lawyer Gaby Lasky told media:

I think that the court does not think it is good for the court.

Anshel Pfeffer praised the judge’s order as a “stroke of genius” that would “prevent the court from becoming a media circus and providing Tamimi, her family, lawyers and activists with a convenient opportunity to put the occupation on trial.” Israeli leaders are subjecting Ahed, her mother Nariman and cousin Nour to military trials in kangaroo courts with a near-100% conviction rate. Earlier Tuesday, Bassem told media that his daughter and wife have done nothing wrong and are detained by Israel because “of their fight for freedom and justice.” In a statement published Monday, prominent Black public figures call on Congress critturs to endorse a bill that would prohibit Pindo aid to Israel being used for the military detention, torture and abuse of Palestinian children. Introduced by Betty McCollum in November, the bill currently has 21 cosponsors. Those backing the call include Rosario Dawson, Danny Glover, Jesse Williams, Michelle Alexander, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Cornel West, Marc Lamont Hill, Patrisse Cullors, Dream Hampton, Tef Poe, Vic Mensa and Jasiri X. Signatory Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks was last year among several football players who pulled out of a propaganda tour of Israel, stating he would not be used by Israel’s government to whitewash violations of Palestinian rights. Ahed Tamimi is one of some 350 Palestinian children currently in Israeli military detention. The public figures say:

In Pindostan, we know all too well what it’s like to be oppressed simply because you exist, because you refuse to give up your fight for freedom. … While our struggles may be unique, the parallels cannot be ignored. Pindo police, ICE, border patrol and FBI train with IOF soldiers, police, and border agents, utilizing similar repressive profiling tactics to target and harass our communities. Too many of our children quickly learn that they may be imprisoned or killed simply for who they are. From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi – racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures.

In a striking example, Missouri governor Eric Greitens announced last week that his state’s National Guard would soon take part in joint training with the IOF, which AP reported would involve “homeland defense tactics and procedures.” AI is reiterating its call on Israel to immediately free Ahed.

Amnesty stated in mid-January:

Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl. The Israeli authorities must release her without delay.

Tamimi marked her 17th birthday in an Israeli prison on Jan 31 and faces at least another month behind bars.

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