Ahed Tamimi is a self-proclaimed Palestinian activist and trained provocateur whose claim to fame was slapping and kicking an IDF soldier and subsequently serving an 8-month jail sentence in Israel, which she capitalized on. Before her arrest and her 15 minutes, she participated in many controversial, staged events which demonized Israeli soldiers, but her family earned a reputation for participating in real acts of terrorism, too. Her cousin, Ahlam Tamimi, was responsibile for the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem where 15 people, including seven children and one pregnant woman, were murdered, and about 130 people were injured, with one young mother being permanently incapacitated.
Ahed’s efforts mainly surround promoting the view that the Israeli community in the Middle East as well as Israel, the Jewish State itself, should be purged from existence. She says, “Our goal is not only to remove the settlement in Nabi Saleh, our goal is to remove the occupation, all of it, the large settlement, which is Israel.” Her self-inflicting propaganda has garnered sympathy from all over the globe. She was featured in Arabian Vogue, a very prestigious opportunity most professional models never achieve. According to Arabian news, for her troubles she was even rewarded a Mercedes GLA 2019 by Daimler-Benz, which had links to the Nazi Regime.
Dismantling the “large settlement” of the Jewish State would ultimately entail mass-genocide–genocide which has already actually been attempted in the Holocaust, in 1947 following a two-state peace solution proposed by the UN which Israel accepted and Arab States and Palestinian Leaders rejected, and in 1948 when Israel was recognized as a state and was invaded by seven Arab armies the next day. Israel’s Jewish history stems back much farther than that, though–like when Hadrian of the Roman Empire renamed the area, including Judea, “Syria-Plestina” in the year 135 AD despite it having been home to Jews for nearly 1500 years since 13th century BC.
Nowadays, Israel regularly fends off terrorism orchestrated by the Hamas, a democratically elected government in Gaza. What made the ancient conflict in the Middle East so trendy on social media lately, in fact, were so-called “peaceful protests” at the border of Israel and Gaza, in which IDF military response was provoked by Palestinians who would encroach upon or damage the security fence and even use one another as human shields in order to gain access to the Israeli civilians on the other side. In addition to stressing the border itself, Palestinians launched hundreds of rockets, mortars, and incendiary devices, which struck public Israeli spaces such as kindergartens and parking lots, and burned down over 8,000 acres of Israeli land. Despite all of this, the UN condemns Israeli for being apartheid.
Of course, Ahed would wholeheartedly agree with all of these consequences. She says, “Whether it is stabbings or martyrdom operations or throwing stones, everyone must do his part and we must unite in order for our message to be heard that we want to liberate Palestine.” Ahed directly advocates for extremism, violence, and terrorism to accomplish the goal she was brought up with. Vogue, by extension, does as well for commending her. To Ahed, the recent murder of Israelis Kim Yehezkel, a mother of one, Ziv Hajbi, a father of three, and Ari Fuld, a father of 4, whose murderer 17 year old Palestinian Khalil Jabarin will be rewarded more than $1.7 million through a monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority, are noble, progressive acts.
For her extremism and view that Jews and the Jewish State should be annihilated, she is being hailed as a humanitarian icon and a hero. That’s the end of the story, I suppose.
You may be wondering at this point why I plotted my image, on the left, against hers, on the right. To me, the ugly face of propaganda, corruption and cognitive dissonance are no longer shocking. I see it everywhere all the time, in my own country, in the media, and all over the world. People who do the worst are rewarded for doing the best. Even in Pride NYC, for example, of all forums, there was no shortage of thinly-veiled antisemitism and general prejudice operating under the guise of human rights activism. On Facebook, too, Holocaust-denial pages and comments are protected by so-called “Community Standards”, and so is other highly questionable dialogue.
However, this hits close to home. I am an editorial model and despite my unique look have faced significant impediments of prejudice in the modeling industry. Namely, my Jewish lineage isn’t considered “ethnic enough” in the editorial setting in order to be considered relevant to today’s politics. My red mane, despite roaring in a crowd of people who are completely ordinary in NY, is largely ignored. If your first thought was, “What are you talking about? You’re white. You can’t face discrimination,” or, “Judaism is just a religion, not a race,” then congratulations: you are the problem and a prime example of the cognitive dissonance I have already mentioned. I can list the names of professionals in the industry who are of a higher authority level and have tried to censor me and deny me work opportunities.
So, when I see this 17-year-old girl who has a markedly weaker editorial look than myself, whose hair is shorter, whose hair is less red, who never once worked as a model and has only used her vessel to incite hatred, violence and confusion in this world, get featured on Vogue specifically because she slapped a Jew…it tends to corroborate my suspicions about the modeling industry itself and the world. Her image, beside mine, is the sheer and utter embodiment of arrogance, entitlement and sadism, all with a smug, antisemitic face which is telltale, and the likes of which we have seen so many times before.
She is an egregious pathological liar, a bully, and a prospective terrorist who will exploit her youth to further maim the global view of an oppressed people and the sanctity of the tiny, infinitesimal yet technologically peerless, charitable, and diverse fragment of the Middle East designated as their safe-haven specifically in light of the world’s failure to treat them like humans. Beside my photo, which was taken by a German photographer who was downright enthralled with my essence, and rightfully so, she looks like a true swine. I couldn’t care less if it sounds vain at this point.
But the true difference between us is hardly that she is less qualified as a model. The true difference is simple: as a Jew, I don’t use violence to express my views. I use my mind and I won’t be rewarded for it–at least not by Vogue.
Thomas B. Howard