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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Palestine friends to target north coast MPs, ABC offices

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16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem. (Photo AP: Mahmoud Illean)

Byron shire’s supporters of Palestine are ramping up their protest against ‘apartheid Israel’ with planned actions against federal MPs on the north coast in coming weeks.

ABC News offices around the states also will be targeted by the Byron Friends of Palestine in the face of what they say is a lack of coverage by Australian media of the Palestinian struggle against Jewish state occupation.

The group will also lobby for the release of 6,300 Palestinian political prisoners via a petition to the federal government at a street stall outside Byron Bay post office on Saturday, February 3.

Friends spokesman Gareth Smith said they would lobby for the release of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, her mother and aunt, who were arrested by Israeli military after the girl slapped and punched Israeli soldiers who had injured her brother with a rubber bullet.

‘Since 1948 about 1 million have been imprisoned,’ Mr Smith told Echonetdaily.

‘Currently, there are about 400 Palestinian children incarcerated mainly in the Ofer and Megiddo prisons and many of these have been tortured.’

Much of the issue of young prisoners is documented under the US campaign ‘No Way To Treat A Child’ (nwttac.dci-palestine.org).

He said details would soon be announced about the actions against Lismore’s and other statewide ABC offices ‘given the dearth of coverage of the Palestinian struggle by our media’.

‘The Turnbull government and the Shorten opposition do not seem overly concerned about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land so therefore they ought not to be too upset about the occupation of federal MPs’ offices by Palestinian supporters,’ Mr Smith said.

‘It is proposed to occupy Justine Elliot and Kevin Hogan’s offices  in the near future. Details to be announced.

‘We will also be regularly parking our Palestinian flag festooned Palestinemobile at Byron’s Main Beach and other parking spots in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Ballina and Nimbin.

‘Maxine and I would welcome any comments or suggestions regarding these proposed actions  and whether you would be prepared to join us.’

See related letter: ‘Israel not an apartheid state


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  1. Why did Ahed Tamimi go up to an army officer and slap and punch him while her mother filmed? I believe it was a failed attempt to goad him into retaliating so they could post that part and make a big deal of it. Pity for Tamimi and Co that he kept his cool and now she’s in jail.

    I don’t think too many thinking people will want to associate themselves with this type of criminal behaviour?

    • The soldiers were unlawfully in the Tamimi family’s front yard. They had just severely injured her cousin killed her relatives. What wld u do if strangers invaded your home in this way?

  2. Apart from the deplorable history of Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians, apparently shooting someone in the head with a rubber bullet (point blank) is OK according to Roger Ellison.

    • This simple act of slapping the soldier is infinitely trivial when compared with Tamimi’s cruel and unjust childhood experiences.
      She has witnessed, suffered and endured intense brutality to her own and extended family
      Free Ahed Tamimi and all other Palestinian children in the Israeli’s prisons

  3. I applaud the courage of Byron Friends of Palestine in their efforts to make positive change in the face of a remarkably disengaged government. Free Palestine!

  4. Roger’s comments regarding Ahed Tamimi shows that he has little knowledge of the state of Israel. Everyone seems to forget that there was no Israel before 1948, The english dumped them there on palestinian land, so the palastinians were dispossessed of their land (or some of it). The 1967 war shows what can happen when an entity is allowed to run rampant firepower is quite devastating, Israel has nuclear weapons but everyone is jumping up & down about North Korea, There are about 13 other countries in the world that have nuclear weapons, what is the US asking of them?????

  5. Roger asks why Ahed did what she did. Roger could find out by searching Ahed Tamimi in YouTube and watching some of the videos. Although the IDF has shot, jailed or killed Aheds family Roger calls Aheds slap criminal behaviour. Though in Israel they are calling for her to be jailed for life and the whole family expelled from the village.

  6. If you don’t want to be mauled by the Tiger you don’t walk up to it and slap it in the face.
    These children have been trained from birth to hate Jews ,there is nothing these protesters can do for these people other than getting arrested and land up in gaol for being a bloody nuisance .
    Why do these people spend their worthless time on religious matters when they could be spending their worthwhile time getting stuck into our worthless politicians who are turning our country into another shithole like Palestine .

    • Oh NEVILLE, why so upset buddy?

      Is it because people aren’t scared to slap the tiger anymore, and that with every slap we all see that underneath all the bluster is a scared pussy cat?

      I mean look at how threatened you are by a few peaceful protesters.

      It must be terrifying that no matter how much “strength” one might have it is not enough to convince people they should bend over to subjugation!

      Quick question NEVILLE, if Palestine is such a shithole, why would anyone be so hell bent on invading it and why would you be so upset that people tried to resist that invasion?

  7. I checked youtube for videos on Ahed Tamimi. She is certainly a charismatic figure but don’t get sucked in. Keep an open mind because there are two sides to the story here.
    Palestine has rejected all of Israel’s many peace offers and concessions such as withdrawing all Jews from Lebanon and Gaza but that didn’t appease them – it only brought danger closer to Israel. No matter how many peace concessions made by Israel they were met with more demands and refusals to negotiate by Palestine. Why? Because Arabs’ intention is to drive the Jews into the sea, to exterminate them. The Koran teaches them to hate Jews. It’s not about territory, justice or human rights – it’s about their irrational religious hatred of Jews. And because of that hatred they are making life hell for children like Ahed who may after all be being used as a puppet for their insane political and religious goals.
    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FebTbi9_3b0 and
    You also have to wonder why a beautiful Muslim girl like Ahed with gorgeous locks is not wearing a head scarf. According to Islam she is a whore. I suspect she is being used to attract naieve Westerners to fight for their cause. Palestine does not want peace – they want Israel destroyed.
    I’m not taking sides here just asking people to look at the big picture. There’s more than meets the eye.

    • Nonsense. Palestinians have never been offered anything. And the last thing Israel wants is a resolution as that would mean they would have to stop the continued settlement of their Jewish citizens in the Occupied West Bank. Israel would have to be criminally insane to make peace.

  8. Palestinians today are under severe deprivation, and are subject to punishment as second class citizens.
    Fault lies on both sides, as a very fraught and complex, protracted issue. This detainment of Ahmed is a David ( Palestinian) and Goliath ( (Israel) contest, and has been unfolding since the formation of Israel.There will be no peace until justice is given to Palestinians.The only chance is for Israel and Palestinians to put aside past differences and start afresh, on equal terms.
    Israel government under Netanyahu is extreme right wing,aided and abetted by UsA, under Trump.
    A thorough overhaul of the Palestinian authority is also required.

    • Israel has the full support of the US Government, the world’s only superpower and both nations are nuclear armed. Palestinians have virtually nothing in comparison so they can never negotiate on equal terms unless they get assistance from powerful third parties. At present they have absolutely nothing to negotiate with so a peace settlement is impossible.

      You say fault lies on both sides. I’d be fascinated to learn what you consider to be the fault of Palestinians.

  9. Israel’s military arrest and military detention of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi is typical of its pattern of behaviour as a brutal and illegal occupier of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza for over 50 years. Israel, an illegal occupier who regularly uses physical and psychological violence to subdue and subjugate and make normal life for the Palestinian population impossible. An illegal occupier which continues to steal Palestinian land and resources in support of its illegally transferred population in hundreds of illegal expanding Israeli settlements. An illegal occupier that has created facts o the ground so the chances for the realisation of a Palestinian state are non-existent . An illegal occupier with one of the most advanced armed forces on the planet with nuclear capability bankrolled by the United States versus a people without any armed forces of any kind at all. An illegal occupier who still keeps Gaza in line through the control of its air space and through the imposition a cruel and inhumane 10 year old siege on the territory. And this illegal occupier has bombed Gazans into submission on three occasions since 2002.

    Its telling that those who would naively or disingenuously prefer to focus on, as it transpires, the completely justifiable actions of Ahed slapping an occupier, they make no mention whatsoever of the context in which she is forced to live, stateless and under an illegal and brutal 50 year old Israeli military occupation where she, her family and her community are subject arbitrary arrest and detention at any time, and so it has transpired for Ahed..

    She and her family live in Area B of the West Bank in the village of Nabi Saleh. This area is under direct Israeli military rule which essentially means Palestinians living here are living under an illegitimate and foreign military dictatorship and are subject to the illegitimate and arbitrary military law of a foreign country, Israel. The Israeli soldier ‘assaulted’ with an open hand by this 16 year old girl on her own property is a part of the illegal apparatus of foreign occupation that regularly brutalises the Palestinians physically and psychologically. Under international law he should not be there and at the very least should not be employing violence against the occupied population. In the broader context, Ahed has every right under international law to resist, to take whatever action she deemed necessary to make the soldier leave her property and keep herself and her family safe. And this is key. The immediate context for the open handed slap was the fact another occupation soldier had just hours before permanently incapacitated her cousin by shooting him in the face. At the time she wasn’t to know whether he would live or die.

    Under two pieces of important law to do with occupation, Palestinians have legal right to resist occupation—to fight for their ability to promote, sustain, and nurture human life, to fight for their right to grow, to flourish— all of which have been and continue to be violently denied by Israel. These legal rights come from two important documents of international law, the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Fourth Geneva Convention and its subsequent protocols. That is the bigger picture that justifies her and her peoples resistance to occupation.

    The more immediate context for the justification of Ahed’s slap has to do with the Israel’s violent and arbitrary treatment of the people from her village. In 2009, illegal Israeli settlers from the newly constructed illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish stole Nabi Saleh’s spring severely restricting their water supplies. This was done with the full support of the occupying Israeli army who, despite an Israeli court ruling that he seizure was illegal have continued to protect the settlers who have refused to relinquish it and violently target and harass the Palestinians for their peaceful and non-violent weekly protests. That is the one thing military dicatorships like israel’s in the West Bank cannot stand, protest. Ahed’s father as the organiser of the village protests has been ruthlessly targeted by Israel as have her immediate and extended family.

    Now to list Israel’s violent and criminal behaviour where the Tamimi’s are concerned.

    In 2011, Ahed Tamimi was 10-years-old when Israeli soldiers arrested her father and charged him with the crime of organizing weekly demonstrations in their village to oppose the theft of its land for the benefit of a neighboring Israeli settlement. It would be 13 months before he was released and she would see her father again.

    That same year, Israeli soldiers shot Mustafa Tamimi, Ahed’s 28-year-old cousin, in the face with a high velocity tear gas canister. Half of Mustafa’s face was destroyed. He passed away the next morning at the hospital.

    The following year, when Ahed was 11 years old, Israeli soldiers shot her uncle, Rushdi Tamimi, in his lower back with live ammunition. The bullet lodged in his stomach and he died the next morning in the hospital.

    Ahed was 13 when Israeli soldiers shot her mother, Nariman Tamimi, in the leg with a 22-caliber bullet. Ahed stood by, crying in the arms of her father, as her mother was placed in the back of an ambulance. Her mother had to rely on crutches for a number of years until she regained use of her legs.

    These are only a few of the tragedies of violence that Ahed has witnessed and suffered as an adolescent and early teen growing up under Israel occupation. More of her cousins and brothers have been injured and served time in Israeli prisons than is simple to count.

    Just before the “slap heard round the world” on December 15, 2017, Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi was hit directly in the face with a rubber coated steel bullet. During the incident, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at Ahed’s house shattering many of its windows. They then stationed themselves in the yard of the house.

    Mohammed was finally released from the hospital last week. Stitches and deep purple bruising cover the front of his face as he recovers.

    In this context how could anybody support Israel’s incarceration of Ahed Tamimi. And how could anyone not call for her release to continue her just and heroic resistance.

    And for those who blame the Palestinians, the overwhelming victims in this conflict, for the fact their is no peace, understand this. Israel is a state. Palestine is not. And Palestine is occupied by Israel who is manifestly stronger hundreds of times over economically and militarily thanks to the support of the United States. Israel could have agreed to peace time and time again as it has always held all the cards. The Palestinians have accepted a state on just 22% of their historical territory and Israel won’t even agree to that. Rather than Arabs driving Jews into the Mediterranean, Israel actually seeks the whole of the West Bank ‘Eretz Israel’ and would love to drive the Palestinians east of the River Jordan and finish the job it started in 1948. Its expanding settlements in the West Bank suggest it, the words of some of its cabinet ministers say it. To Israel’s leaders, occupation has no end and this, like the violence it inflicts, speaks volumes for the true character of the state of Israel.

    For anybody seeking answers to this so called ‘conflict’ I point to the famous words of Bill Clinton’s 1992 election campaign and replace ‘economy with, ‘It’s the occupation stupid’.


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