Ahed Tamimi and Her Mother are Freed from Jail

Ahed Tamimi and her mother were freed from prison on Sunday. Ray McGovern looks back on when he met the Tamimi family last year in their West Bank village and reflects on the spirit that drives them.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

When they left prison on Sunday Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman received a hard-earned heros’ welcome from Palestinians and others opposed to Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands seized in 1948 and enlarged by the Israeli army in 1967.

Ahed was 16 years old last December when an Israeli soldier shot her cousin in the face. The next day Israeli soldiers menacingly showed up at her house in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. What would you do?

Ahed slapped one of the armed-to-the-teeth soldiers. While some Israeli politicians said she should be put away for life and others demanded a sentence of at least ten years, the Israeli occupiers sentenced her to eight months for the slap seen around the world. She spent her 17th birthday in prison. Her mother Nariman filmed the incident and was thrown in jail too, this time for incitement. (It was not the activist Nariman’s first time in an Israeli prison.)

The Israeli authorities are so worried about the symbol for resistance that Ahed has become internationally that on Saturday, a day before her release, they arrested two Italian artists who had painted a large portrait of her on the separation wall near Bethlehem.

Ahed in Ofer military court in February in the West Bank village of Betunia.
(Photo: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

Most Americans — except for the relatively few who have spent more than a few days in Israeli-occupied territories — find it hard to understand why Palestinians like Nariman and Ahed “persist.” Most people in the U.S. are blissfully unaware of the history of Palestine and of the continuing injustices inflicted on its people today. The explanation for this lies largely in the way the U.S. mass media reports the story, almost entirely from the Israelis’ point of view.

For those malnourished on Establishment media, here’s a bit of history, without which it is impossible to understand the anger and the courage-against-all-odds shown by those who continue to use what they have — even their open palms — to make clear that they will never acquiesce in Israeli occupation.

How a Homeland Gets Occupied

The Israeli attack starting the Six-Day War in early June 1967 fits snugly into the category of “war of aggression” as defined by the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal.  “Pre-emptive” attacks, when there is nothing to pre-empt, are now — post Iraq war — labeled more euphemistically as “wars of choice,” but that too fits the Nuremberg definition.

To begin to appreciate the injustices inflicted on millions of Palestinians, whose land Israel coveted for itself, one must un-learn the legend that in attacking its neighbors in 1967 Israel was acting in self-defense. None other than then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1977 – 83) undermined that piece of propaganda in a speech to the U.S. National Defense University on August 8, 1982.  (Apparently, even accomplished dissimulators get cocky on occasion and let the truth slip out.)  Here are Begin’s words:

Bassem Tamimi and Ray McGovern in Nabi Saleh last year.

“In June, 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that [President Gamal Abdel)] Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him. … The government decided unanimously: we will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.”

And now, a half-century after its successful six-day war of aggression with U.S. backing, Israel has been unlawfully colonizing the occupied territories, oppressing the Palestinians still living there, and thumbing its nose at UN Security Council Resolution 242. It was approved unanimously on Nov. 22, 1967, calling on Israel to withdraw from the lands it seized in June of that year. That was then.

And This is Now …

In February—March 2017, I was part of a a small Veterans For Peace delegation in Palestine. One of our last visits was to a village named Nabi Saleh, where Ahed’s father Bassem Tamimi, his wife Nariman, and Ahed’s three siblings live when they are not in prison. Her older brother is in prison now. After two weeks of experiencing what life is like for Palestinians under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, I had a chance to ask Bassem about the nonviolent, but frontal, resistance to Israeli occupation and colonization.

“Your sons have been beaten and badly wounded and one’s still in prison; your wife is in and out of prison: your brother-in-law was killed by a sniper bullet; you yourself have been tortured in prison; your house is on the list for demolition — why do you persist; why encourage such actions?” I asked.

“We have no alternative,” Bassem replied matter-of-factly, “it is our land and our life. I will not tell my children or my people to acquiesce in the Israeli occupation — ever.”

Ray McGovern with Ahed Tamimi and unnamed villager after teens in Nabi Saleh fought off Israeli soldiers.

The following day we Veterans For Peace took part in a protest march to the separation Wall. Later, underneath the tear-gas and sheltered from the ensuing rifle fire, we watched the teens of Nabi Saleh dodge the Israeli soldiers chasing them through the village for two hours. When the Israeli soldiers, so heavily burdened with weaponry they could hardly run, finally went back behind their Wall, the young folk emerged shouting, “We won.” It was a privilege to be there to welcome them back to the Tamimi house and some relative peace and quiet.

Chris Smiley, our delegation videographer, created an excellent 38-minute documentary as part of a series on our experience in Nabi Saleh called: “One Day, One Village, One Family.

The Palestinian Spirit is Universal

Ahed “Didn’t Get It From the Moon”. This is the expression my Irish grandmother would use to make it clear that tribute and praise should go to the seed-sowers as well as the protagonists themselves. Other traditions use some variant of: “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” Suffice it to say that, from what I was able to witness of the attitude and behavior of Ahed and her three brothers, they are clearly determined to honor the rich legacy of courage and Palestinian patriotism they inherit from Bassem and Nariman — and not only from them.

Hanging in meeting room of Arab members of the Knesset.

One might say that Ahed and her siblings are honor graduates of the Bassem/Nariman Folk School, just as Rosa Parks was a graduate of The Highlander Folk School. The common curriculum has to do with courageous persistence in the pursuit of justice. Moreover, our delegation was to discover that Rosa Parks is a revered figure in the Israeli Knesset — well, at least in the modest conference room allocated to Arab members.

Hanging prominently on the main wall were pictures of Rosa Parks, as well as of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  And now I can hear Ahed Tamimi’s voice beneath that of Rosa Parks, who explained in 1992:

“I did not want to be mistreated … It was just time… there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. … But when I had to face that decision, I didn’t hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became.”

Nonetheless, they persisted.

Welcome home, Ahed and Nariman.


Miko Peled, son of an Israeli general and critic of Israel’s Palestine policy, shot this video on Sunday and sent it to McGovern. 

Miko Video

Ray McGovern works with a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former Army officer and CIA analyst, he was a member of the Veterans For Peace delegation visiting Palestine in early 2017.

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47 comments for “Ahed Tamimi and Her Mother are Freed from Jail

  1. Tom
    August 1, 2018 at 13:01

    Good for him.

  2. vewuriz25
    August 1, 2018 at 02:08
  3. Kay
    July 31, 2018 at 17:47

    She is a beautiful young woman from a beautiful and strong family. Ahed’s spirit is like Razan’s, Razan the medic taken down by an IDF sniper bullet.
    But there are so many Palestinians that have the same courage & spirit, at the border fence everyday, fighting Zionist aggression after 70 YEARS…

  4. Kathleen Galt
    July 31, 2018 at 15:46

    Ray McGovern “Suffice it to say that, from what I was able to witness of the attitude and behavior of Ahed and her three brothers, they are clearly determined to honor the rich legacy of courage and Palestinian patriotism they inherit from Bassem and Nariman — and not only from them.

    Hanging in meeting room of Arab members of the Knesset.

    One might say that Ahed and her siblings are honor graduates of the Bassem/Nariman Folk School, just as Rosa Parks was a graduate of The Highlander Folk School. The common curriculum has to do with courageous persistence in the pursuit of justice. Moreover, our delegation was to discover that Rosa Parks is a revered figure in the Israeli Knesset — well, at least in the modest conference room allocated to Arab members.”

    Millions of us honor their spirit and commitment to justice. We are right behind them!

  5. Kathleen Galt
    July 31, 2018 at 15:30

    Ray McGovern “Most people in the U.S. are blissfully unaware of the history of Palestine and of the continuing injustices inflicted on its people today. The explanation for this lies largely in the way the U.S. mass media reports the story, almost entirely from the Israelis’ point of view.” Of course still going on.

    On Monday July 30th NPR’s Daniel Estren reported on Morning Edition that the young Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was released today after being held in an Israeli prison for 8 months after slapping an Israeli soldier which was seen on you tube etc world wide.

    What Daniel Estren failed to report was the reason Ahed Tamimi slapped an Israeli soldier. Her cousin Mohammed Tamimi had his head partially blown off just hours before by Israeli soldiers

    She went to prison for slapping an Israeli soldier. No one in the Israeli military has been held accountable for partially blowing Mohammed Tamimi’s off.

    Once again NPR tells just a part of the story. What a massive and purposeful oversight,

    Where is the justice?

    Daniel Estrin : NPR



  6. floyd gardner
    July 30, 2018 at 21:34

    Thank you, Ray, for your courageous persistence and for your writing.

  7. July 30, 2018 at 18:49

    How interesting that the same people who suffered so tragically in WW II seem to have no problem ethnically cleansing others. There are many Israelis who do not like at all what is happening to the Palestinians. The mad dogs in the Likud Party will sooner or later answer for their atrocities. Those who excuse the attack on the Liberty need to do more research and not just respond emotionally and with bias.

    • Berna
      July 30, 2018 at 20:03

      Those who accuse Israel of intentionally and knowingly attack an American ship “need to do more research and not just respond emotionally with bias. ”

      It was a spy ship under orders from the NSA and operating in a war zone. Neither the Liberty’s location nor operations were given to the Israelis. Egypt was known for disguising it’s ships with foreign lettering and the ship, being outfitted for spying, was not recognizable as an American warship. When one enters a war zone and its intent is spying on the belligerents, one is taking a big chance. Israel reacted quickly and violently assuming any ship in the area not its own was operating for the enemy. Egypt had a far superior navy to Israel and if Egypt was intercepting Israel intelligence this could have been in preparation for an Egyptian naval operation.

      And in general this has little to do what is going in Israel today. It keeps coming up because all the Israeli detractors like to stir up people’s emotions, marking Israelis as vicious killers of our boys in uniform.

      • Paul G.
        July 30, 2018 at 22:41

        You are so off the wall; fortunately there is the US Liberty Veteran’s Association which has thoroughly documented the atrocity. A few things: the Liberty was a WWII Victory class cargo ship converted to electronic monitoring, painted grey displaying standard US Navy numbers on the bow. It was flying a large American flag; and was 50 miles off the shore. The Israelis made recon flights before the attack so they knew exactly what they were doing.
        It was a false flag event made to be blamed on the Egyptians so the US could enter the fray. The treasonous President Johnson knew all about it, which is why he ordered the 5th fleet not to intervene. I believe the attack only stopped when a Russian sub popped up- a witness not to be messed with.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        July 31, 2018 at 13:18

        Hello Ms Berna, you said:

        “Those who accuse Israel of intentionally and knowingly attack an American ship “need to do more research and not just respond emotionally with bias. ”… all the Israeli detractors like to stir up people’s emotions, marking Israelis as vicious killers of our boys in uniform.”

        Not all Israel’s “detractors” cast the Israelis as vicious killers, as you claim. I, for example, am a critic of Israel (I guess you would call me “detractor”) but I cast a significant portion of Israelis as guilty not of viciousness but of apathy towards Palestinian suffering of innocents – a claim that is not disputed even by Israel advocates, at least the serious ones, who rush to excuse this moral taint by appealing to Israel’s having to live in a state of war (as if there were no chance for peace).

        But I would like to play devil’s advocate now, and post prima facie evidence in favour of the claim that some significant portion of Israelis do indeed evince viciousness to other collectives, and a close variant of it, Schadenfreude. Here is a newspaper article written by Daniel Pipes in October 2016, in Israel Hayom, Israel’s most widely circulating newspaper:


        In his article, Pipes deemed “patriotic” the Far Right’s rejection of Muslim immigration, he stressed the alleged danger that Muslim immigrants pose to “western civilization”, and he elliptically expressed the hope for the occurrence of Muslim terrorist “high-profile mass-murders(such as in France since January 2015)” so that the European public will vote for populist anti-Islam political parties. In other words, Daniel Pipes hoped that I, or some other Europeans, be killed by a Muslim extremist in an act of terrorism, for the sake of the alleged well being of western civilization.

        Now, Daniel Pipes’ true motivation for hoping for terrorism in Europe is his concern about the well being of Israel. How do I know? Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had said that there are some in Israel who do hope for terrorism in Europe so that the international community’s attention be diverted from the Israeli occupation. I quote Barak:


        “Israel plans to continue controlling the area that was conquered, liberated in 1967 forever… Israel is waiting for the world to adapt to and accept this reality [of Israel’s continued control of the 1967 conquered areas], and is hoping that tough incidents — like terror attacks in Europe … — will divert … [the world’s] attention [from the situation in Israel]”

        Daniel Pipes surely does sound like belonging to this class of people to which Barak is drawing our attention, namely the class of those who see Israel’s well being as augmented by Islamic terrorism in Europe. But leaving aside Pipes’ true motivation, I want to ask you, Ms Berna, if you would classify Pipes’ attitude as vicious. If yes, as it is very plausible , what does this say for the attitude of a significant portion of the Israeli people? Remember, Pipes’ article wasn’t published in an obscure rag, but in Israel’s most widely circulating newspaper Israel hayom:


        If Pipes’ article is deemed fit for publication, it means that the Israeli people at least won’t be bothered by someone’s expressing hope that Europeans be mass murdered by Islamic terrorism. And we should keep in mind that Pipes is a respected scholar in Israel: as Ron Dermer, Israel’s envoy to the US and former senior adviser to current Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, has said, Daniel Pipes is “one of the great scholars of the Middle East…”


        Then again,, we don’t need to deduce the Israeli public’s attitude from the tolerance towards Pipes’ monstrous attitude. We can infer it from the words of Eldad Beck, “a prominent Israeli journalist and author[who] was Middle East affairs correspondent of IDF [Israel Defence Forces] Radio and the newspaper “Hadashot,” as well as the Paris-based correspondent of IDF Radio, the Jerusalem Report, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel’s Channel 2. “


        So he is a mainstream commentator. And here is what he had to say in Israel’s most widely circulating newspaper about the Israeli attitude to Europeans and the terrorism they might face:


        “The refugee crisis, Islamist terrorism, the rise of the populist Right, Brexit … have many Israelis looking forward to what they believe will be the dissolution of the European Union.

        There is a certain sense of gloating at the predicament of the Europeans, who now that the Middle Eastern conflict has spread throughout the world, are “finally” getting a taste of what the Israeli public has dealt with for decades: security threats that have become routine, …”

        So, Ms Berna, there is a case to be made about the Israeli public entertaining a vicious attitude towards Europeans at least. Does the fact that they had faced anti-Semitism in Europe exculpates the Israelis for their present attitude? I think that yes, but I would draw attention to the fact that this Israeli attitude, whether we are going to call it “viciousness” or something lighter, is an attitude that is held a fortiori towards the Palestinians. And this means that many Palestinians will die in the routine extrajudicial executions of Palestinian attackers, or in the recurrent IDF invasions in Gaza where war crimes are nonchalantly perpetrated, and that more Palestinians in Gaza will keep on suffering under a blockade that constitutes unjustified collective punishment. And these Palestinians and their supporters have every right to draw attention to Israeli viciousness, and proleptically blame Israel so as to force it to stop the injustices it perpetrates, even if the Israelis are not truly culpable for it.

        And a final point: to the extent that a person’s well being is partly constituted by that person’s moral worth, it is to every Israeli’s interest not to allow herself to be “brutalized” (Sam Harris’ expression) by the inevitable conflict that the Israeli choice to stick to the occupation of East Jerusalem carries with it.

        Ms Berna, I suggest that, if you care about Israel’s well being, you will serve it better if you try to persuade the Israelis to extricate themselves from the continuing occupation of East Jerusalem, and give it back to Islam and the Palestinians , so that the Israelis can avoid the otherwise inevitable moral taint that the necessities of an occupation will bestow on them – being an occupier inevitably turns you vicious, or something close to it. Me, I am not motivated to tell you what I am telling you by concern for Israel’s well being (though I wish Israel no harm). But it seems to me (and please feel free to disagree) that I have a better conception of what this well being consists in than you do. Maybe you love Israel in the wrong way?

    • tonyfromindiana
      August 1, 2018 at 09:24

      “seem to have no problem ethnically cleansing others”

      Because it is in their religious literature. Specifically, the ‘Old Testament’ (Torah).

      “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are to possess and casts out the many peoples living there, you shall then slaughter them all and utterly destroy them…You shall save nothing alive that breathes…You shall make no agreements with them nor show them any mercy. You shall destroy their altars, break down their images, cut down their groves and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people unto the LORD thy God and He has chosen you to be a special people above all others upon the face of the earth…”–Book of Deuteronomy

      One of literally hundreds of similar passages from the “family” bible.

  8. Mild - ly Facetious
    July 30, 2018 at 17:45

    Amid Deadly Israeli Crackdown on Gaza Protests, Chomsky Says U.S. Must End Support for “Murderers”
    JULY 30, 2018


  9. Berna
    July 30, 2018 at 15:14

    A few comments about the 1967 Six Day War. Egypt’s collective actions that included the closure of the Straits of Tiran, the expulsion of UN peacekeepers, the massive armed deployment along Israel’s borders and her constant saber rattling, made clear that Egypt was bent on armed attack against Israel.

    Both US and Israeli intelligence indicated that troop movements in Egypt, taken by themselves, had only defensive, not offensive, purposes. However, the deployed Egyptian troops in the Sinai would move against Israel in the event that Israel undertook an invasion of Syria toward Damascus in response to repeated provocations by Syrian materiel and raids by fedayeen operating in Syrian territory. This fact was mentioned by Israeli PM Menachem Begin, who, in order to argue for an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the 80s, reminded the Israeli Knesset that preemptive strikes were already part of Israel’s history and that waiting for her enemies to choose the time of coordinated warfare is a losing policy, remarking in regards to the 1967 war that, “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. (…) We decided to attack him”. But, he added in that speech, the 1967 war was not an act of aggression, but of response to multiple acts of aggression designed to debilitate Israel step by step as a preliminary to outright war.

    Israel also maintains that its attacks were justified by the Egyptian closure of the Straits of Tiran, an international waterway, the closure of which constituted a casus belli under customary international law later codified in 1958 Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea.

    In practical terms, Israel had no choice, a situation where unless she attack first, the possibility of being overrun by multiple Arab armies was imminent. And in historical terms, nations, all nations have been created and their boundaries determined by war. There has been no exception to this so in order for Israel to survive as a state, a military solution was initiated and completed. Egypt and Jordan have signed peace accords with Israel. Note that the West Bank was part of Jordan from 1948 to 1967 and no Palestinian state was created or offered. Keeping in mind the history of the area, and the plight of the Palestinians under Arab controlled lands, one can come to the conclusion that the Arab states have no intention and no desire to see a Palestinian state created, as it upset the power status quo.

  10. Grady
    July 30, 2018 at 14:12

    Every US citizen should be required to read “The Israel Lobby” by Mearshimer and Walt to understand the iron grip Zionists have on congress (my only quibble is that it doesn’t address the executive branch[Jerusalem now the capital] or the judicial branch[also Zionist controlled]). It would also be prudent to view Cynthia McKinney’s recount of required behavior by the US congress available on youtube. After this deeper understanding of our controlled government, research the Oded Yinon plan from 1982 to see what the plan has always been for future Zionist expansion. So how can this expansive land grab be fulfilled? By owning and controlling the only world super power to use its blood and treasure to accomplish the Zionist mission set forth in the late 1800s. The mislabeled federal reserve (neither federal nor a reserve) is the catalyst to maintaining this control, a privately held corporation 70% foreign owned and firmly held by Zionists just as all the world’s central banks are. Any country without a Rothschild owned central bank is attacked by the US and its proxies/NATO. Case in point, Libya – no central government exists, but the central bank has been put in place after the US and friends illegally attacked it. The Fed controls the economy and the profit of our tax dollars (Fed Reserve and Fed income tax both created in 1913) is used to buy politicians and media setting forth the conditions for total control of our country to be used as the attack dog for the Zionist new world order – presided over by the Rothschilds in their seat of power in Jerusalem. Connect the dots: Hamas and Palestine resist the illegal occupation; Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria resist Zionist expansion; Iran supports Syria and Hezbollah; Russia supports Syria and Iran; cut of the head = Russia must go because putin is evil according the Zionist corporate owned media presstitutes and bought and paid for congress. There’s much more but that’s all for now. Great article again Ray!

    • backwardsevolution
      July 30, 2018 at 18:37

      Grady – great comments.

  11. July 30, 2018 at 13:53

    To Alcuin: Putin on Browder at Helsinki, that’s about money. Not antisemitism. Lots of Jewish in Russia. Look up “Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax” by Alec Krainer. Lots of real info there.

    There was an SOS from Al Adwa, Norway aid flotilla to Gaza, saying they have just been taken captive by Israeli agents before reaching Gaza.

  12. July 30, 2018 at 10:42

    The Israeli brutal racist regime’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza is the most extreme case of racism and supremacism on Earth.

    In response to Alcuin’s diversionary question as to Putin’s mention of Browder in Helsinki, asking if this is antisemitism: No, Alcuin, you should look into the details of what Browder did in Russia with the oligarchs and the West and don’t accept the US establishment story. Because the Russian oligarchs who plundered Russia were all Jewish, it did lead to a rise of antisemitism in Russia. Russia has many Jewish citizens and a very large Muslim population also. For Putin and Russia, Browder’s case is completely about money. And I believe that the Russophobia propaganda is also exploiting a racist premise.

    But this story from CN is really about the Tamimi family, who face danger every day and show far more courage than most people ever do in a lifetime. The Israelis just stopped the aid flotilla heading toward Gaza, as Israel’s regime is incapable of showing any mercy toward the Palestinian people.

    • Alcuin
      July 30, 2018 at 18:55

      Thanks, Jessika, for the Krainer reference. If many or most of the plunderers of Russia in the 1990’s were perceived to be Jewish (whether Russian, American, or other), and if at the same time the consensus in Russia is that Jews played a disproportionately large role in the crimes of Russian Communism, then I can see how many Russian Jews might choose to emigrate to the more friendly and welcoming climate of Israel. With what results?

  13. Alcuin
    July 30, 2018 at 01:51

    Tangentially related: Has anyone at CN discussed Solzhenitsyn’s last book on the Jews in Russia? Why is it still not available in English? Was Putin’s mention of Broder in Helsinki motivated by anti-semitism?

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 30, 2018 at 09:10

      Alcuin, I mention Alexander Solzhenitsyn each time I get a chance on this forum because I sincerely believe that his very unique existence plus his incredible writing ability offer possibly the best explanation of the Russian Experience to a Western reading public. It’s imperative that an American audience understands the religious divisions being utilized by governments to divide regions throughout the world and Solzhenitsyn’s “Two Hundred Years Together” immensely helps in that regard. Thank you. And, Ray McGovern is a National Treasure…


      • Mild - ly Facetious
        July 30, 2018 at 14:13


        Noam Chomsky… Already under Obama, the modernization programs had reached the level where they were posing a literal first-strike threat to Russia. Important work on that has appeared in the scientific journals, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
        Trump is escalating it, even more modernization of extremely dangerous forces, also significantly lowering the threshold for nuclear war. Also new weapons, which are supposedly tactical nuclear weapons, which, as any nuclear strategist can tell you, are just incentives for escalation to final disaster. These are enormous threats against Russia, ourselves as well, combined with being polite to Putin at a press conference. Geostrategically, this makes no sense. It all makes perfect sense on a different assumption.

        AMY GOODMAN: Trump has gone after NATO allies from Britain to Germany, and before that, Macron in France as well as Justin Trudeau in Canada. But he also, while questioning NATO, says he’s questioning—because he simply wants them to spend more money—and actually named the weapons manufacturers in the United States—that he wants them to spend more money on—saying they should spend four percent of their budgets on weapons. If you could comment on this?

        NOAM CHOMSKY: In other words, if you’re looking for a serious strategy behind this, you’re looking in the wrong place. That’s not what lies behind it. None of this makes sense from a strategic point of view. None. It’s all contradictory, incoherent and so on. That should tell us something: Let’s look somewhere else. And it all makes perfect sense on the assumption that he is driven by one overwhelming concern: himself. All of this makes sense for a megalomaniac who wants to make sure that he has power, he has wealth, has to appeal to a number of constituencies to make sure he’s supported.

        One constituency is the overwhelmingly hawkish establishment—you know, expand NATO, build up the military system, modernize nuclear weapons and so on. OK, he’s got them in his pocket. The crucial constituency is—and his actual one—are the corporate sector and the super-rich. And he’s just lavishing gifts on them. While he’s prancing in front of the media, and the media are helping him out by focusing on him, his minions in Congress are carrying out sheer robbery. I mean, it’s unbelievable, if you take a look at it point by point. I’ve mentioned a couple of examples before.

        Then he has to maintain a voting base; otherwise, he’s out. And he does that by posturing. “I’m going to—I’m going to confront NATO, make them pay more, so they won’t be robbing us anymore.” Great. “I’m going to confront China. Stop stealing our intellectual property.” Great. “I’m going to put tariffs on everybody. I’m defending you guys, workers’ rights.” Point by point, it all falls into place. And I think that’s pretty much what’s going on. This searching for some coherent geostrategic strategy behind this is almost hopeless. There are a few things, of course. The effort to construct an alliance of the most reactionary Middle Eastern states against Iran—Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Egypt under the dictatorship—that’s a crazy, but coherent, strategy.

        I should say that one corollary to the “me first” doctrine, which has been observed over and over, is that if Obama did something, I’ve got to do the opposite, no matter what it is. Doesn’t matter what the consequences are. Otherwise, I’m not, you know, a transformative president, a significant president.

        July 30,2018

        • Alcuin
          July 31, 2018 at 02:19

          Noam Chomsky touches briefly on Israel but avoids mentioning the Mossad, and concludes “Who cares?” “What difference does it make?” Cf. Hillary re Benghazi.


        • Alcuin
          July 31, 2018 at 14:43

          “…also significantly lowering the threshold for nuclear war.” Yes, apparently NATO doctrine was updated recently so that a cyber-attack on any NATO country can be considered grounds for a nuclear response from the US. Since the US public would never know where said cyber attack (e.g. taking out Montenegro’s electric grid) actually came from, and since it’s well known that our technical folks can disguise cyber attacks to make them seem as if they came from elsewhere, this seems equivalent to declaring to the world that the people in Washington reserve the right to nuke anyone for any reason they see fit, at any time they see fit, and to engage in continuous nuclear blackmail.

          Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

  14. William Thomas
    July 29, 2018 at 20:03

    Yes, we in NH who are active in informing and educatin g people about the situation, applaud Ray’s incisive column and also welcome home Ahed and her mother, Norman. We also fear for her safety as we do for other outspoken activists and the children of populist Palestinian leaders such as Iyad Burnat of Bil’in who currently has two sons imprisoned and one who is still recovering from a gunshot to the thigh by Israeli Offensive Forces. One way we can offer our support is publicizing the Palestinian-led nonviolent BDS campaign. This really worries Bibi and the fascist Zionists. Jewish Voice for Peace | JVP Supports the BDS Movement

    https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org › … › JVP Supports the BDS Movement

  15. July 29, 2018 at 19:40

    Even when I disagree with Mr. McGovern I never doubt that he is telling me exactly what he believes, and that his beliefs are tempered by wisdom and intelligence.

  16. July 29, 2018 at 18:07

    May the courageous Tamimi family prosper and continue to shine a light on the apartheid supremacist regime of Israel, a regime that brainwashes its young and forces them to participate in the vicious racism of the criminals that run Israel. The US will pay someday for supporting these entities with no souls.

    Whatever their antecedents may have suffered in the past, the behavior of the Israeli regime has turned them into the monsters they claim tortured them and they deserve nothing but world condemnation now. Bless the Palestinians in their struggle, and bless the good Israeli citizens who see the evil behavior of their government. Thank you for this fine report, Ray.

  17. Drew Hunkins
    July 29, 2018 at 17:45

    As most CNers know, but just in case, a sensational new docu film is out called “Killing Gaza” it’s a must-see if ever there was one.

    • Skip Edwards
      July 29, 2018 at 22:38

      It is on my list. Do you know how to be able to see it; or better, to obtain a copy?

  18. Dunderhead
    July 29, 2018 at 17:12

    As a person who was formerly Pro zionist I would just liked to comment even knucklehead it Americans can see the light of reason. Best wishes to the Tamimi family and to the Palestinian people, hopefully someday the US will no longer support the apartheid state of Israel.

  19. Daniel
    July 29, 2018 at 14:54

    The Israeli army has arrested the artists who painted a beautiful mural of Ahed on the Apartheid Wall.


    All poor, plucky little Israel has to defend itself against girls with spray paint is tanks and soldiers with machine guns.

    And how ever can Israel “defend itself” against kites and balloons when all it has are F-18s and F-35s?


    But fear not, the US Congress is looking at giving Israel an EXTRA $3 billion this year, on top of the $3.8 billion per year that President Obama promised them for the next decade. It’s a good thing all USAmericans have enough food, and guaranteed healthcare and an amazing 21st century infrastructure so we can afford to give poor little Israel some $20,000,000 PER DAY!

  20. alley cat
    July 29, 2018 at 09:17

    “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.”

    –from the play Hamlet

    So Ahed got eight months for slapping an Israeli storm trooper. She got off easy compared to her cousin or the beautiful young Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar. Cold-blooded murder at the hands of the IDF may still await her. She is now a known troublemaker: “The only good Palestinian . . . .”

    The racist nightmare state dreamt in hell by the devil himself slouches toward its ineluctable fate, perhaps dragging all humanity down with it. Stripped of its supremacist trappings, Zionism is an empty shell, and that’s why every criticism or attempted reform triggers an automatic doubling-down reflex. Zionism can make no concessions without losing its raison d’être.

    We all make choices every waking moment of every day. Ahed refuses to kneel before the rough beast, and Ray McGovern speaks truth to power.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 30, 2018 at 04:15

      alley cat – Afrikaners (Dutch settlers) have been in South Africa since the 1600’s, but they have no legitimate claim? Israel came into being in 1948. That’s a heck of a difference in legitimacy.

  21. July 29, 2018 at 08:25

    I was struck by Ray McGovern’s comment about the soldiers who had so much equipment they had trouble moving. Eight years since Patricia and I visited Israel/Palestine and one of the many things that struck us was the number of Israeli teenagers walking around with automatic weapons strapped to their backs and smug looks on their faces. When waiting in line for something, one simply walked in front of me in line, acting like he was entitled to do whatever he chose.

    Of course the turnstiles where the Palestinians had to pass through one by one to get jobs on the other side of the wall and the Israeli flags everywhere in Jerusalem.

    There is, of course, only one answer which is the same one that shaped America. Palestinians must be allowed to sit in the same seats and Israelis and all persons living there granted the same rights as the others.

    It will be a long process which even our corrupt politicians and powerful elites must eventually acknowledge, or be seen by history as hypocrites and whores. Admittedly, that has not seemed to bother them so far.

  22. Joe Tedesky
    July 29, 2018 at 08:22

    Thanks Ray for reporting this, the more exposure the better.

    One of the past incidents I find upsets Americans when they hear of it, is the Israeli 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. Hardly do I ever bump into a fellow American who has heard of the attack, and who are repulsed upon hearing that the Israeli’s killed 34 of the Liberty’s crew, besides their leaving so many wounded left to die. Lastly, for Americans to learn that the Liberty’s crew was censored from even talking about their Israeli inflicted brutal affair stuns the casual American on looker to the why of it.

    I hope the Palestinian outlast the Zionist invader, and one day Palestine returns to its original self. Oddly history will leave a legacy as ugly for the Zionist, as it did for the Hitler Nazi of WWII.

    So Ray again thank you for your humanitarian concern…. bless you sir.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 29, 2018 at 09:34

      Although there are to many videos here for me to review, I will leave this link so as if interested you may watch these videos, and review them with me.


      • Lisa
        July 29, 2018 at 14:43

        So many worthy videos to watch, when does one have the time?

        One more here, on the USS Liberty, by a British film-maker.
        “The Day Israel Attacked America”

        I remember reading an interview with Richard Belfield, who made the film. He had been suggesting the idea to several western producers, and they all declined, saying that he must be mad, nobody would touch such a project.
        I saw the film on Al-Jazeera channel, and it is available on Youtube.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 29, 2018 at 19:40

          Lisa thanks for sharing the video. I didn’t know about Israel greasing the skids in DC with anti Vietnam rallies, or the Israeli’s capturing a Russian SA2 anti aircraft missile for American examination. I also didn’t know that the under 5 years of age Liberty orphans were exempt from Israeli reparations. Each FOIA release reveals a little more that we never knew, which begs to ask, what more is left unanswered.

          No ally is worth this amount of protection when it comes to avenging the deaths of American service people, or U.S. citizens. This is where patriotism ends, and self preservation becomes paramount.

          Now, as we Americans are overwhelmed with so called Russian collusion and other nonsensical news, Israel escapes notice of their brutal treatment towards the Palestinians. Although with a Zionist controlled MSM none of this garbage should surprise any of us.

          Thanks again Lisa. Joe

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 30, 2018 at 10:58

      This link could be important to correcting Netanyahu’s recent account of European/Middle East history.


      Sadly Netanyahy’s telling of history will no doubt be the popular narrative.

    • Berna
      July 30, 2018 at 16:21

      The USS Liberty was a spy ship under the control of the NSA operating in a war zone. Neither the Liberty’s location nor operations were given to the Israelis. Egypt was known for disguising it’s ships with foreign lettering and the ship, being outfitted for spying, was not recognizable as an American warship. When one enters a war zone and its intent is spying on the belligerents, one is taking a big chance. Israel reacted quickly and violently assuming any ship in the area not its own was operating for the enemy. Egypt had a far superior navy to Israel and if Egypt was intercepting Israel intelligence this could have been in preparation for an Egyptian naval operation.

      Using this incident as evidence that Israel is led by bloodthirsty killers and will stooped to any level, regardless of the fact that this attack in no way helped the Israel cause, is simply anti-Israel.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 30, 2018 at 22:35

        You better watch Lisa’s YouTube link. Then let’s talk.

        • Skip Scott
          July 31, 2018 at 13:57

          Joe- Unfortunately I’m pretty sure Berna has been sheep-dipped in Zionist propaganda and is unlikely to be swayed by facts or a rational argument. Also unfortunately, at least in the USA, they are many and we are few.

  23. mike k
    July 29, 2018 at 08:07

    The US government supports police states all over the world, including the one at home in America. If you ask the average American if they live in a police state, they will answer no. Constant state propaganda has convinced the majority that they live in the “land of the free.”

  24. Joel Walbert
    July 29, 2018 at 04:26

    In this case, ‘free’ is a very subjective term to use. They may have been released from a physical prison cell, but they are by no means free.

    • July 29, 2018 at 05:22


      After all, for millions of occupied people, Israel acts completely as a heavy-handed authoritarian state.

      It never forgets those it has marked as opponents.

      Especially a young one who has so bravely generated worldwide contempt for Israel’s ugly behavior.

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