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Ahed Tamimi – The Face of Palestinian Resolve

Ahed Tamimi – The Face of Palestinian Resolve

Amna Khan

Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, the man behind the renowned red and black print of Che Guevara has graphically immortalized the image of a 17-year-old west bank activist Ahed Tamimi who is fiercely engaged in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Fitzpatrick has created a print of Tamimi holding a Palestinian flag above DC Comics’ Wonder Woman symbol.

The strap-line reads ‘There is a real wonder woman”.

Ahed Tamimi

Illustration by Jim Fitzpatrick

This, of course, is in stark contrast to the ironically referenced Gal Gadot, an ex IDF soldier who played the superhero in the DC flick. “Ahed Tamimi, to me, signifies nobility in the face of oppression.” Fitzpatrick is claimed to have said, he is in awe of her bravery and courage for which she has won the Hanzala Award in Turkey. Ahed’s roots stem from the historical village of Nabi Saleh where a close knit family unit is sustained to maintain Al Nakba – the resistance against Israel. Ahed has spent up to 8 months in jail with her mother in tow on the charges of assaulting a soldier and posting a video of her defiance online. She is infamously lauded for the slap heard across the globe, a slap across her oppressor’s face, which the Israeli government vowed would not go unchallenged. She was forced into trial at a military court specially structured to persecute children of Palestinian descent. She was verbally harassed into giving false statements but did not abandon her resolve and continued to practice her right to stay silent.

When actors like Sarah Silverman who is of Jewish descent herself spoke up in Ahed’s defense, the media resorted to branding her and her family as terrorists – since Ahed’s case stepped directly out of an episode of Black Mirror “Men against Fire” where the enemies are morphed physically to fit the Military’s narrative. Ahed Tamimi, a blonde, blue-eyed European looking. confident, and strong Palestinian steered away from conventional Arab stereotyping. Israeli society’s violent obsession with tainting narratives in order to reassert their worldviews labeled her a fraud and a product of race mixing. On a superficial level, the Israeli media can be labeled as insecure about their projected philosophy they wish to tout for worldly consumption.

However, the truth is far more insidious than that.

Palestinian children are taught how to deal with soldiers who in all plausibility might come to detain them. Ahed paid dearly for her courageous act and what some Israelis believe is sabotaging their political narrative across Europe, as she relentlessly rallies for support and continues her crusade for freedom of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There is no other contemporary icon who comes to mind that could have been hailed to the heroic standards of Che Guevara himself.



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