The real Ahlam TamimiAbout a month ago, the New York Times reviewed a movie called Hot House, which called itself a 'documentary' about 'Palestinians' in Israeli jails.
an absorbing look at Palestinians held in Israeli jails... full of remarkable interviews....A former Palestinian newscaster, Ahlam Tamimi [pictured at top. CiJ], recalls the day she dropped a suicide bomber off at his target, then coolly went on television to report on the resulting bombing.The review featured a picture of a 'Palestinian' woman named Ahlam Tamimi, about whom the Times gave little pertinent background.
Arnold Roth, whose daughter Malki (pictured below) was murdered by the suicide bomber transported by Ahlam Tamimi in the restaurant chosen by Ahlam Tamimi six years ago yesterday was furious.
The film is produced by HBO. So it's presumably HBO's publicity department that was responsible for creating and distributing a glamor-style photograph of a smiling, contented-looking young woman in her twenties to promote the movie.Arnold didn't really deal with the Times, but today Noah Pollak of the Shalem Center slams the Times' editors for the Hot House review (Hat Tip: Stefanie P.):
That female is our child's murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail. Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates. The background is here.
If the editors of the Times were familiar with the easily-obtainable details of her story but nonetheless chose to present her in the manner they did, they are moral cretins. And if they didn’t bother to investigate the reason for her incarceration, they are more than just poor journalists -- they are willfully obtuse ones, reluctant to dig too deeply into a story whose particularities would be troublesome to the aesthetic presentation demanded by the preferred narrative -- a narrative captured perfectly when Genzlinger avers that “by the end of ‘Hot House’ you may feel more than a little annoyance at the two sides in this endless conflict. These enemies know each other absurdly well. They learn from each other, and talk openly about doing so. Yet they can’t seem to break the cycle: a cat and mouse addicted to their own game.” Beliefs like this are both cowardly and convenient: They allow journalists to remain ensconced in their preferred moral universe, one in which there is equivalence between terrorist and victim and conflict only continues because of an intransigence, even a thirst for combat, that is shared equally by both sides.Pollak fills in the 'easily obtainable' but missing background about Tamimi:
Tamimi was much more than a simple and perhaps unwitting means of transportation for a suicide bomber. And the suicide bombing in question, which is never mentioned in the review, was one of the most gruesome and deadly of the Intifada: it was the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in downtown Jerusalem that murdered 15 people (17, if one wishes to count the baby being carried by a pregnant woman and another victim who was left in a permanent coma). Eight of the slaughtered were children, a detail that could not have gone unnoticed by Tamimi’s accomplice as he made his way through the crowd of restaurant patrons with an explosives- and shrapnel-packed guitar case slung over his shoulder.But the Times would like to pretend that those facts don't exist:
Tamimi, who at the time of the attack was a 20-year-old part-time university student from Ramallah, and the bomber, a 22-year-old son of affluent West Bank parents, were members of Hamas. The planning and reconnaissance for the attack were carried out also by Tamimi, and on the day of the attack Tamimi and her accomplice dressed as westerners and spoke English in order to pass through the checkpoints between Arab East Jerusalem and Jewish West Jerusalem. In 2006 Tamimi was given a rare opportunity to be interviewed in prison, and declared: “I'm not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence. Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land.”
From reading the New York Times’ review of the Israeli documentary Hot House, an account of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails, one would be left with the impression that Ahlam Tamimi, the smiling young woman featured in a large color portrait atop the story, is a kindhearted person, an anomalous presence behind bars. Her smooth, youthful skin perspires slightly beneath the hijab that frames her face; she is looking into the camera, head tilted slightly, straight white teeth shining, a look of contentment and pride in her eyes. What could someone like her be doing in prison?Read the whole thing.
You wouldn’t know the answer to that question from the photo caption, which reads: “Ahlam Tamimi in a scene from the documentary ‘Hot House.’ Ms. Tamimi is among about 10,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails.” The only reference to her in Neil Genzlinger’s review says, “A former Palestinian newscaster, Ahlam Tamimi, recalls the day she dropped a suicide bomber off at his target, then coolly went on television to report on the resulting bombing.”