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Israel Once Again Murders Unarmed Palestinian Protester

mustafa tamimi killing

Mustafa Tamimi a moment before being fatally struck by tear gas canister, left-hand red circle (Haim Scwarczenberg)

Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year old resident of Nabi Saleh, was fatally shot in the head at close range by a tear gas canister fired by an IDF soldier from the rear of a patrol vehicle. You can see the moment just before Mustafa was hit in this photo.  The original caption for the photo offered by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee says it was fired from 30 feet.  Using the high velocity weapon they use, it is quite easy to kill someone from that distance.  Not to mention that the purpose of the firing of this weapon in this circumstance had nothing to do with crowd control as tear gas is normally used.  Rather in aiming the shot at the protesters head, it was a deliberate act of murder:

In complete disregard to the army’s own open fire regulations, soldiers often shoot tear-gas projectiles directly at groups of protesters or individuals. Rubber-coated bullets are indiscriminately shot at protesters from short distances on a regular basis. The Israeli army also resumed the use of high velocity tear-gas projectiles in Nabi Saleh, despite the fact that they have been declared banned for use, after causing the death of Bassem Abu Rahmah in the neighboring village of Bil’in, in April 2009, and the critical injury of American protester Tristan Anderson in Ni’ilin in March of the same year.

Here is a bit of history behind the demonstrations in this particular village:

Late in 2009, settlers began gradually taking over Ein al-Qaws (the Bow Spring), which rests on lands belonging to Bashir Tamimi, the head of the Nabi Saleh village council. The settlers, abetted by the army, erected a shed over the spring, renamed it Maayan Meir, after a late settler, and began driving away Palestinians who came to use the spring by force – at times throwing stones or even pointing guns at them, threatening to shoot.

While residents of Nabi Saleh have already endured decades of continuous land grab and expulsion to allow for the ever continuing expansion of the Halamish settlement, the takeover of the spring served as the last straw that lead to the beginning of the village’s grassroots protest campaign of weekly demonstrations in demand for the return of their lands.

Mustafa Tamimi  seconds after he was shot by the IDF

Mustafa Tamimi seconds after he was shot by IDF

An IDF PR flack is tweeting that Tamimi’s murder was justified because he allegedly had a slingshot in his pocket.  This is Goliath firing a high-velocity lethal projectile at David, who, if the IDF is to be believed (always a risky proposition) didn’t even have his slingshot in his hand, but rather in his pocket.  This is the most egregious hilul I can imagine: blaming the victim for his own death.  This horse’s ass of an IDF captain (no less–they must promote them for being cold-hearted assholes) also notes that Tamimi was arrested in 2010.  Imagine that, he was one of the tens of thousands the IDF arrest every year for the terrible crime of protesting against the theft of their lands by settlers aided and abetted by the IDF.  The IDF also prevented the dead man’s sister and father from visiting him in the hospital before he died.

Tamimi is the 20th Palestinian to be killed in the past eight years in such non-violent protests according to B’Tselem.

I hate to say it but this murder and Captain Barak Raz’s heartless response indicate that Israel, at least if its actions in this tragedy are representative, is losing the battle not just for its soul, but for its existence.  A nation that murders in cold blood gradually loses its reason for being.  Perhaps not in the eyes of its Jewish citizens, but almost certainly in the eyes of the world.  And Israel simply cannot afford to find itself on the opposite side of every nation in the world.  It will thanks to murders like this.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • rz December 10, 2011, 4:55 AM

    IL, homeland for all Jews? I disagree – it’s becoming a shame.

    • Denis O'Brien December 10, 2011, 5:32 PM

      Perhaps some day America will be recognized as the “homeland” of the Jews. Brooklyn, Chicago, LA. These are the places Jews have been left alone to worship as they choose and to prosper. And America has prospered as a result.

      While Israel gave Jews a badly needed respite from persecutions, progroms, and anti-Semitism, the Israeli government has at the same time sentenced its people, in perpetuity, to the fears that arise from sowing hatred in its neighbors’ hearts and, increasingly, the world’s. That is not what I would call a “homeland,” I don’t care how far back the history or emotion goes.

      It seems to me that American Jews have to decide, one by one, each according to his/her own conscience whether they can morally continue to support what Israel is doing.

      In his address to Congress in May, Bibi claimed to speak for “all Jews.” Those American Jews who support Israeli apartheid and who agree that Israel speaks for all Jews should seriously consider the Israeli Ministry of Immigration and Absorption’s entreaties to “return” to their “homeland.” Your country needs you more than America does.

  • Denis O'Brien December 10, 2011, 6:17 AM

    Israel is its own worse existential threat.

  • yankel December 10, 2011, 8:39 AM

    Israel’s hyped its own public opinion to a level where the mere reference to Israeli transgressions as “human rights violations” is viewed (by the mainstream!) as anti-zionistic, if not outright antisemitic.

    This departure from common human standards has gone well beyond the point of no return, as far as self-correction can be realistically expected. If there’s hope (and I don’t think the collapse or destruction of Israel is good for anyone, its Palestinian victims included), it’s in sustained outside pressure of the kind that forced the original apartheid republic back to the fold of humanity.

    Such pressure cannot materialise as long as the American political system seems to be owned by the Bibi gang, and this perception – not at all unfounded – will not cease until American Jews of all walks of life publicly and aggressively disown Israeli malpractices.

    Any publication or activity raising public awareness (particularly among young Jews) of the ongoing Israeli systemic criminality against native Palestinians, is raising the odds for salvation.

    Rest in Peace, Tamimi. ה.י.ד.

  • Zam December 10, 2011, 12:14 PM

    Just business as usual for Israel, and no doubt it’s defenders perversely consider Tamimis murder as an act of self defense, there is no reasoning with such people.


  • dickerson3870 December 10, 2011, 5:26 PM

    RE: “Israel Once Again Murders Unarmed Palestinian Protester” ~ R.S.

    GOLDA MEIR: “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.” ~ Statement at a Press Conference in London, 1969
    SOURCE – link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    P.S. GOLDA MEIR: “It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist. ~ As quoted in Sunday Times (15 June 1969), also in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)
    SOURCE – link to en.wikiquote.org

    • Dwayne May 8, 2012, 7:18 AM

      @Dickerson – It would seem obvious that Golda Meier lied on this occasion, which would also represent the disgusting mindset of her group. The Palestinians existed, had homes and businesses there, raised their families there for hundreds of years. They did NOT fall out of the sky nor migrate there AFTER the occupation began. THEY EXISTED THERE, THEY STILL EXIST THERE, and the occupiers are on a path of self-destruction if they are too blind to see their occupation as a horrible mistake.

  • Olumide A December 11, 2011, 12:32 PM

    As I recall, David went out to win war of aggression against Goliath and Goliath was free to use every weapon at his disposal. Perhaps the Stone throwing “Dawoud”‘s family would have been better served if “Dawoud” stayed to tend to the sheep.

    • Richard Silverstein December 11, 2011, 1:55 PM

      No your history is all wrong. Goliath was a heavily armed Philistine invader. David was a shepherd boy defending his flock and family. If he had tended to his flocks and not resisted the invader his land would’ve been stolen & his people locked in chains.

      • Sanych December 12, 2011, 4:20 PM

        Actually, the story of David and Goliath is an excellent proof that stones can kill.

        It was a peaceful protest… NOT!!!

        • Richard Silverstein December 13, 2011, 1:27 AM

          You come across precisely the way Col. Peter Lerner does on his Twitter feed–as a cold-hearted dim-witted dolt. Mazel tov! Great PR for your side.

  • Romeu Monteiro December 11, 2011, 3:19 PM

    “A nation that murders in cold blood gradually loses its reason for being. Perhaps not in the eyes of its Jewish citizens, but almost certainly in the eyes of the world. And Israel simply cannot afford to find itself on the opposite side of every nation in the world. It will thanks to murders like this.”

    I wonder where the world was when the Palestinians were cleansing the Jews of Palestine in 1948. Fortunately they only managed to complete the cleansing of Gaza and the West Bank, but I still wonder where is the reason of being of that Palestinian nation that murdered in cold blood and exterminated the Jews of Palestine wherever it could reach. That’s why the Jews in the Palestinian territories are all settlers: not because they occupied the Palestinians, but because the Palestinians killed or expelled all the Jews that lived there before.

    • Richard Silverstein December 11, 2011, 3:55 PM

      Yes, they “cleansed” all of 10,000 Jews & mostly from the Jewish Quarter of the Old City because the Palmach was using synagogues there as ammunition storage depots and sniper sites. While Israel cleansed 1-million Palestinian residents of Israel. You’re not shedding any tears for them are you? As for “exterminating” anyone, you’re also neglecting the rapes & murders of Palestinians before and during 1948. Why is that?

      You’re a pathetic fool.

      • Ike December 11, 2011, 9:14 PM

        You are a very imaginative fellow Richard. where on earth did you come up with a storie such as this. rapes and murders of Palestinisans before and during 1948? what palestinians, do you mean Jordanians, Syrians, who? it appears to me that you are the fool and a big one at that.

        • Richard Silverstein December 12, 2011, 12:50 AM

          Murders: Deir Yassin & other similar incidents. As for rapes, you clearly haven’t read Benny Morris’ history of the 1948 period. You should. As for yr insults, if you try them again here in another comment you’ll be out on your behind.

          • Ike December 12, 2011, 4:49 PM

            Oh, I’m so sorry Richard, I didn’t know you were the only one allowed to insult on this page. As far as Benny Morris’ book, I don’t think I’m going to read it myself, if you don’t mind. Being an Israeli myself I know that Israelis and Israeli governments would much rather live in peace then have to kill people in self-defense. When is the last time you lived in a place having to worry, every day about your existence? I also know that when you are in war people are going to get killed accidentally. There is a huge difference between that and governments teaching their people to hate and murder. If you don’t know that then you Richard know what you are.

          • Richard Silverstein December 13, 2011, 1:32 AM

            As far as Benny Morris’ book, I don’t think I’m going to read it myself, if you don’t mind.

            Frankly I do mind. If you challenge my claim that Palestinians were raped & refuse to consult the primary Israeli historical source on the era then you’re acting in bad faith.

            As for worrying about your existence, sorry but all of us do that. Just because your nation has screwed up its relations with its neighbors so badly that it has multiple ones seeking blood doesn’t mean the world has to wait for you to bring the region to its knees with war & bloodshed. If your existence is threatened it’s a good part yr own doing.

            Mustafa Tamimi was not killed “accidentally.” He was murdered by an IDF soldier who shot him at such close range that the tear gas canister was bound to inflict grave damage. At the very least it is negligent homicide.

            As for teaching people to hate & murder, we can see that they’ve already done that to you in Israel.

            I don’t know what I am in your eyes nor do I care. But if you dare to fill in that ellipsis with the nasty sludge that’s in your mind I’ll ban you so fast yr head will swim.

      • Sanych December 12, 2011, 6:24 PM

        1-million? Where did you get this number?

        Even Paleostinians claim that there were 700,000 refugees in 1948. However, it was an Arab envoy in the UN who claimed that one million JEWS would be kicked out of Arab countries if UN allows a creation of a Jewish state.

        As far as rapes – this was Arab propaganda to entice Arab population to flee. Considering how Arabs treat their rape victims – usually with death – if Arab women were raped by Jews there would be no Arabs in the Land of Israel today.

        • Richard Silverstein December 13, 2011, 1:36 AM

          Some sources say 700,000 & equally credible sources say it was close to 1-million. At any rate, the number was certainly between those two figures. Hey, that’s good of you to dredge up a fraudulent claim like the one about the conveniently unnamed Arab envoy since there were not 1-million Jews living in Arab lands.

          Benny Morris is not propaganda. Read the book. It’s even in Hebrew in case your English is challenged. If you don’t read it then you have only yrself to blame if we think you’re a vacuous hasbarist & pay you no mind.

          • Sanych December 13, 2011, 6:51 PM

            Thanks for inviting me to read Benny Morris and no Ilan Pappe, although it is quite surprising as well.

            Morris presents a reasonably realistic picture of atrocities committed by both side. I would venture to say that if Arabs won, no Jews would have survived in Palestine.

            I believe he also said recently that Ben-Gurion erred in displacing all Arabs from Israeli territory.

            I’ll appreciate you pointing me to your credible sources of one million Arab refugees and, once I find it, I will provide you a link to the “Arab envoy”.

            In the mean time – [ed., URL deleted per comment rule violation]


          • Richard Silverstein December 14, 2011, 12:51 AM

            You have no right to venture to say anything about a hypothetical esp. having no background in studying the period as well as Pappe or Morris have. It shows in yr distortion of what Morris said about Ben Gurion. He didn’t wish BG had expelled ALL Palestinians, but that he wished he’d expelled MORE of them.

            I don’t want to hear about Arab envoys. I’ve written about the Nakba expulsion before. Go & research it here. There are plenty of credible sources online where you may research this is you omit patently propagandistic sites. I’m not here to educate you on basics like this though other commenters may feel free if they wish.

          • Richard Silverstein December 14, 2011, 2:38 AM

            Do NOT pimp for SWU or any other pro-Israel advocacy groups here by linking to their videos or other propaganda. Read the comment rules.

          • Sanych December 13, 2011, 6:52 PM

            I meant “I believe he also said recently that Ben-Gurion erred in not displacing all Arabs from Israeli territory.”

          • Denis O'Brien December 13, 2011, 7:29 PM

            Sanych sounds like a shill for the Israeli mouthpiece Stand With Us. That video link is to a professionally produced YouTube showing Ayalon putting on a horse and pony show about refugees. It was produced by SWU.

            SWU is funded by Israel. Israel is funded by Americans’ tax money given to Israel by the US government because US politicians get campaign funds from SWU, Aipac, et al. pro-wing Israeli groups. Round and round we go . . .

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