The myriad ways in which the Israeli national security state oppresses Palestinians have seeped into American security and counter-terror practice. Everything from armed drones used in targeted assassinations to racial profiling at checkpoints and airports, to the militarization of police, to cyber-surveillance of social media discourse: each of these tactics was first developed by Israel and then transferred into standard American military and security procedure.
Now, we must add yet another notch in Israel’s belt: a few months ago, a Palestinian teenager, Ahed Tamimi, stood up to an IDF soldier who trespassed in her family garden and slapped him. That warranted a night raid in which the dangerous terrorist was whisked off to prison along with her parents and several relatives. In the furor that arose among the Israeli populace seeing one of “its boys” humiliated on camera, some were driven to paroxysms of rage.
Among them was former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, who is now a Kulanu back-bencher. When you’re a junior MK, you’re always looking for an angle to bring yourself to the voters’ attention. Oren staked his claim to the outrageous charge that the Tamimi family wasn’t really Palestinian nor a real family. Apparently, Ahed’s blond hair meant she was a Hollywood actor paid to perpetrate a fraud on a poor unsuspecting Israeli public. Nor were the Tamimis a real family. Apparently, they too were paid to orchestrate this fraud. All this despite the fact that members of the Tamimi clan have been murdered by IDF troops in the past and Ahed’s teenage cousin has half his skull blown off by an IDF sniper who shot him when he raised his head above the family’s front yard wall. If they’re actors I think they’re taking their roles a bit too seriously.
Apparently, HHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Ann Coulter have been following the Israeli playbook in light of the rising furor over ICE’s forced separation of immigrant families at the U.S. border. First, here’s Coulter:
Ann Coulter became the latest figure to spread a similar claim on Sunday, as a guest on a Fox News show, when she accused some of the migrant children who have been photographed in varying stages of distress [sic] as “child actors,” in a bit of messaging she directed at President Trump.
“These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now, do not fall for it, Mr. President…These kids are being coached,” she said. “They’re given scripts to read by liberals. … Don’t fall for the actor children.”
Next, it’s Nielsen’s turn:
Even worse was the “shocking claim” made by Nielsen on Monday that “we do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are, in fact, a family.”
Where did Nielsen learn these arts of magical thinking which can deny what she sees in front of her eyes? From the master, Bibi Netanyahu who she met in Israel only six days ago!
So there you have it: when faced with national outrage over treating children with advanced brutality, Republicans resort to the Israeli playbook: if you’re losing the public relations battle, say anything, the more outrageous the better, in order to divert attention from the real issue. And hey, don’t worry about insulting Palestinians or Mexicans. They’re neither Israeli nor American. They don’t count. No one will care anyway. You’ll get away with it.
If you’re pro-Israel be proud, be very proud. America takes only the best and Israel, you are the ‘best’ at what you do!