Everyone is talking about Ahed Tamimi – the 17-year-old Palestinian girl currently on trial for incitement to terrorism and assaulting a soldier, among numerous other charges. She’s been celebrated as the “protest icon,” the “Rosa Parks of Palestine,” a “modern-day Joan of Arc,” and “the real Wonder Woman.”
But is Tamimi a strong-minded, independent woman modeling the heroines to whom she is compared? Or is she a young girl whose naiveté and youth have been abused for dogmatic propaganda?
Today, on International Women’s Day, it seems most fitting to ask – who are the female leaders in Palestinian society that serve as role models for Tamimi and other Palestinian girls?
In September 2017, Tamimi spoke in the European Parliament at an event on “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle,” alongside PFLP terrorist and airplane hijacker Leila Khaled. During the event, Khaled declared, “there cannot be peace while there is even one Zionist on our territory.” It would appear that these words resonated with young Tamimi, who declared last month that “whether it is a stabbing attack or suicide bombing or throwing rocks, everyone needs to do something and unite in order for our message to reach those who want to liberate Palestine.”
Indeed, Tamimi proclaimed at the event that “there are many symbols, many Palestinian women who resist, who oppose. We have Leila Khaled. We appreciate all of these women because they show the perseverance, the resistance, this commitment to the cause and they are fantastic examples for women in Palestine.
The list of “Palestinian women who resist, who oppose” is a truly devastating set of so-called role models.