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An Israeli and a Palestinian slap a soldier. Guess who's still in prison?

A reminder that Israelis and Palestinians who commit the same crime face radically different consequences.

Ahed Tamimi in the Ofer prison military court. December 20, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

Ahed Tamimi in the Ofer prison military court. December 20, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

Minutes before an Israeli military judge signed off on Ahed Tamimi’s plea deal last week, something unexpected happened inside Israel’s Ofer Military Court. A Jewish Israeli activist rose from the back benches, approached the military prosecutor, slapped him across the face, and yelled, “who are you to judge her?”

If ever there were an apt example of the glaring disparities between the way Israel’s justice system treats its own citizens versus its Palestinian subjects, it was on full display for the world to see in Ofer Military Court that evening.

Ahed, the 17-year-old Palestinian girl from Nabi Saleh whom Israel arrested for slapping one of its soldiers across the face late last year, had spent the previous three months in prison — repeatedly denied bail by military judges who deemed her a danger to public security. An Israeli Jew would have been released within days, and an Israeli minor within hours, activists argued.

Now we can say with no uncertainty that they are correct.

It was at the end of the sentencing hearing for Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother who was arrested alongside her, that Israeli activist Yifat Doron stood up and slapped the uniformed military prosecutor — a soldier. Just like Ahed did.

Nariman Tamimi (left), Bassem Tamimi (center), and Ahed Tamimi seen in their home in Nabi Saleh, February 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Nariman Tamimi (left), Bassem Tamimi (center), and Ahed Tamimi seen in their home in Nabi Saleh, February 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

She was was quickly arrested.

The next day, police brought Doron before a civilian judge in a civilian court and asked that she be remanded to custody for another five days, arguing that they needed more time to finish the investigation.

Doron, who insisted on representing herself, told the judge that she was not opposed to remaining in jail and that she actually agrees with the police. “Anyone who does not toe the line with your apartheid regime or dares to think in an independent manner does indeed constitute a threat to the police,” she told the court.

The judge disagreed. He ordered Doron released.

The police asked for time to appeal the decision to release her, and Doron spent another night in jail. The following day, Doron was brought to the Jerusalem District Court, where she reiterated that she would not oppose the police’s request to keep her in jail.

“Beyond that,” she added, “I am not willing to play along with your game of democracy for Jews only. You may do as you please.”

Once again, despite the police recommendation — and despite Doron’s willingness to pay the price for her deed — the judge ordered her released.

For Doron, the decision to slap the military prosecutor was primarily an act of solidarity. “Nariman is one of my best friends,” she told +972 Magazine by phone a few days after her release. “She is one of the bravest people I know. For me, she symbolizes the suffering and injustice that people face under this regime. I did this to show that I support her.”

Nariman Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Nariman Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

But Doron also wanted to prove a point — that Israelis and Palestinians who commit the same crime face radically different consequences.

“It’s crazy that I can do something like that and be released after two days,” she said. “There are so many people in Nabi Saleh who are in prison, all because they decided to act.”

Adding to the absurdity exposed by Doron’s slap is that it took place inside the West Bank, where Israeli military law reigns supreme. If a Palestinian had simultaneously slapped the prosecutor’s other cheek at the exact same moment as Doron, he or she would have been arrested by the military and brought to military court, where bail is a rarity and pre-trail detention the norm.

But Doron is a Jewish Israeli citizen of Israel, and thus despite the fact that she slapped a soldier in an area ruled by military law — inside a military court, no less — she was brought to an Israeli civilian court and released.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Ben

      Thank you, Mark. One has to ask why it is that a contemptuous right wing Israeli internet troll feels the need to masquerade as a Chinese person from no place with “no info to show.” Answer: Because (1) he knows he lives for and promotes an agenda unacceptable to civilized persons in the modern world, (2) he has no other argument than to smear and delegitimize, (3) he believes it is singularly granted to people like him the right to lie for Greater Israel, and (4) using people, like using this Chinese gentleman’s photo without permission, comes naturally to him.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      Hashajen Nejmad: All you are showing is that the Israeli government of today has moved that much closer in its nature to Soviet and Putin’s Russia and Ahmadinejad’s Iran and that much farther away from the United States and Western Europe. (Of course Trump longs to be a Putin-style strongman–in fact for strange reasons still being investigated by Robert Mueller, is very weirdly submissive to Putin–but the USA still has this thing called The Constitution.) In any event, Nejmad, your jackboot-wearing comment drops the mask on Israeli pretensions about what it is really up to in the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Gershom

      Proof again that nothing angers the thug or supporters of low character than someone with a noble character. Ahed Tamimi is a better Jew or Christian, as a Muslim, than her critics are. Every day they teach the world the truth of this with such repugnant fascistic opinions.

      Reply to Comment

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