Saying Tamimi And Alkobi In The Same Sentence Should Upset Your Stomach
“What Jewish monster,” those at Haaretz asked themselves, “can we use to show how racist Israel is and make a better case for Ahed?”
We need someone photogenic like Ahed Tamimi so that their photos can be side-by-side. We want to show the contrast between people like Tamimi — legitimate freedom fighters — versus Jews — racist occupiers/colonialists who need to be forced to show justice toward the poor downtrodden Palestinian Arabs.
I can just imagine the excitement on the floor of the Haaretz news room (if such things still exist in our digital world) as someone shouts out:
I have it! Yifat Alkobi! Use her picture!
The older staff scratch their heads, trying to remember who Yifat Alkobi is. Perhaps a bell even rings softly in the back recesses of their brains for some of them, telling them that yes, they have heard that name somewhere. The younger ones don’t even bother scratching their heads because they know they have never heard of her.
Who is that?
One of the staff writers asks. And another offers a tentative response:
Is she one of the ones who threw stones at Arabs out in their fields picking olives sometime? What year was that?
The one who suggested her name gave the answer:
Don’t you remember? She’s that disgusting woman who called her Arab neighbour across the street a sharmuta (whore), making faces at her. And I think she even threw rocks at Arabs on her street. Google it and let us get the exact details.
Here is what you get when you Google Yifat Alkobi:
- An article from January 2007, in which Hebron spokesperson at that time, David Wilder, wrote about the sharmuta incident and the context in which it occurred. He claims it was a very unpleasant argument between neighbours made famous only because one woman was a Jew and the other an Arab and a camera preserved it for all eternity. (I had a neighbour who threw her trash into my garden from her 2nd-floor window and slashed the tires of a girl’s bike left to the side in the stairwell when she came to visit my daughters, for example; I sold my apartment and moved because of her. Who does not have a disgusting-neighbour tale?)
- A March 2007 article in the Jerusalem Post, simply reporting that Yifat Alkobi received a 3300-shekel fine and was given probation for 6 months for having, in 2001, thrown stones at Arabs, uprooted an olive tree, and spit at Arabs. She committed a crime and was judged and found guilty. So where is the story here for comparing her with Ahed and asking why Jews are not charged?
- A ynetnews article in 2011 reporting on the outcome of the trial against Yifat Alkobi for an alleged assault against a 6-year-old Arab boy in 2005. The charges were dismissed because the evidence was contradictory. Disappointed, I guess, that there was no video of the alleged attack, ynetnews posted a video of the 2007 sharmut incident just to make sure the readers get the correct impression of this woman (and hate her, I suppose).
- Then there is this video on youtube, that comes with no explanation.
And suddenly now we have her featured in an article published by Haaretz three days ago (5 Jan), with the headline: What Happened When a Jewish Settler Slapped an Israeli Soldier,
and underneath that:
Both Ahed Tamimi and Yifat Alkobi were questioned for slapping a soldier in the West Bank, but little else about their cases are similar — simply because one is Jewish, the other Palestinian
At least Haaretz is correct about one thing – there is little else similar. When you Google search Yifat Alkobi and look under videos, you get 1,970 results but only two relevant links. A Google search for Ahed Tamimi videos yields 130,000 results. I wanted to see how many of these are not really about Tamimi, and I had to go to page 42 before one or two other subjects were mixed in with videos about Ahed. She was still going strong in the results well past page 42, however.
Ahed is a celebrity who stands a chance of starring in videos for the foreseeable future; Yifat is an archived curiosity who appeared in two and maybe up to four videos and was last seen in the news in 2011. If this is the best match for Ahed that Haaretz could find, then there are slim pickings indeed.
Another difference between Ahed Tamimi and Yifat Alkobi is that the Tamimi family is well known for its terrorist connections and loving aunt, Ahlam, was responsible for the Sbarro pizza place bombing and proud of having killed children. Ahed openly supports murdering Jews. The Alkobi family, on the other hand, has no connections with terrorists and they are working for the survival of the Jewish community in a place where Jews have always lived (except when Hebron was under Jordanian occupation).
I agree that throwing stones is horrible and dangerous behaviour and that spitting on people and cursing them is not nice, but Yifat and her family do not incite to murder and do not support murder, and never did. And, while Ahed Tamimi incites to murder Jews to this day with the full backing (encouragement and more) of her family and an international audience, Yifat Alkobi has not been heard of since 2011 and most people do not even know who she is.
As blogger Yosef Hartuv told me:
Ahed Tamimi is a role model for other young Palestinian Arabs. Her behaviour is a source of pride. Yifat Alkobi’s behavior in the videos is not inspiring for Jews and we do not hold up that kind of thing as something to aspire toward.
Now, Haaretz made a pretty serious allegation:
In one instance, she [Alkobi] was sentenced to probation, and in the rest to a month of community service and practically a token fine, as compensation to the injured parties. The accused systematically failed to heed summonses for questioning or for legal proceedings, but soldiers did not come to drag her out of bed in the middle of the night, nor were any of her relatives arrested. Aside from a brief report by Chaim Levinson about the incident, on July 2, 2010, there were hardly any repercussions to the slap and scratches inflicted by Yifat Alkobi on the face of a soldier who caught her hurling rocks a Palestinians. [Link in original article — see below]
A respectable news site with respectable journalists fact-check. First hint that Haaretz did nothing of the kind is the link they provide in the quote above. It looks like if you click on the link, you will find an article dealing with Yifat Alkobi hitting a soldier in 2010. But no, the space given to Yifat Alkobi in this article relates only to the “sharmuta affair” from 2007. It is interesting how much mileage a biased news sites can get out of one incident! (I have a screenshot showing the link in case Haaretz thinks they can just delete it and avoid this criticism.)
Furthermore, did anyone call Yifat before the article went to press? No. How do I know? Because I called her. Here is what she said to me:
It bothers me that when very serious events are taking place here, Haaretz chooses to twist things to glorify a terrorist. I will not answer any questions about what happened in the past because I will not cooperate with Haaretz’s attempts to dictate the agenda.
So, Haaretz says Yafit Alkobi was called in for questioning many times and did not appear…based on what source? And that she slapped and scratched the face of a soldier….where is the video? Did the batteries in the Btselem-provided cameras suddenly run out of juice that day?
If Haaretz wants to write about injustices regarding the Jews of Hebron, and they are interested in historical pieces that they can drag out of their archives, perhaps they should report on the secret arrangements between the police and then-Attorney General Michael Ben Yair. In a conversation with David Wilder, I learned that a directive was handed down to give special treatment to the Jews of Judea & Samaria, especially Hebron — special, meaning discriminatory and seemingly even illegal treatment against the Jews by our own law enforcement system. (Read about it yourself here.) I have the feeling, however, that that is one story Haaretz decided was not news worthy or photogenic and, therefore, is nowhere to be found in its archive. (I will apologize if someone can prove me wrong about this.)