Why Is The West Praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed Tamimi?

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Ahed Tamimi, a 16 year old Palestinian girl has recently emerged as an icon of global resistance against Zionism. She came to spotlight after she fiercely confronted an Israeli soldier who broke into her house. Tamimi is accused of “assaulting” the Israeli soldier. The Israeli authorities have nabbed the girl, her cousin and mother as well. The picture of Ahed confronting the Israeli soldier became viral on various Social Media sites and received lots of acclaim and support for her bravery. There is however a lukewarm support for Ahed from Western feminist and advocacy groups which despite being proactive and innumerable in global South have not given the proper coverage and attention to Ahed Tamimi.

Unlike Malala Yousafzai who suddenly became the darling of Western media and feminist groups, The support for Ahed Tamimi has not been very much. Malala was received with highest accolades, ranging from meetings with influential dignitaries, to the state visits of various countries. She also was awarded Nobel Prize and a large fund has been established to support her campaign.

Despite her bravery and fierce opposition to the Israeli expansionism none of the globally active organizations for women have highlighted Tamimi. No political figure from Europe or America has issued a statement in support for Tamimi.

Ahed unlike Malala, has a long history of standing up to the Israeli occupation in Palestine. She has stood up to the theft of land and water by Israeli occupation. Her family has been constantly roughed up by Israeli authorities and have been put up in detention for their role in standing up against Israeli occupation.

The deafening silence of Activist groups and other global partners reiterates the fact that state violence is usually overlooked and is not subjected to criticism. While non-state actors like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram are condemned. The case of Ahed Tamimi is a stark reminder of how individual liberties and rights are curtailed by States. The Israeli authorities have described Ahed as a potential danger and therefore have been put up in prison.

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MediaBites Editorial: Mudabbir Ali 

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