Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi honoured by Real Madrid

26th Oct 2018
Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi honoured by Real Madrid

Ahed Tamimi (Photo: Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency)

Aqila Mumthaz

Ahed Tamimi, 17, and her father Basim Tamimi were hosted at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium before a match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Ahed was greeted by Emilio Butragueno, the legendary former forward and top club official of Galacticos and received a Real Madrid T-shirt with her name printed across the back along with the number nine, a number used by strikers.

Ahed was invited to visit the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid’s stadium, while she and her father toured the European countries to speak at several political events to raise awareness of the Israeli occupation.

After being hosted by Real Madrid she and the club were criticised by Israeli officials. Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahson, lashed out at Real Madrid’s decision to host the teenager, calling it “an embarrassment”.

Israel’s Ambassador to Spain, Daniel Kutner, also blasted the football club, calling their reception of Tamimi an indirect encouragement of aggression.

“Ahed Tamimi does not fight for peace, she defends violence and terror. The institutions that have received and celebrated her indirectly encourage aggression and not the dialogue and understanding that we need. Today I won’t go to Bernabeu [stadium],” he said on Twitter.

Ahed’s European trip proved to be difficult when in early September it appeared that Israel had banned her from travelling abroad.

The Palestinian teenager was sentenced to eight months in prison in December when she was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in her backyard in Deir Nidham, West Bank after she found out her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed had been shot in the head at close range by Israeli soldiers. After her arrest, she was attacked by Jewish leaders in Israel. Bezalel Smotrich, an ultra-nationalist Jewish Home Party member, tweeted: “In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap. That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”

She was released from prison in late July and is now a symbol of the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation, bringing the global attention to issues of detention of young children.

Her international recognition has enraged the Israeli Government, Ahed said, “They are afraid of the truth. If they were not wrong, they would not be afraid of the truth. The truth scares them. And I managed to deliver this truth to the world. And of course, they’re afraid how far I reached. They always fear the truth, they are the occupier, and we are under occupation.”

“The power is with the people, and the people will and can decide their destiny and decide the future,” she said, addressing a crowd of supporters and journalists after her release. Ahed and her mother spent eight months in prison and paid fines totalling more than $3,000.

Ahed said she had no regrets for slapping an Israeli soldier, the action which brought down the revenge of Israel’s military against her and her family.

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