Free Ahed Tamimi: The Protest for Palestinian Children Rights Comes to Saratoga
On Sunday, Feb. 18, the Palestinian Rights Committee and the Jewish Voices for Peace joined forces to rally together, holding a vigil in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi and all Palestinian children. The rally, held in downtown Saratoga Springs, was organized in conjunction with the Global Day of Action to Free the Tamimis — a prominent family in Palestine that has experienced systemic targeting by Israeli forces for many years.
Most recently, Tamimi was arrested in the West Bank by Israeli forces for slapping a heavily armed Israeli Occupation soldier who was trespassing on her family's property. Reports have said that Tamimi's actions came after several soldiers had shot and fatally wounded her cousin. Tamimi recently celebrated her 17th birthday in prison, more than two months since her arrest. She could face up to 14 years of imprisonment.
Her case has garnered global attention, especially from numerous international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, that have come forward to call for her release and the immediate halt of violence committed against Palestinian children by Israeli forces.
Tamimi is hailed as an icon by fellow protestors and many Palestinians for her bold defiance of troops. She has also become a symbol of a new generation of Palestinians standing up to Israeli rule, a sentiment that was well-felt at this protest right here in Saratoga Springs. On a larger scale, the case of Tamimi has come to embody rival, grievance-filled Palestinian and Israeli narratives in the long-running conflict.
While it is unclear why the Jewish Voices of Peace and the Palestinian Rights Committee, organizations that are based in Albany, chose to hold a protest rally in Saratoga Springs, the rally that lasted approximately an hour went on smoothly. It was heartening to see members of the local community having an active role in the cause, but their presence also marked the stark absence of Skidmore students, whose young, fresh and passionate voices could have benefitted the cause tremendously.