Since her childhood, her blonde hair and pretty face made her picture perfect for her family’s political activism which eventually became her own. She looked like someone the western world could identify with and optics are often more important than actual content. In her case the optics were about a pretty little Palestinian girl standing up to the Israeli soldier holding a gun. That was the money shot.
Kids grow up and Ahed was now well into her teens. This time, in December 2017, she went for it and physically attacked an Israeli soldier. There is videoof Tamimi, later joined by her cousin, assaulting the soldier who did not respond. There was no money shot that day. What she got instead was eight months in jail. Now she is taking on the role she has been rehearsing for since she was a little girl, she is the new face of Palestinian resistance.
Lets face it, it’s better than any of the faces of the Hamas leadership, even if their endgames are the same. You might think that’s harsh, lumping her together with a terrorist organization, but lets take a look at what she wrote in Vogue Arabia that went along with her photo shoot.
“If there was no occupation and Palestine was a normal country, I would move to Acre and live by the sea and go swimming."
On the surface it doesn’t sound at all like Hamas. Not even when they are trying to be their most diplomatic. The problem is that Acre is not in Judea and Samaria or what she would call the West Bank. It’s not in disputed territory. It’s in the sovereign state of Israel. When Westerners hear occupation they automatically assume that what is being talked about is territory Israel gained in the Six Day War, as opposed to the entire country of Israel plus the disputed territories. For Ahed Tamimi and Hamas it’s all occupied and the goal is to get rid of Israel so it can be a “normal country”. Hamas is more straightforward as to how they plan on achieving it.
This is what blonde washing, a phrase I first saw in an Israeli newspaper, looks like. Blonde hair waving in a light breeze, next to words like heartfelt, all covering up nicely the goal of Israel’s removal, as Iran would say, from the map. The destruction of Israel has gotten a makeover.