The real occupation is Zionism, Ahed Tamimi explains
AMY GOODMAN: You have made a distinction, Ahed, between Jews and Zionism. Can you explain the difference?AHED TAMIMI: [translated] There is a huge difference between Judaism and Zionism. Judaism is a religion. You know, it’s just like Islam. It’s just like Christianity. But Zionism, that’s the occupation. That’s the killing. That’s what closes checkpoints. That’s what detains innocent people. That’s all Zionism that’s causing this conflict with Palestinians.
AMY GOODMAN: During the time that you were in prison during this last eight months, there was a major uprising in Gaza, the nonviolent Great March of Return that started March 30th. The Israeli military killed—at this point, I believe it’s more than 140 Palestinians, injuring something like 13,000, 14,000 people there. Can you talk about what your knowledge of what’s happening in Gaza is and what it meant to you in jail and to Palestinians on the West Bank?AHED TAMIMI: [translated] The Great Return marches were launched from the time of the Nakba and continue until today. And the reality is that the people of Gaza are still continuing these marches. We hope that everyone, even here in the West Bank, and those outside, be part of the return marches, just like the ones in Gaza. It’s not just Gaza that has refugees, but there are Palestinian refugees everywhere, and they should return to their land, to their country.
[AHED TAMIMI]: There are over 350 children in prison, and three children who are under administrative detention. The conditions children endure in prison are very difficult. Prison isn’t for anyone. And the prison administration puts a lot of pressure on them, so it’s very difficult. I hope for the release of all prisoners, and especially children, as soon as possible.NERMEEN SHAIKH: Now, Ahed, following criticism, widespread criticism, Israel instituted a separate military court for minors, for children, in 2009. What, if anything, has changed since then?AHED TAMIMI: [translated] Nothing’s changed. There are children who are in Israeli detention for over 10 years, children sentenced to 13 years, children sentenced to 14 years. The court just changed its name to a children’s court. The judge is still a Zionist judge. The court is still a Zionist court. It’s still a racist court. So nothing has really changed.
AHED TAMIMI: My goal wasn’t to hit him. I didn’t intend to hit him. He had shot my cousin in the head, and my cousin was going to die because of the injury. The soldier at the front of my house was shooting at children and young men in the street. I’m not the one that went to him. He’s the one that was at the front of my door.