Arab critics noted Tamimi’s good fortune for living in Israel and her hypocrisy in light of real suffering in Syria.
Syrian activists throughout the Arab world took to social media to ridicule and criticize Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, who was released this week from Israeli prison after serving eight months for assaulting IDF soldiers.
The activists noted Tamimi’s good fortune for living under Israeli rule and her hypocrisy for depicting her situation as one of suffering when real suffering was occurring just miles away from her in Syria
“Israel released Ahed Tamimi full of health and without a scratch,” wrote Syrian activist and photographer Yasser Wardh, contrasting her leaving prison “while thousands of Palestinians are killed in prisons of the Assad regime,” the Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
Nedal al-Amari, a journalist from southern Syria, also contrasted the brutality of the Syrian regime with Tamimi’s treatment, writing “the difference between Israel and Bashar Assad. Ahed Tamimi [is a] lucky girl because it was in Israel’s prisons, not Assad’s prisons.”
Many similar tweets in Arabic mentioned the “9 kilos” of weight Tamimi gained while in prison.
“She was not tortured. She was not raped. Her weight increased by nearly 9 kilos. Her hair and face are more beautiful,” wrote Mahdi Majeed.
Iman Kais, who has a massive following on Twitter, contrasted Tamimi’s incarceration with that of Arab prisons. “She says she learned to love life, whereas those imprisoned in our Arab countries can reach a stage where they wish their mother didn’t give birth to them.”
The Sharp Contrast
Many tweeted photos of Tamimi next to a dead Syrian woman, highlighting the sharp contrast.
One social media user wrote that people in the south of Syria would have rather be detained by “the Zionist occupation” and come out nine kilos heavier, but instead were arrested by the “Assad occupation,” which every day releases “a list of the souls of the martyrs, more than 3,000 now.”
Assad has recently begun to release lists of names of prisoners who have died in his prisons, with thousands of other Syrians murdered in Assad’s prisons.
Dr. Edy Cohen of Bar-Ilan University, an expert in inter-Arab relations, also wrote on Facebook that Tamimi’s weight had increased 9 kilos in prison. “I wish Arab countries to release their detainees and see their situation reach the health of Tamimi,” he noted in Arabic.
Jordanian journalist Yousef Alawnah recently compared his incarceration in Israel for terrorism offenses to prisons in the Arab world and said that he was ashamed by the sharp contrast.
Alawnah recounted that he had served 30 months in an Israeli prison for smuggling explosives, saying that that “prison was like an institute of education,” where prisoners had “an opportunity to acquire culture, to read, and to study many things.”
He said that in the library of an Israeli prison there are 30,000-40,000 books, and asked “do the Sunni prisoners in Iraq have books to read? The prisoners held in the dungeons of the Syrian regime… Do you think that they have books?”
According to data from 2017, 484 Palestinian terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons are studying for BA degrees in the Al-Quds Open University program in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Education, studying in three main departments: Arabic Language, Islamic Education, and Social Work.
The discussion about Israeli prison conditions becomes at times absurd. For example, Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan recently ruled that Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails would not be permitted to watch the FIFA World Cup in June along with other Palestinian convicts from Islamic Jihad and Fatah sharing their detention facilities.