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Opinion
Hussein Ibish

Palestinians Can’t Keep Living Like This

Israeli Jews won’t change that reality by ignoring it.

Ahed Tamimi is lionized on one side of the wall, villified on the other.

Ahed Tamimi is lionized on one side of the wall, villified on the other.

Photographer: Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

In a tiny West Bank village not long ago, a teenage girl slapped a heavily armed soldier outside her home. The prevailing sense among 7 million Jews was that she was a violent renegade, a kind of apprentice terrorist. But almost 7 million Palestinians saw her act as effectively, or at least relatively, nonviolent. They viewed her as fully justified and, indeed, heroic.

This clash of completely irreconcilable perceptions reveals the fundamental realities between Israel and the Palestinians. This week, Israel released Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian, after she had served eight months for “assaulting” an Israeli soldier. Her 15-year-old cousin was allegedly shot in the head with a rubber bullet by Israeli occupation forces during a demonstration, after which there was a confrontation with the soldiers outside her home. That’s when the slap occurred.