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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

An Israeli Jew Befriends an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade Leader

This is a very intriguing story illustrating how human perceptions change, how relationships form, how people perceive their identity. Tali Fahima, 28, an Israeli Jewish woman becomes a friend (some sources say, a lover) to Zakaria Zubeidi, also 28, a local leader of a Palestinian terror group. She views his group's activities as a legitimate struggle. She is also not a typical leftist and in the last Prime-ministerial election voted for Ariel Sharon, the right-wing Likud candidate.

Her story certainly takes a lot of credence away from those quick to name Jews trying to find common humanity with Palestinian fighters as Leftist crazies and renegade Jews. She appears traditional, if not religious, and states that
she wants to "marry a Jew and build a traditional Jewish home".
She spent time serving as a human shield for her Palestinian friend. Her relationship with him and his colleagues was by no means covert.
Fahima, a Tel Aviv resident who has made frequent visits to the Jenin refugee camp to show her support for Palestinians, was filmed by Channel Two television recently walking with armed Palestinian fugitives and expressing her support for the "Palestinian struggle." She said she was drawn into a platonic friendship with Zubeidi, who is married, due to a curiosity about the militant's unmitigated hatred for Israel.
She has been arrested twice for her activities. She has not been prosecuted. I think Israel has definitely demonstrated impressive restraint in her case, in comparison with the US at least, as I think anyone whose relationship with an Al Quaeda leader was an equivalent of Fahima's relationship with Zubeidi would have been treated much more harshly.

But more importantly it demonstrated the complexity of the problem. Some Israelis, even those whose politics are not exactly of the Leftist fringe, seem to be seeing the military action as part of the problem, not of the solution. Those same Israelis also seem to recognize the occupation for what it is,- a highly opressive condition that can not be maintained indefinitely.

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