Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman calls for the release of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi

Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman calls for the release of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi
Sarah Silverman has called for the release of Palestinian 'hero' Ahed Tamimi, saying Jews have a responsibility to protect her rights.
3 min read
18 February, 2018
Sarah Silverman has been a critic of the Israeli occupation [Getty]
Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman has called for the release of Palestinian teenager, turned resistance icon Ahed Tamimi.

The comedian called on Jews to stand up against injustice.

“Jews have to stand up EVEN when - ESPECIALLY when - the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government,” Silverman said in a tweet, sharing an Amnesty International press release urging Israel to free the teenager who turned 17 in prison last month.

As someone who has previously expressed her support for Israel in the past, she has shown criticism of the state for its violence against Palestinians.

Last year, in the Jewish Passover holiday, Silverman slammed the Israeli occupation.

“Of all the people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed - and not being in our own country,” she wrote, contributing to a Save Israel, Stop Occupation initiative published in last year's Jubilee Haggadah.

“That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between right and wrong, the situation is complicated and scary, but I’m guessing oppression will always prove to be on the wrong side of history.”

Silverman’s tweet comes after a group of 27 respected US writers, actors, athletes and activists signed a petition calling for the release of detained Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi.

The #FreeAhed petition, issued by the Florida-based campaigning group known as the Dream Defenders, included signatures from Hollywood actors Rosario Dawson and Danny Glover, musicians Talib Kweli and Vic Mensa, writers Alice Walker and Michelle Davis, and prominent US political activist Angela Davis.

"In the US, we know all too well what it's like to be oppressed simply because you exist, because you refuse to give up your fight for freedom," the group's statement read.

The group, who campaign for civil rights in the US, outlined their solidarity with the Palestinian cause, drawing particular parallels between the fate of Palestinian and black American minors at the hands of Israeli and US security forces.

"While our struggles may be unique, the parallels cannot be ignored. US police, ICE, border patrol and FBI train with Israeli soldiers, police, and border agents, utilising similar repressive profiling tactics to target and harass our communities.

"Too many of our children quickly learn that they may be imprisoned or killed simply for who they are. From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures," it added.

Ahed Tamimi was on charged on January 1 with 12 counts including assault for slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers near her home in the occupied West Bank. 

Hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel in the December 15 incident caught on video, she could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.