Cut the comedy

Sarah Silverman wades into Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tiptoes out

Jewish comedian bombarded by angry responses after tweeting support for campaign urging release of 17-year-old Palestinian soldier-slapper

Comedian Sarah Silverman speaking during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
Comedian Sarah Silverman speaking during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

JTA — Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman started a heated conversation on Twitter about the Palestinian teen being held in an Israeli jail for slapping and harassing Israeli soldiers.

“Jews have to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government,” Silverman tweeted on Friday, providing a link to an Amnesty International campaign calling to free Ahed Tamimi.

Tamini, 17, has been charged with 12 counts, including aggravated assault, hindering a soldier in the line of duty, incitement, threatening a soldier’s life, and rock throwing. The indictment covers six incidents in recent months in which she was involved in altercations with Israeli soldiers, including the December 15 slapping incident that was captured on video and went viral on social media.

She has been ordered held in prison until the end of legal proceedings against her. Last week, an Israeli military judge closed the courtroom to all but family members. The teen’s attorney argued to keep the trial, which has piqued international interest, open to the public.

Silverman’s original tweet generated dozens of responses – from those who called her way off base to those defending Tamini’s actions, some using much stronger language.

Among those who responded were Frimet and Arnold Roth, parents of Malki Roth, 15, who was killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001.

“Entertainers exploiting their fame are often a poor choice for clarifying what’s moral or good. Sarah, did you stand up for our daughter Malki and the other 15 Jewish lives extinguished by Ahlam Tamimi, Ahed’s cousin and role-model-in-life? Do you stand with Ahed’s call to kill?” the Roths tweeted to Silverman.

Ahlam Tamimi, who assisted in the Sbarro attack, was arrested and imprisoned by Israel, and pleaded guilty to her role in the attack. She now lives in Jordan after being released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

On Sunday, Silverman admitted to not knowing enough about the conflict and announced that she would retweet pieces from people who are on the ground in Israel and Palestine.

She then retweeted responses on both sides of the conflict.

Early on Monday she capitulated, tweeting: “Dear palestinians/jews/israelis/and everyone w an opinion: I can only speak for me & all I care about is what is true, & what is just. Unfortunately, from what I see, those things seem to be wildly subjective. Only God/Allah/Hashem/Mr. Rogers knows….”

Her followers tweeted their continuing support. “Just please never stop doing what you do,” tweeted one. Others indicated their approval of including Mr. Rogers in her list of deities.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.