Exclusive: "A Suicide Bomber Changed My Life"

Published: June 17th 2010
in News » Israel

Tali Fahima
Pic: YouTube

Radical left-wing activist Tali Fahima has recently returned to the headlines after she converted to Islam at an Umm al-Fahm mosque on June 8. Fahima was born in Kiryat Gat and grew up there in a single parent family. A graduate of the local schools Hadasim, Rogozin and Shalon, she served in the IDF as a sergeant clerk and then worked as a secretary in a lawyer’s office. She first attracted media attention when she publicly identified with Zakariyah Zbeidi, head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade in Jenin. She was arrested and prosecuted on charges of providing the enemy with information and making contact with a foreign agent. After completing her sentence in January 2007, she moved to Wadi Ara.


This past week I spoke at length with Tali Fahima, who began the conversation with the traditional Islamic greeting “Al-Salaam Aleikum”. At first she had reservations about speaking as she claimed she does not give interviews to Zionist media outlets. I explained that the political question is irrelevant to me and that I am interested in bringing her point of view as she sees fit. She agreed and the interview (with slight language revisions) is being brought here:


Who is Tali Fahima whom everyone is speaking about?


Tali Fahima is a woman, as big a believer as ever, a Muslim. I am a very shy person. I love my privacy. I believe that I was born with a sense of justice which has undergone some turnabouts over the years. Injustice which is done besides me can really cause me to become active against injustice. I have a sense of humour (laughs) that accompanies me all along, during both the unpleasant and pleasant moments.


Can you provide an example of your sense of humour?


Even when I was arrested, when I was being interrogated, and when the Zionist regime was applying pressure on me, it was all humour as far as I was concerned. I got through it, I didn’t say: Oh, what bad luck I have. No, not at all. I saw every stage as a challenge and I just passed it. This (the humour) is part of me.


Which movies do you like?


One movie I saw several times after I was released from prison is V for Vendetta (a futuristic thriller in which Britain is defeated by Germany during World War II and is turned into a fascist country. V, an anonymous masked warrior acts against the government and is zealously pursued by it. When he saves a young woman named Evey, she joins the battle).




I think there was a political identification there; it’s a political movie in my opinion, a very sophisticated movie. I was very affected by it and couldn’t understand why others were not as fascinated with the movie as I was.


Where did you grow up?


In Kiryat Gat.


How many children were in your family?


Three girls.


Which school did you study at? Religious or secular?


My family background is very religious. I attended a religious kindergarten. My grandmother was a very devout woman. This is Judaism from Morocco, not Ashkenazi Judaism. It’s something totally different. It was a very religious environment. I was born to a believing home, but Zionism became an obstacle to Judaism and to the distortion that is being done to Judaism to this day.


Why was Zionism an obstacle? Did you feel this at a young age or at an older age?


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