Exclusive: "A Suicide Bomber Changed My Life"

Published: June 17th 2010
in News » Israel

Tali Fahima
Pic: YouTube

No, when you’re young you’re not interested in the important questions. When I was young I wanted to be Ashkenazi, a Zionist Ashkenazi because that was the motif. My culture is not studied in schools; Zionism is Ashkenazi, not connected to those who came from Algeria, Iraq or Morocco. By the way, Toronto has many Jews who immigrated from Morocco, they didn’t go to Israel, and that’s what saved their souls. Zionism really committed a very big crime towards Jews who came from Arab countries.


When did you understand that Zionism is the problem?


It’s a process, it’s not like pressing a button and you change within one day. You reach a certain age and you look at life from a different angle, when you start asking questions and you try to shake yourself off the education with which you were raised, so it’s a very long process. I see it as a process that has continued to this day, but its basis was me being with myself, it wasn’t a public process. Going out into the public came at a later stage. It was a personal process, since I’m exiting from a totally Zionist environment. I dealt with things in the most honest possible way and that’s how I moved on.


What was your breaking point? What event changed your view of things?


The event that brought on the beginning of the turnover was when a young Palestinian man did a military operation inside Tel Aviv, and for the first time in my life I was interested in his identity, in questions of motives. When you grow up here you are educated to be the superior Jew, who is part of the chosen people. Here (in Israel) this concept is being taken in other, negative directions. I have been scared my entire life. I had never seen a Palestinian as a person and this goes against universal morals. I saw him as a dangerous Arab, a terrorist and a primitive individual, so the “Arabness” was a point I hid. That was the turning point.


What military operation are we talking about?


One of the operations. There were many. At the beginning of the Intifada it was working automatically, I was reciting hate quotes towards against an entire population without any justification.


Are you referring to a shooting attack in Tel Aviv or a suicide bombing?


Suicide bombing.




In Allenby, I think (she is likely referring to the attack which took place on March 30, 2002, when an Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade activist blew himself up at the “My Coffee Shop” restaurant on Allenby St. not far from King George).


Did you serve in the army?


Yes. At that point I was still completely Zionist. I believed in it for some reason.


Did the army service not cause any change at the time?


No, not at all. I was young. I think I blindly served without any independent thinking. I walked with the herd.


Did you serve in the territories?


No, in Israel.


How was your detachment from your family?


The detachment is painful and difficult and it’s the dearest price I’ve had to pay so far. Of course it hurts and I miss my family, but there’s nothing that can be done. I don’t think I have to change my positions because of it.


How are you being accepted into your new Muslim society?

Related articles: (tali fahima, islam)
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