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‘First Female Bedouin Comedian’ a Fraud

Israeli paper runs story on Bedouin mother-of-17 who has found a place in comedy, only to find ‘Bedouin’ is Jewish woman.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/7/2013, 8:20 AM

Bedouins
Bedouins
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Hebrew-language paper Yediot Aharonot included in its features in this weekend’s edition a lengthy interview with Fatima, a Bedouin mother of 17 who is “the first Bedouin woman in comedy.”

Fatima shared her life story, including her marriage in sixth grade, her 17 children and her life as one of four wives to the same man. She joked about issues such as Bedouin crime and multiple marriages, and the Bedouin community’s views on the recent land arrangement in the Negev.

The problem: “Fatima” is in fact Gila Tzimerman, a Jewish comedian from Ramat Gan. Tzimerman portrays several characters during her act, one of them being “Fatima the Bedouin.”

Gonen Ginat, writing for the daily paper Yisrael Hayom, slammed Yediot Aharonot for mistakenly printing “Fatima’s” story as real.

“A check on ‘Google’ that would have taken a few seconds would have revealed that this is a stand-up artist from Ramat Gan,” he wrote. A Google search shows Tzimerman dressed as “Fatima,” alongside pictures of her in clothing that is clearly not in line with Bedouin tradition.

“Whoever prepared the article did such a sloppy job that they didn’t think to visit her place of residence, meet her Bedouin husband, or one of the other wives, or her children, nothing,” he added. “She said what she said – and they printed it.”

A response from Tzimerman said, “It was all a joke, cheer up and put it in perspective.”

Yediot Aharonot did not respond to Yisrael Hayom, but in a response to Walla! wrote, “’Yediot Aharonot’ will look into the information that has been revealed. If we were mistaken, we promise to draw the necessary conclusions.”