News / Middle East

Former Palestinian Prisoner Teaches Hebrew

Former Palestinian Prisoner Teaches Hebrewi
X
April 09, 2014 4:30 AM
The protracted Middle East peace process is in danger of stalling yet again, as Israel reneged on the planned release of another batch of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians renewed their bid to gain United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state. One former Palestinian prisoner may have found a better path to peace. After spending more than 20 years in an Israeli prison, he now teaches Hebrew to Palestinian children in the West Bank. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Former Palestinian Prisoner Teaches Hebrew
Zlatica Hoke
The protracted Middle East peace process is in danger of stalling yet again, as Israel reneged on the planned release of another batch of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians renewed their bid to gain United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state. One former Palestinian prisoner may have found a better path to peace; after spending more than 20 years in an Israeli prison, he now teaches Hebrew to Palestinian children in the West Bank.
 
In a classroom of Palestinian 10th graders in the town of Taybeh, Ismat Mansour encourages his students to discuss the advantages of learning Hebrew, the language he learned while serving a 22-year prison sentence in Israel.
 
He was among dozens of Palestinian prisoners who were granted an early release last year in a deal brokered by the United States. Mansour was sentenced to prison as a 16-year-old for helping three older teenagers stab to death an Israeli settler in 1993. 
 
"When I was released, I passed in front of the place where the event took place, the killing of the settler. I felt that I had closed the circle at this point, and now I have started a new cycle of my life, as a free person who suffered for a long time.  I lived through a very hard experience, but this made me gain insight and a belief in the Palestinian cause, but more importantly that justice should be carried out in a humane and a just way,” said Mansour.
 
Mansour said Palestinians and Israelis need to engage in a debate to resolve their longtime conflict. He also said Palestinians will be better equipped if they understand Hebrew, the dominant language of Jews living in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
 
Mansour said he would never again resort to killing, but that he has no regrets.
 
"The real violence here is the violence of occupation; it forces us to resort to violence. I don't feel regret for what I had done, because that was an expression of my thoughts at that age and an expression of the political conditions at that time, but I would not do that now," said Mansour.
 
Many Israelis are not convinced, especially those whose family and friends fell victim to violence. Itsik Mizrahi's brother Haim was 30 when he was killed in the 1993 murder in which Mansour was an accomplice.  Mizrahi is one of those who oppose his government's decision to release Palestinian prisoners.
 
"Every time that prisoners are released we feel that they can continue their lives. They can build a house, a family, get money on a regular basis. But we remain without my brother. My brother did not get to see his own daughter. They can raise children of their own, we are the only ones who have lost.  Only my brother lost," said Mizrahi.
 
Israel-Palestinian talks have again run into hurdles as the sides cannot agree on several crucial issues, including the release of Palestinian prisoners.
 
Mansour is working with a group of West Bank journalists to establish a website in which he would cover Israeli affairs. He also is hoping to start a weekly radio show about the Israeli economy.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid