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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid