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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid