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

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday 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 Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs