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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

High security, full house for former terrorists speach

Published: February 4, 2005
Section: News

Every seat was occupied in Shapiro Theatre this past Monday night, when Former Palestinian terrorist, Walid Shoebat filled the auditorium. Sponsored by Hillel, Zionists for Historical Veracity, the Union Senate, Israel Campus Roundtable, Hasbara Fellowships and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, this event was attended by a primarily receptive Pro-Israel crowd. There was a tremendous amount of security at this event, as two metal detectors accompanied by armed police officers and a bomb sniffing dog were present. This led to a very crowded and hectic line prior to the speech.

Born in Bethlehem, Israel, to an American woman and Palestinian man, Shoebat explained that the reason he is currently speaking out against terrorism is because Confession confession is the beginning of healing.

Throughout his talk, Shoebat emphasized how he was taught as a child to hate Jews. In Kindergarden kindergarten in Jericho he learned a song that proclaimed, Arabs are beloved, Jews are dogs. As a youth, Shoebat would sit in his home watching Holocaust clips eating popcorn with my family, laughing, because it looked so real How did they act so well, how were they so skinny?

In further describing what he called propaganda that he grew up in, Shoebat likened his education to that of a youth in Nazi Germany. When Shoebat was in third and fourth grade, he attended a Lutheran school. In this school, he learned that Jesus was a Palestinian revolutionist.

Just like in Nazi Germany, myth was being taught as fact, he said. He explained that so many lies were being told about Jews because Loyalty was more important than fact. Loyalty was more important than truth.

As a young man, Shoebat took part in a failed lynching of an Israeli soldier, and he was recruited to plant a bomb in the Israeli Bank Leumi in Bethlehem. At the last second, he saw an Arab child playing near the area, so he decided to throw the explosive on the roof of the bank. He is thankful that no one was injured.

In 1993, in what Shoebat described as self- detoxification, Shoebat started learning about Jewish culture and Jewish history. He started reading the Tanach, that is, the Jewish written Bible that includes the 5 books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings (the Old Testament). He was intrigued with Fiddler on the Roof, and he said, I learned from Fiddler on the Roof more than I learned from my education at home. Shoebat expressed what he saw as a tint ofthe irony in peoples reactions to when describing his transition from a terrorist to a Zionist by, saying, WWhen I wanted to kill Jews, I was a freedom fighter, but when I love Jews, Im a racist.

Following his approximately forty-five minute speech, Shoebat opened up to questions from the students. One student asked Shoebat, Dont you think that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is more complex than just taking one side and blaming it all on education?if everything was as simple as he made it seem. As a result of his clearly one-sided presentation, the student asked if the situation was more complex than Shoebat would have us believe. To this, Shoebat answeredShoebat responded, The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not complex. Its so simple its ridiculousIs Naziism complex? He continued, We need to emphasize what the problem is: The problem is anti-Semitism.

Another angry Palestinian student boldly told Shoebat, Most of what you are saying is bullshit You are the same as Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ.
When a Jewish student who was involved in a lynchingTzalli Reich 05, a Jewish Israeli student, talked about his experience being attacked by a crowd of Palestinian youths in a village when he got out of his car to offer assistance to a Palestinian who had gotten in an accident. He asked Shoebat for his opinion on asked Shoebat how weto can help infiltrate the schoolsat town with education., Shoebat asked him, Why are you so peaceful?… Why so much love for people who wanted to lynch you?? Following another question about what can be done to solve the problem of the Middle East, Shoebat bluntly stated, I think its quite foolish to give land for peace.

Shoebat proceeded to tell the audience that the reason he speaks out against the Palestinian Authority, is that he wants to instill a love for Israel among his audiences. He wants the Jewish audiences to support Zionism, and to be brave. He noted how the ironic it wasy in that Hashem [Hebrew for God] chooses a Palestinian to instill Zionism in Jewish hearts.

Finally, when asked what he would do if he were Prime Minister, Shoebat said, I would never remove Jewish people from their lands. I would remove terrorists. He urged Israel to remain firm on demands for lands. I think youre paranoid if you think, If we give up land, well get peace.

Shoebat concluded with a lesson he learned from the Old Testament that he felt was relevant and applicable to the current situation. If you look at the Tanach If you honor the right thing, youll get whatever you want. If you honor fear, you lose everything.