Monday, September 26, 2005

The "Right" Person and the Wrong Person

The Jewish Chronicle (sorry, I'm not subscribed so there's no link) carried a story this past Friday that Robi Damelin, on a visit to England together with an Arab woman whose sister was killed, stated that the sniper who killed her son David, shot at a roadside checkpoint, did so because he was a symbol of the occupation but

"didn't kill the right person."

No, who was the "right person" one wonders.

Was it a female teacher returning home? A Rabbi traveling to his Yeshiva? The 5 month old baby whose head was crushed by a rock? The bride blown up one day before her wedding? The teenager cut down in a fussilade of bullets on the basketball court of his school? Or any of the hundreds of other Israelis, foreign workers, tourists and other Arabs killed by Arab terrorists who rejected a more-than-generous peace offer in 2000?

Indeed, is Ms. Damelin the right person to be talking about peace?

Or she simply the wrong person, the very wrong person?


Well, I went here
and found all this:-

Billed under the deceptive banner of "Palestine Awareness Week," it featured two women - one an Israeli named Robin "Robi" Damelin, and the other a Palestinian woman named Nadwa Saranda - who appeared as representatives of a group called the Parents Circle. Participants were led to believe that both women had both lost loved ones in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Supposedly, both women had family members killed by the opposite side, tragedies that compelled them to reach out together to create a "dialogue" in the name of peace and non-violence. It all sounded perfectly innocent.

Thus, Palestine Awareness Week - note that it was not Palestine and Israel Awareness Week - scheduled seminars with these two women on the campus at UC Santa Cruz. Sponsored as well by several university faculty members, the women managed to do three seminar presentations to hundreds of students in public high schools in the area during regular school hours. Among the high schools that hosted them were the Soquel High School, Aptos High School, and Santa Cruz High School. Scott Kennedy and the RCNV have sponsored similar events nationwide.

What these high school students did not know was that these women were not the peace activists they affected to be. Touring all over the United States, they are regular features at pro-PLO functions. Nor are their stories of their personal losses completely true. It is true that Robi Damelin lost her son, David. A 28 year-old graduate student in education at Tel Aviv University, David was killed while guarding a checkpoint in the West Bank that was set up to prevent suicide bombers and terrorists from getting into Israel to kill Israelis. But Nadwa Saranda explains her presence at these seminars as an attempt to come to terms with the death of her sister, Naela, a Palestinian activist, who was supposedly knifed to death in East Jerusalem by a "Jewish settler."

Yet an investigation into the details of Nadwa Saranda's story reveals that, her claims notwithstanding, her sister, Naela, was not in fact killed by a "Jewish settler." She was, rather, killed by a Palestinian Arab who confessed to killing her. According to Al Quds, the Palestinian national newspaper, Naela was killed after being stabbed in the chest several times near the Jerusalem Municipality building in al-Musrara quarter. She was killed by 23-year-old Mohammed Sha'lan from the village of Hizma, who claims he thought she was an Israeli. After realizing she was Palestinian, Sha'alan turned himself into Israeli police, confessing his crime. It seems there was also another Arab serial killer who murdered with a knife 13 Arabs in East Jerusalem who also may have been involved in Naela's killing. Yet Nadwa has been traipsing all over the country letting audiences, including Jewish ones, think her sister was murdered by an Orthodox Jew living in East Jerusalem. Far from acknowledging the facts, Saranda blames Israel for her sister's death and says she will continue to do so. Testimony from Saranda in 1999 reveals that she claims no matter what, her sister's death was Israel's fault. (The evidence indicates that the Palestinian Arab who murdered her sister thought he was knifing a Jewess.) Today, she blames her sister's death on the "occupation" of "Palestine" by Israel.

The Parents Circle was created by Yitzhak Frankenthal, a wealthy Israeli businessman whose son was murdered also by PLO terrorists. Frankenthal gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from the European Union, including Germany and Norway. The EU has a habit of funding Palestinian corruption. His organization also pulls in a buck a minute for phone calls placed between Palestinians and Israelis who have suffered bereavements.

Frankenthal's message of "reconciliation and dialog" gets the Parents Circle into high places besides high schools and colleges. People fall for it so much the organization has even been featured on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. They, like the U.S. State Department, don't check what this group really does once in front of a captive audience. And that is support the goals of the PLO against Israel by making misleading comparisons with South Africa, and distributing anti-Israel propaganda materials. At Santa Cruz, Naela Saranda told the audience Frankenthal is an Orthodox rabbi (he isn't) and read a letter from him in which he apologizes "for all the bad things Israel has done to the Palestinians, both real or imaginary." (Nobody has such a letter from a Palestinian religious authority.)

As for Robi Damelin, she is hardly the nonpolitical activist she purports to be. It is a longtime practice of the PLO to find radical leftist Jews to attend pro-Palestinian seminars to give the appearance of "balance." Adam Shapiro was one. Damelin is just such a shill. Robi Damelin immigrated to Israel in 1967 from South Africa, where she was active in the anti-apartheid movement there by the ANC and Nelson Mandela. Once her goal was achieved, Damelin, like many leftist radicals, went to Israel to try and find a new cause there. Once in Israel she became active in radical leftist groups that support the goals of the PLO while claiming to be working toward "peace." Peace, of course, means blaming Israel for the murders against its citizens in adherence to the PLO agenda of "fighting occupation."

Damelin tells audiences that she previously ran a successful public relations firm in Israel before going to work for Parents Circle full-time. Significantly, Damelin describes it only as a "successful PR firm." In fact, her public relations agency specialized in doing spin and promotions for leftist groups in Israel that wish to see the country dismantled but bill themselves as "co-existence groups."

Besides her public relations agency handling publicity for radical Israeli groups, Damelin herself also encouraged Israelis to refuse to serve in the military. Her son, David, at least according to her, was also such a "peace activist," but like all Israelis he was required to do three weeks a year in reserve duty to protect the Israeli people. Damelin claims David was opposed to the Israeli presence in the West Bank, and he may well have been. But he did not take after his radical mother.

Whereas David served in the Israeli army, Robi Damelin has always worked to support a movement in Israel called the Refuseniks, a corruption of the term used to describe former Soviet Jews who refused to remain in the USSR, many of whom were sent to the gulags.

1 comment:

Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

If you want to learn about REAL attempts at dialog, you must visit "Between Shilo & Turmos Ayya". A local Palestinian Arab and I started publishing our months old dialog in which we explore each other's perceptions of the other's society and our common experiences. We look forward to your comments and questions!