Walid Shoebat: From Terrorist to Zionist

L-rd, honestly. I truly believe that with some of our friends, we don't need enemies. And, if the truth be told, we, as Jews are often our worst adversaries. What makes those self-haters the way they are? Did their mothers not breast feed them? Did they never have a date for the prom?

Arlene Peck

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L-rd, honestly. I truly believe that with some of our friends, we don't need enemies. And, if the truth be told, we, as Jews are often our worst adversaries. What makes those self-haters the way they are? Did their mothers not breast feed them? Did they never have a date for the prom?

I am often called upon to speak to groups, both Christian and Jewish. Frankly, it sometimes amazes me just how naive Jews can be when it comes to "getting it". Lately, I've been privileged to go on Front Page Jerusalem radio, which has a Christian audience. These good Christians are receptive to learning who the enemy are, and what can be done to combat the raging waves of Islamic fundamentalism that threaten the very core of our way of life.

Given our past history, why are we, as Jews, so prone to putting our heads in the sand when it comes to the meaning of "peace" in the Middle East? The issue isn't one of land. No matter how much Israel cuts the Jewish state into pieces, like salami, for this illusive peace, it won't matter. The majority of the Arabs don't want to live side-by-side with anybody. The neighbors of Israel want the Jews dead and gone. And after they've finished with the Saturday people, the Sunday people are next.

Frankly, I wasn't aware how big of a problem the brainwashing and cult of death had become until I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with Walid Shoebat. He had flown in to be a guest on my television show. This amazing man was once a PLO terrorist. Despite the time he's spent in Israeli jails, he is now an ardent Zionist.

I sat in awe while Walid told me, along with a room full of Los Angeles Jewish community leaders, how violent is the culture to which he once belonged. He reaffirmed how fundamental changes need to take place in the Palestinian society before any "negotiations" can begin.

"The hatred has always been in the minds of the Palestinians," said Shoebat, "however, under the direction of Arafat, the books the children study in school have been filled with fallacy concerning the Jews for at least a full generation."

Imagine all this coming from a (saintly) Arab who was on the inside of it all.

The key word is education. When a Jewish kid is born, the college fund is usually started at the bank. Unfortunately, when Muslim children are born, they are trained as toddlers that the Jews are the enemy and must be killed. I've long known this basic fact. Yet, here comes an articulate man like Walid to tell us that "fundamental change needs to take place in Palestinian society, as an entire generation of Palestinian youth has been taught to hate the Jewish state." This makes an impression, especially since it comes from a man who grew up and acted on the hate-filled message he was taught day after day.

"The occupation is not Israel occupying the land which supposedly belongs to the Arabs," Walid says, "The true occupation is of the minds of Palestinians, teaching them hatred for Jews. That is the real occupation."

This, folks, is the message this amazing and very brave man is taking on the road.

Later, at his lovely home, I had dinner with his family. His wife and their children were terrific, and after spending time with them, I was even more impressed. I had no doubts about the genuine and meaningful transformation of this former Palestinian terrorist.

Walid told me he used to raise funds for the PLO in order to finance bomb-making and other terrorist activities. "I even walked to the Temple Mount one time with bombs, but changed my mind when I saw Arab children playing in the yard." He said he did, however, serve time in Israeli jails; and came close to lynching an Israeli soldier, who miraculously got away.

There are others trying to educate the Jewish community about such dangers, however futile their efforts may be. Recently, I heard Rabbi Tovia Singer speak to a large group of Hillel kids about the dangers of anti-Semitism and the lure of cults facing them when they got to college. He was impressive and seemed to make an impression on their young minds.

Itmar Marcus from Palestinian Media Watch spoke to a rapt audience at the Museum of Tolerance a few nights later. He showed the actual footage of the outrageous lies the Muslim youth are fed in order to indoctrinate them as adults.

Even Walid, who, incidentally, has an American mother with her own horror stories to tell, told me that when he was finally shown footage of the Holocaust on Israeli television, he thought it was a fabrication. He related how he and his friends sat around eating popcorn and laughing and wondering how the Jews found skinny actors to fall into the graves.

It is great when I, as well as my fellow journalists and activists such as Jack Engelhard, Trudy Gefen, Naomi Ragen, Steven Plaut, and so many others, beat the drums to get out this message. But we are usually preaching to the choir. How encouraging it is when a Walid Shoebat comes onto the scene, along with a Joseph Farah and Tashbih Sayyed, who publishes the newspaper Pakistan Today. They are telling the truth about Israel with great personal risk. They have been there, from the inside, and speak out with the same message. They make an impression that we who are on the outside just can't.

Walid told me, "The Jews don't speak up as they should. So, I've taken it upon myself to speak out for them."

He is doing a great service. It's a shame that we can count on one hand, out of a billion Muslims, those who are doing the same. Have I missed their marches protesting the violence and senseless homicide bombings?

It is a disgrace that there are so many leftist Jews out there who think the way to solve any problem is to stand by the roadside, paint peace symbols on vans, and give the peace sign as people drive by.

Even this sometimes outrageous columnist was fired from the Jewish Post & Opinion after thirty years of being a featured writer, because the New Leftist owners of the paper decided that my columns were "mean to the Arabs". They only wanted to print "words that were kind and not words that hurt."

Well, folks, we are hurting. I'm thankful that there is a former PLO terrorist like Walid out there who now strongly considers himself a Zionist. I wish that there were more like him who felt the same way, especially in the Jewish community. I wish the Israeli government would try to combat the problem with a massive public relations campaign instead of the usual "quiet diplomacy."

Walid told me that he would like nothing better than to be able to return to Israel to de-program as many of those brainwashed Arabs as he can. Let's hope he stays safe. We should do what we can to help him finish his mission.