My headline might read as a feel-good story, of a reformed terrorist family who now teach peace, non-violence and tolerance. However the story is not quite like that at all.
The husband of a Palestinian teacher who won “teacher of the year” award for teaching non-violence is in fact a terrorist who helped kill six Israelis! And yet the teacher will still get to keep her award:
A Palestinian teacher who won a $1 million prize for teaching nonviolence will keep her award even though her husband participated in a terror attack that killed six Israelis.
Hanan al-Hroub received the UK-based Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai earlier this month for a curriculum she called “No to Violence.”
Her husband, Omar, served 10 years in an Israeli prison after being convicted as an accomplice in a deadly 1980 bombing attack in Hebron in which the victims were walking home from Friday night Sabbath prayers, The Associated Press reported. Omar al-Hroub was a chemist who provided chemicals needed for making the bombs, the AP reported.
“The judging process examines the qualities and achievements of the candidates themselves only,” the Varkey Foundation said in a statement, according to the AP.
So the judges didn’t judge whether a person teaching “non-violence” is in any way related to a mass-murderer? I find that very hard to believe.
An article in the Qatari newspaper al-Araby al-Jadid called Omar al-Hroub a “freedom fighter … who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories.”
Qadura Faris, the director of a Palestinian prisoners’ association, told the AP that Omar Al-Hroub accepted the 1993 Oslo Accords, served as a deputy Cabinet minister in the Palestinian Authority and supports a two-state solution with Israel.
Sure, a two-state solution: one for us and another one for us.
He said Omar Al-Hroub remains a senior Palestinian official who is close to President Mahmoud Abbas and “believes in his peaceful approach”.
I don’t think “peaceful approach” means what you think it means.
Al-Hroub, who teaches at the Samiha Khalil High School in al-Bireh, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, said she developed her nonviolent method after her children witnessed her husband being shot by Israeli soldiers during the second intifada.
Wow. I wonder why her poor innocent husband was being shot at by Israeli troops? Maybe because he was involved in killing six Israeli civilians at the time?
Meir Indor, chairman of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, an Israeli advocacy group, said he didn’t blame the teacher for her husband’s actions, but that she nonetheless should not have received the prize. It made “a mockery of those murdered by her husband,” Indor said.
Meir Indor is too kind. She may not be to blame for her husband’s actions, but she certainly excuses them if she describes how he was shot at without explaining the circumstances. Does she teach her young pupils that Israeli civilians are off-limits? Even if they are “settlers”? I would love to see her in action and read her curriculum before I give her the benefit of the doubt.
Israellycool puts the focus where it should be, on the victims of this “peaceful” teacher’s murderer husband:
Here is how then Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Yehuda Blum described the attack in his letter dated 4 May 1980 to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim (emphasis added):
I wish to draw your attention to a particularly brutal and vicious terrorist attack perpetrated by the criminal PLO in the city of Hebron on Friday, 2 May 1980, which resulted in the deaths of 6 persons and the injury of 16 others, among them women and children; 2 of the injured remain in critical condition.
This outrage was aimed against a group of Jewish worshippers, mostly students at religious seminaries who were returning from their Friday eve devotions at the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah) in Hebron on foot, in accordance with Jewish religious law regarding Sabbath.
Not only was Hanan al-Hroub’s husband a terrorist who murdered Jews, he was a terrorist taking orders and money directly from Fatah, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas’s predecessor, Yasser Arafat! What’s more, the world’s best teacher has her husband’s “operation” listed as a mark of pride. She doesn’t try to dress it up as a mistake of his past or pretend that he rejected violence while in prison as many other terrorists now claim. Her bio has a direct line between his murderous attack and her decision to marry him.
UK Media Watch challenges the Guardian to change its feel-good story to acknowledge the murderous history of Hroub’s husband Omar:
In light of this new information, which significantly compromises Sherwood’s narrative of an innocent Palestinian family overcoming Israeli violence and oppression, the Guardian should consider either publishing a new story noting the terror background of Omar, or amending the original article to take these details into account.
I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were them. I don’t expect anyone in the international media or NGOs to admit that “non-violence” has a different meaning to Palestinians and their supporters than it does to us Israelis and our supporters.