A Philadelphia billboard announces, “Confessions of a PLO terrorist – April 5.” At another event on Apr. 11 a Haifa-born Arab will tell Baltimoreans that Islamic countries have “created monsters.”
These two events are part of a pro-Israel campaign by several Arab expatriates living in the United States. They work with the foundation of Walid Shoebat, a pro-Israel Bethlehem-born Arab whose grandfather was friendly with the German dictator who directed the butchering of six million Jews.
Shoebat (not his real name) was in Jericho during the Six-Day War in 1967, which ended with Israel’s liberation from Jordan and Egypt of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He freely states that he was a terrorist in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) before moving to the United States to continue his anti-Israel activities. When he started studying the Bible, however, as part of an effort to convert his Christian wife to Islam, “I realized everything I had been taught about Jews was a lie.” Since then, Shoebat has become an outspoken advocate for Israel.
His appearance in Philadelphia next week is sponsored by the Jerusalem-based Yeshiva Aish HaTorah organization. “The sponsors of the event in Philadelphia…placed a huge billboard on the main highway about two miles from downtown Philly,” he says. “The Arab apologists of terror are furious and are calling the usual racist slurs. Their protests will help us get more media attention and we shall win over people to the side of the truth. We will see how the people of Philadelphia will identify with Israel,” Shoebat asserts.
Another pro-Israel Arab, Salma Abdallah, names her admiration for Golda Meir and her childhood friendship with Jews as two of the reasons for her outrage at Arab leaders. When she was nine years old and growing up in Haifa, Abdallah recalls that her role model was Golda Meir, Israel’s first and only woman prime minister.’
“My next door neighbor was a Holocaust survivor,” she adds. “Freedom of expression… was part of our daily lives.” After moving to the United States, “it was the freedom of choice” in Israel that influenced her to campaign for Israel.
“The Palestinian refugee problem and the escalation of the Palestinian situation [are] largely the fault of the Arab world, not Israel,” she tells her audiences, such as the orthodox synagogue in Baltimore that will host her ten days from now.
“Palestinians from all over the world have contacted me,” Salma says, “and told me that they wanted to say the same things, but didn’t have the courage to speak out. I was surprised that I received such a positive response to something that was largely denied by other Arabs.”
Many Arabs try to prevent the pro-Israel Arabs from appearing. An Illinois community college recently demanded that the sponsors of an appearance by Shoebat put up $5,000 for security costs – even though the college bylaws provide that the college must pay for security under such circumstances. The sponsors collected the money and Shoebat appeared as scheduled.