Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jodi Rudoren's latest dispatch in the New York Times painstakingly attempts to give equal weight to  a terrorist murderer and the the Holocaust survivor victim's family.

Well, not really. The terrorist gets about 25 paragraphs and the victims less than half that.

Muqdad Salah is a man in a hurry.

He inhales food, and bristles at lateness. His wife, Kefaya, said he expected her to make rooms immaculate immediately, “like a magician.” They married in November, and he is already pressing her to start fertility treatments.

“I want a son — or a daughter — I want someone to inherit me,” said Mr. Salah, 47, one of 78 long-serving Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails as part of the American-brokered peace talks that started last summer.

“Many times I dreamed of it in prison: I saw this house and the children, playing with toys,” he added. “I dream more now. I don’t want 10 — two is enough for me. I want to give all my energy to them.”

It has been seven months since Mr. Salah was welcomed before dawn by a cacophonous crowd in this village of 4,000 near the Palestinian financial hub of Nablus. It has been two decades since he killed Israel Tenenbaum, 72, a Holocaust survivor and security guard at a beach hotel 20 miles away in Netanya, hitting him on the side of the head with a metal rod.

For Mr. Tenenbaum’s daughter, Esti Harris, the release has only revived years of agonizing over whether her father suffered. “Did he see a person hovering over him?” she asked. “Was he in pain for that split second? Every night I would think about it before falling asleep, about that man above my father.”

Demonized as terrorists by Israelis and lionized as freedom fighters by Palestinians, prisoners like Mr. Salah have become a flash point in the troubled peace talks, whose continuation hinges on whether a promised fourth group is let go in the coming days. Amid the charged debate, these middle-aged men — 69 of them convicted of murder, 54 escaping life sentences — have begun to rebuild disrupted lives. They are earning their first driver’s licenses, leveraging $50,000 grants from the Palestinian Authority to build apartments or start businesses, searching for wives and struggling to start families.

Mr. Salah was flush with more than $100,000 saved from the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to prisoners’ families. He remodeled and refurnished his mother’s home. He bulldozed the rocky slope out back and built a 2,400-square-foot pen for livestock. He invested in a Nablus money-changing storefront in December, and, last month, bought his first car, a silver 2007 Kia Pride.

But he still wakes at 5 a.m., as he had to for the prison count. He makes coffee in an electric kettle like the one he had in his cell.

...He is not allowed beyond Burqa and Nablus for a year, or to leave the West Bank for 10 years.

“I’m getting bored,” he said, sitting in his salon under a framed portrait of himself in a quasi-military uniform bearing the honorary rank of brigadier general. “I want to travel. I want to see people. I want to breathe the air, I want to walk.”

The 78 released prisoners have complained to the Palestinian Authority that the $50,000 grants and monthly payments — Mr. Salah gets about $1,800 — are not enough to buy apartments.

Their health insurance covers in vitro fertilization, which Mr. Salah plans to pursue, but not dental. Lately, Mr. Salah, who smokes two packs of Marlboro Lights daily, has been having chest pains.
Isn't that terrible? In fact, look at the title of the slide show:


Aw, poor little murderers, released for no real reason except American pressure to have worthless peace talks!

Even worse:
“I wasn’t planning it,” said Mr. Salah, whose life sentence was later reduced to 32 years. “I didn’t intend to kill him.” Asked if he regretted it, Mr. Salah said, “Of course.”
Oh, really? But he didn't say a word of regret for killing him to the Arabs who greeted him rapturously for his murder of an elderly Jew. He didn't say one word of regret to those who were cheering him at his wedding while giving him money for his "heroism."

No, he only expresses regret when the New York Times asks him a leading question to further humanize a murderer.




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