Mr. Salah was recently welcomed home after about twenty years in an Israeli prison. Why did he end up there?
"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.
Israeli court records show Mr. Tenenbaum was found about 7:30 a.m. on June 14, 1993, lying on his back in a bed near the hotel bar, a pillow covering his bloodied face. According to the 29-page verdict convicting him of murder, Mr. Salah told investigators that he and another man had gone to Netanya in search of a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel, and happened upon the guard.
The other man said, “Let’s kill him so that we did not make the trip for nothing,” the verdict quotes Mr. Salah having said. “Only when we saw the guard sleeping did we decide to kill him as a protest against the occupation.”
Let's be clear about this: Salah and his friend did not engage in a heroic struggle. They beat an innocent 72 year old man to death with an iron rod, because they couldn't find the guy they really wanted to kill. This was an act of brutality of the sort that we generally associate with the most violent street gangs, not with freedom fighters. It was not a political act in any sense. And how was he treated when he returned home?
"...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.
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."
So, let me get this straight: Mr. Salah came out of prison in possession of $150,000 courtesy of the Palestinian government- approximately 116 years of the average per-capita Palestinian income (as of 2008- the latest figure I found in my brief search.) He is now receiving an annual payment of $1800.00, again, significantly more than the average Palestinian income. All this for beating to death a 72 year old man. And he complains that it is not enough!
Because he is a hero! With awards and medals!
“We receive them as national heroes, we give them awards and medals, and then we leave them to face their problems alone,” said Munqeth Abu Atwan, who works at the ministry. “Can you tell a hero that you need a psychiatrist, you need to participate in a rehabilitation program?”
And here is the problem- a culture that considers a cold-blooded murderer a hero, and treats him as such, enriching him so as to encourage others to emulate him.
And by the way, Israel bought into this too- They seem to have regarded him as a terrorist instead of the psychopathic criminal that he actually is. Regardless of the pressure put on them, they must realize the tremendous damage they do by releasing crazed criminals to receive hero's welcomes and lifelong incomes from their fellow Jew-haters. Salah should have been released to live out his days in poverty, in some rat-infested SRO hotel, the way we treat vicious killers who have completed their sentences here, not sent home to a life of fame and ease.