The Shmooze

Prisoner Hamouri Slams Rabbi Who Freed Him

By Nathan Jeffay

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The Shmooze reported last week that the prominent Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef gave his consent to the freeing of a man who plotted to kill him. It was a remarkable story given that Yosef is pretty hard-lined and has spoken in the past about opposing mercy to Palestinian terrorists. But those of us who were hoping that the development could provide material for the next Hollywood feel-good movie, with the terrorist showing remorse and becoming friends with the rabbi, are to be disappointed.

Salah Hamouri, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, walked free this week, and quickly declared Yosef’s approval — without which he would have stayed behind bars — to be “a final attempt from the occupation to give this racist man a human face.” He insisted that he was justified in his plot because Yosef “is and will remain a symbol of racism and fanaticism in Israel.”

There is widespread anger in Israel that the newly-freed prisoners — Hamouri is among 550 freed in the second phase of the Gilad Shalit deal — are receiving red carpet treatment from Palestinian moderates. Hamouri was among prisoners greeted by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. And Amna Muna, a woman who lured an Israeli teenage boy to Ramallah, where he was murdered, has just met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Turkey, where she now lives (she was deported there as a condition of her release). “It’s shocking to see the man who claims that he wants to make peace with Israel going as far as Turkey to meet a loathsome murderer,” said officials in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.


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