From Terrorist to Zionist
Bethlehem-born Walid Shoebat detested Jews. Not that he had ever spoken to one. But he had been so well indoctrinated with fanatical Jew-hatred from childhood that by the time he was sixteen he was an eager terrorist.
His chief goal in life was to kill Jews and die a martyr for Allah.
“From kindergarten we were taught that Jews were dogs,” he told BBC News. “We were taught that Jews were the converts of monkeys, that Jews were Sabbath breakers and prophet killers. We even considered Arabs in pre-1967 Israel traitors because we could not understand how they could coexist with Jews.”
As a teenager in the mid-1970s, Shoebat became an active Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) member, fomenting riots, demonstrations, and doing everything he could to accomplish his life’s goal. He helped a mob use a club to beat an Israeli soldier senseless then prepare to hang him. The soldier was rescued, sending the Arabs scurrying into a monastery “where the nuns protected us-even they hated the Jews!” he said.
Another time he was recruited to blow up an Israeli bank with a loaf of bread packed with explosives. But when he saw Arab children in the area, he threw the bread on the roof instead, doing little damage.
So what makes this terrorist different from all other terrorists?
Today he is a Christian Zionist dedicated to exposing the lies of Islam and supporting Israel and the Jewish people. His dream is to go into Israeb prisons and teach the Palestinians Jewish history.
“My first goal is to give strength to the Jewish people, to give encouragement, to get rid of this stupid idea of establishing a Palestinian state,” he told The Jerusalem Post in an interview from his home in California.
His Web site (www.Abrahamicfaith.com) states, “The G-d of Israel Reigns Supreme” ad “Am Israel Chai” (Hebrew for “the nation of Israel lives”). It has links exposing “Palestinian savagery”; Muslim persecution of Christians; and contains articles with such titles as “Why Muslims Choose Yeshua as Saviour” and “Who Do You Trust for Your Salvation, Jesus Christ or Mohammed?”
How did a Jew-hating, Muslim, Fatah terrorist become an evangelical supporter of Israel? He read the Bible and trusted Jesus as his Savior.
Walid moved to the United States at eighteen to attend college in Chicago, where he raised money for the PLO and recruited members. After moving to California, he mried his third wife in 1993. She was a Christian.
“I wanted to convert her to Islam,” he told the BBC. “I told her Jews had corrupted the Bible.” She asked him t prove it. So he bought a Bible.
For six months he studied the Word intensely from cover to cover, and discovered the truth. He renounced terrorism, repented of his sin, and gave his life to Jesus Christ. He and Maria were baptized together.
Now Shoebat, 43, speaks in churches, synagogues, and on radio. His Muslim family has disowned him. His father says he should be killed. And he is certain the PLO is planning his demise. But Shoebat is undaunted.
“I chose to speak out because I was a victim, as a child I was a victim of this horror. Now I see other victims, millions of them, [Arab] kids. I was taught songs about killing Jews. You need to get rid of the education system where they are teaching this type of thing and get rid of the terrorist groups. It will take a generation, but until then, there’s not going to be peace, it doesn’t matter what kind of land settlement you have,” he told the BBC.
Speaking on a radio show, he said the Arabs don’t want a Palestinian state “We never wanted a Palestinian state. Even today the Palestinians do not want a Palestinian state. . . . They want the destruction of the Jews, period.”
In an article by Michael Freund in the February 13 issue of The Jerusalem Post, Shoebat said he wants “to fight for Israel from both theological and political perspectives. Israel must never be divided. I am very Zionist. I believe that Zionism is the process of Jews making aliya and going back to their land.”
“The occupation is not Israel occupying the land which supposedly belongs to the Arabs,” he said. “The true occupation is of the minds of Palestinians, of teaching them hatred for Jews. That is the real occupation.”
Asked what it was like growing up on the “occupied West Bank” under Israeli control, Shoebat was quoted by WorldNetDaily.com as saying, “Beautiful. Prices fell. We had no problems.”
His mission now, he said, is “to go to Americans and churches and anywhere I can go and explain God’s plan for the state of Israel, and how God intended Israel to be a light unto the nations, and how all of our hatred toward Israel is really evil.”