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Chastened By Experience, An Israeli Arab Speaks the Unsurprising Truth

29

Here is an unusual item — a BBC interview with an Israeli-Arab, Sayyaf Sharif Daoud, a captured ISIS Fighter  — who compares Israel favorably to  Assad’s Syria.
Memri.org’s summary is here:
“Sayyaf Sharif Daoud, a captured Israeli-Arab ISIS fighter who holds Israeli citizenship, said in a July 16, 2019 interview with BBC correspondent Feras Kilani on BBC Arabic (UK) that he had joined ISIS instead of the Palestinian resistance because his experience of having lived through the Second Intifada and of having lived in the West Bank and in Israel had taught him that Israel “has not done one percent of what Bashar Al-Assad has done.” He explained that despite the fighting, Israel has never raped women or brutally killed people like the Assad regime has. Daoud also said that his father had warned him against joining Hamas and Fatah, and he expressed regret at having joined ISIS. He said he hopes that Israel will take him back so that his life can return to normal. Daoud added that Israel is a democracy in which he has not seen injustice and in which Arabs and Jews live together and are treated equally.
The transcript of the full interview is here:
Feras Kilani: “To be honest, there is something that I do not understand, and many Arab viewers probably do not understand it either. At the end of the day, you are an Israeli Arab. You are also a Muslim, we are not talking about a…”
Say Sharif Daoud: “Right.”
Feras Kilani: “If you tell Arab viewers that someone came from Israel to join ISIS, the first thing they would say is: ‘Go and defend your own land.’ How did you rationalize this for yourself?”
Sayyaf Sharif Dad: “By Allah, the answer is going to surprise you. I lived through the Second Intifada. I have seen war. I lived in the West Bank and in Israel. Israel has not done one percent of what Bashar Al-Assad has done.
There was fighting and all that, but Israel has not raped women or stripped them naked on TV, and it has not killed with such barbarity. True, there was fighting…”
Fears Kilani: “Isn’t there a part of you that considers itself Palestinian, and not Israeli?”
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “What do you mean by ‘Palestinian’? I am an Israeli citizen, but I am a Palestinian…”
Feras Kilani: “Didn’t your religious fervor drive you to join Hamas?”
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “No. To be honest, my father warned me against [joining] Hamas and Fatah.”
[…]
Feras Kilani: “When you are sitting and thinking alone at night, how do you see your future?”
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “By Allah, I have wronged myself. I hope that the state takes me back and that I can return to…”
 
Feras Kilani: “Israel.”
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “A person can rethink things and return to normal life.”
Feras Kilani: “Do you really think that Israel will accept you back if you return?”
Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “Look, Israel is a democratic state. I have not seen injustice there.
Us Arabs live together in Israel with the Jews. There is no injustice. We are treated just like the Jews.”
This kind of testimony is so unexpected, not just from any Israeli Arab, but from one who went off, in the fervency of his faith, to join ISIS,, and fought against Assad’s army. Unlike the Syrian army, he forthrightly admits, the Israelis do not commit atrocities– the rape of women, the stripping naked of women who are shown on television, the “killing with such barbarity.” Chastened by reality, he now longs to return to the state of Israel, the very place he has been taught to hate and once rejected. But now he refuses to deny reality: Israel is a democracy. It is a place where “Arabs live together….with the Jews. There is no injustice We are treated just like the Jews.” He’s just done something so unexpected from such a source, and so impressive: he has told the truth about Israel. Let’s hope his televised testimony is widely viewed.

To view the clip of Sayyaf Sharif Daoud on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

“Israel Has Not Done One Percent Of What Bashar Al-Assad Has Done”

Feras Kilani: “To be honest, there is something that I do not understand, and many Arab viewers probably do not understand it either. At the end of the day, you are an Israeli Arab. You are also a Muslim, we are not talking about a…”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “Right.”

Feras Kilani: “If you tell Arab viewers that someone came from Israel to join ISIS, the first thing they would say is: ‘Go and defend your own land.’ How did you rationalize this for yourself?”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “By Allah, the answer is going to surprise you. I lived through the Second Intifada. I have seen war. I lived in the West Bank and in Israel. Israel has not done one percent of what Bashar Al-Assad has done.

“There was fighting and all that, but Israel has not raped women or stripped them naked on TV, and it has not killed with such barbarity. True, there was fighting…”

Feras Kilani: “Isn’t there a part of you that considers itself Palestinian, and not Israeli?”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “What do you mean by ‘Palestinian’? I am an Israeli citizen, but I am a Palestinian…”

Feras Kilani: “Didn’t your religious fervor drive you to join Hamas?”

“Israel Is A Democratic State, I Have Not Seen Injustice There, Us Arabs Live Together In Israel With The Jews, There Is No Injustice, We Are Treated Just Like The Jews”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “No. To be honest, my father warned me against [joining] Hamas and Fatah.”

[…]

Feras Kilani: “When you are sitting and thinking alone at night, how do you see your future?”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “By Allah, I have wronged myself. I hope that the state takes me back and that I can return to…”

Feras Kilani: “Israel.”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “A person can rethink things and return to normal life.”

Feras Kilani: “Do you really think that Israel will accept you back if you return?”

Sayyaf Sharif Daoud: “Look, Israel is a democratic state. I have not seen injustice there.

“Us Arabs live together in Israel with the Jews. There is no injustice. We are treated just like the Jews.”

The Truth Must be Told

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