Palestinians don’t need state, says son of a Hamas founder

SUPPORTING MDA: From left, Magen David Adom Scotland executive member Jean Brannigan, interviewer Adam Berkley, guest speaker Mosab Hassan Yousef, Honorary Consul for Israel in Scotland Stanley Lovatt, MDA UK fundraising manager Ben Bar-Lev and fundraising team member Rachel Cohen

THE son of a Hamas founder told an audience in Glasgow that the Palestinian people do not need a state.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, known as the Green Prince, was speaking at a Magen David Adom event in Giffnock Synagogue on Monday.

He was interviewed by MDA supporter Adam Berkley before answering questions from the audience.

Asked if he foresaw a peaceful settlement, Mr Yousef said: “The Palestinian Authority don’t like the American deal being discussed just now.

“All the Arab states are full of corruption and abuse. There are no rights for human beings or for animals and, in some states, women don’t know how to read or write and are not allowed to drive.

“I don’t want another one of them. There is no room for it now. There was years ago, but their effort was always to destroy Israel, not create a state.

“Mahmoud Abbas wants his people and his children to die. He gets his funding and his image from the conflict.

“They ask for a state where Israel exists. They don’t want another state just now.

“Now, the American administration is talking in terms of a deal and for there to be a president. They don’t need a president — just a mayor.

“What the Palestinian people needs is infrastructure, education and industrial zones. All the money should be given directly to the people.”

Asked by Mr Berkley what it was like growing up in a family at the centre of Palestinian activity, Mr Yousef said: “I can’t rationalise having been born to a Hamas leader.

“Everything in my life pushed me away from that environment. It was a very strict religious Islamic family and Islam is a crazy dogma. It wasn’t easy to break free from its boundaries.

“It is a great privilege to be here and I really feel at home, I identify with the struggle of the Jewish people and their suffering hurts me.”

Asked why, having been savagely beaten by Israeli soldiers, he decided to help them Mr Yousef said: “It started with hatred and a desire for revenge.

“The Israeli soldiers weren’t the first to beat me. There were my parents, teachers, children in school and on the streets. I was sexually assaulted and tortured and have been traumatised since I was a small boy.

“We can choose to be victims or reverse that and heal our bodies, souls and minds.

“Learning more about Israel fascinated me. I started to make comparisons.

“Israel was a very poor country at the beginning and within 25 years became quite a different one.

“The collective consciousness of the Jewish people is incredible. With all the persecution through the centuries, the pogroms and the Holocaust, the Jewish nation did not seek revenge or destruction. Instead it built a state.”

The event was opened by MDA UK fundraising manager Ben Bar-Lev.

He told the audience that the MDA was created in 1930. Today, there are more than 1,000 ambulances, many medi-cycles and stations from the Golan Heights to Eilat.

There are more than 22,000 volunteers in Israel.

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