The Jerusalem Post wrote an article about Walid Shoebat, who claims he was recruited by a PLO operative to carry out an attack on a branch of Bank Leumi in Bethlehem in the 1970s.
At six in the evening he was supposed to detonate a bomb in the doorway of the bank. But when he saw a group of Arab children playing nearby, he says, his conscience was pricked and he threw the bomb onto the roof of the bank instead, where it exploded causing no fatalities.
The JPost investigation had a hard time with Shoebat's version.
Shoebat's claim to have been a terrorist rests on his account of the purported bombing of Bank Leumi. But after checking its files, the bank said it had no record of an attack on its Bethlehem branch anywhere in the relevant 1977-79 period.He's adamant that he tried to blow up the bank, despite the discrepancies in his story.
Shoebat told The Jerusalem Post that this could be because the bank building was robustly protected with steel and that the attack may have caused little damage.
Asked whether word of the bombing made the news at the time, he said, "I don't know. I didn't read the papers because I was in hiding for the next three days." (In 2004, he had told Britain's Sunday Telegraph: "I was terribly relieved when I heard on the news later that evening that no one had been hurt or killed by my bomb.")
Shoebat could not immediately recall the year, or even the time of year, of the purported bombing when talking to the Post by phone from the US. After wavering, he finally settled for the summer of 1977.
Shoebat converted from Islam to Christianity in 1993 and now goes on tours around the US and Europe lecturing to the West about the dangers of Islamic extremism.
Shoebat describes his conversion to Christianity as a transformation "from hate to love." He told the Post that he believes "in a Greater Israel that includes Judea and Samaria, and by this I mean a Jewish state."
He argued that Israel should retake the Gaza Strip and rehouse Jews there, regarding Gaza as Jewish by right. "If a Jew has no right to Gaza, then he has no right to Jaffa or Haifa either," he said.
He advocates that the government of Greater Israel introduce a law providing for the exiling of anybody who denies its right to exist, "even if they were born there."
He has little sympathy for the PLO or Hamas. "The Palestinians have not met a single demand from Israel," he said, and added, "Both the PLO and Hamas have not given up the goal of destroying Israel."
"The Jews are not aware of the true threat," Shoebat said. "They are still fighting dead Nazis. It is easy to fight dead people. But they don't have the will to fight the living Nazis, the Islamic radicals."
Shoebat didn't appreciate the Jerusalem Post's critical investigation, and replied with his own article, I was a Terrorist.
FOR MY defense of Israel and my battle against Jew-hatred I have addressed audiences at numerous government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the United States Air Force and many police agencies. They always scrutinize my credentials and background, and they've cleared me each and every time. My advisory board is comprised of generals and other senior officers from the US military.
It is a shame that the Post was somehow duped into running an article against my character and credentials. The question everyone should ask is why is the media so bent in destroying my claims, especially the Israeli media which should in reality help me get my message out.
That's why we have blogs -- someone has to be pro-Israel.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד