Friday, May 3, 2013

Palestinian imprisoned in Israel converts to Judaism, to join the Israeli military

Yaniv Eliasaf

By: Shifra Unger 
 In a truly amazing turnaround, a Palestinian man, who was imprisoned in Israel on terror related charges, converted to Judaism, and is now ready to join the Israeli military.

This is probably a story that can happen only in Israel. The Palestinian converted to Judaism, joined the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, received Israeli citizenship, and wants to join the Israeli Army. The former Palestinian, married a Jewish woman, and studies in a yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. Today he said: "Thank God I'm a Jew. I wake up every morning and bless God for that."

Yaniv Eliasaf, was born as Boosman, in a Palestinian city near Nablus. He spent 11 years in an Israeli prison. When he was released, he burst into tears because he had nowhere to go. He wrapped himself in a prayer shawl and put a skullcap on his head, because during his imprisonment he converted to Judaism. The danger of death hovered over him, because his fellow Palestinians considered him as a collaborator with Israel, and in Israel he was Palestinian.

Two years ago, when the checkpoint Brigadier General learned of Yaniv, he was granted entry into Israel. For the past two years he has lived in Israel with temporary status, he works odd jobs and deals mainly with the study of Torah. He seeks to establish his home in Israel, and he wants full citizenship.

He said that he is ready to join the army, and if they sent him to Nablus, his birthplace, he will fulfill all orders. A few months ago, he returned to Nablus as a Jew, and went to Joseph's Tomb. Yaniv's story is almost unbelievable. This story teaches more than anything the complexities of life in Israel and Palestine.

“This is an amazing heartwarming story, as this man went from a person that sought to destroy as many Jews as possible to a practicing Jew. Not only that, he will soon join the Israeli Army and fight against
 his former brothers, very inspiring,” Larry Brown, 61, of Dallas, Texas told after learning about Yaniv.

1 comment:

Mordy said...

It's not that amazing, considering that he replaced one irrational belief with another. Had he become an agnostic, that would be more surprising.