A Palestinian woman, who is also the niece of one of the founders of the Fatah movement, recently stated her unequivocal disapproval of terror attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis, citing violent education as the root cause of the phenomenon’s continuation.
Sandra Solomon, a Palestinian born in Ramallah who converted to Christianity more than ten years ago and became a supporter of Israel, condemned the recent Halamish attack in which a terrorist broke into a home and killed three members of the Salomon family.
“The Palestinian terrorist who murdered a family on Friday evening in Halamish; where did he get the idea to enter a home and kill the people who were in there?” asked Solomon. “The young Palestinians who carry out attacks are already murdered from a psychological point of view by the education that is given to them.”
The 39-year-old Solomon, originally called Fida, is the niece of a Fatah official Sahar Habash who was a close confidant of Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat.
“As a child, I was brought up to hate Israel,” she admitted during a visit to Israel. “The most important thing to us was the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the liberation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the State of Israel.
“We watched the second intifada on television” she said as she recalled her childhood between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. “After every big terror attack—including when children were killed—candy was given out. The education that was given to me was that only Palestinians are the victims, that they are oppressed in this conflict and that the Zionists are the occupying criminals who took the land for themselves.”
The life changes Solomon underwent and her decision to turn away from the culture of hate instilled within her didn’t take place overnight.
Originally, she made the decision to convert to Christianity due to her criticism of Islam's treatment and oppression of women and the lack of freedom of expression it offers.
“I didn’t agree to walking around with a Hijab (a headscarf worn by Muslim women) as women were obligated to do in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
After managing to divorce her husband after being forced to marry him when the two had a baby, she left for Canada with her little boy, where the two continue to live today in Toronto.
“When I explained to my family in Jordan that I had converted, my sister threw her suitcase to the street and threw me out of the house,” she added.
As a result, Solomon remains ostracized by her family as an outcast but the sense of foreboding can never fully diminish. “If they knew exactly where I was today, they would surely kill me. I know that,” she claimed.
During her time in Canada, Solomon was exposed to information about the Jewish people and Jewish history. “I started reading the Jewish bible and I realized that a long time before Muhammad and Islam Jews lived in the area. The power of truth changed me,” she continued.
So inspired had Solomon become from the material she was exploring, she decided to get two prominent tatoos in Hebrew saying, “Jesus is the messiah’ on her right arm and ‘Israel’ on her forearm.
Over the last few days, Solomon has been staying in Ramallah and says that while she has to be vigilant about displaying her tattoos in public, she does not fear the city’s streets.
Nevertheless, she has encountered experiences in which she has been the subject of abuse.
“A young Palestinian who saw my tattoos spat on me, but I’m not scared,” she said before highlighting the hypocrisy in Palestinian society of boycotting Israeli goods while using their essential products.
“Among Palestinians, there are calls to boycott Israeli products, but phones and medicines that are used by them are products of Israel,” she said.
Solomon says she recognizes Palestinians have a right to exists as an equal minority with rights granted under Israeli sovereignty, but she rejects the notion of a two-state solution.
“I don’t believe in a two-state solution because I see what happens in the West Bank. There are pictures hung in the streets of terrorists who are considered to be heroes. The Palestinian people don’t want peace, they glorify the intifada,” she concluded.