Peace move by father of stab victim

By Ben Lynfield, March 3, 2011
Follow The JC on Twitter

The father of a young man killed in one of the most egregious incidents of anti-Arab racial violence in recent years is reaching out to Israeli Jews and calling for a joint Jewish-Arab campaign against racism.

"People ask me, why don't you feel vengeful towards Jews? I say I feel the opposite. I've made my relations with Jews stronger since this happened in order to battle racism,'' said Hussein Rawidi, whose son Hossam was stabbed to death in West Jerusalem two weeks ago.

According to the indictment filed on Sunday, Hossam Rawidi, 24, was speaking in Arabic with a friend when one of a group of four Jewish minors approached him calling out racist epithets including "Death to Arabs''.

The minors at first attacked the Arabs with their fists, but then one of them pulled out a barber-shop razor and slashed Hossam in the face and neck, according to the indictment. He then attacked Hossam's friend, injuring him in neck, the indictment says.

I do not feel vengeful towards Jews

The minors, aged 16 and 17, continued to punch and kick Hossam while shouting racist epithets, the indictment added. Hossam died in hospital.

The youth who wielded the razor was indicted for manslaughter, while the other three were charged with "assault causing harm in severe circumstances".

The death of his son prompted Hossam's father to reach out to left-wing Israelis. He spoke at a Zion Square rally against racism that drew about a 1,000 people last Saturday night. "I am starting to keep in touch with every Jew who isn't racist. Whoever supports me, I will support him. Whenever they invite me, I will speak,'' Mr Rawidi said.

    Last updated: 2:20pm, March 3 2011