Amnon Yitzchak-Shachar, who was born Ayman Abu-Zubuch in the Gaza town of Khan Younis, told Hidabrut what led him to leave his heritage and join his people’s enemies.
“It began when I was seven,” he said. “I felt I didn’t belong there. I felt my family wasn’t my family.”
In school, he was taught that Jews kill children and women and that whoever kills a Jew enters paradise. He was also taught to fight to the last drop of blood to get back stolen Palestinian land.
“I didn’t believe all this,” he said. “What I did believe was when the teacher said Jews have three legs.”
Noting that Israelis who came shopping in Gaza in those days did not have three legs, he determined that the teacher must have meant Jews living in Israel. He duly hopped onto a bus taking workers to Israel and discovered it was a lie.
Eventually, he left home and fled to Israel.
Asked why he wanted to be Jewish, he said, “It’s the soul… I wanted very badly to be part of the Chosen People, to have the Shabbos, the Yomim Tovim, to be close to Hashem. I found myself in a dark place… I felt I had to get to that light.”