In response to a wave of criticism for his insensitivity, al-Hija, like many Palestinians, chose the offense (and offensive, his response truly is):
"The media reported that after the bodies of the three murdered boys were found, I posted my Facebook status which allegedly mocked the incident and uploaded a picture of the murdered boys. This is a crude and manipulative distortion, which caused a wave of criticism and threats towards me. This is the truth: I posted the status the day after the kidnapping, on June 13, and it did not include the pictures of the boys. It was a kind of black humor, a bad joke, so I deleted the status a few hours later on my own initiative.”
"I hurt over the murders of the three boys just as much as I hurt over the murder of Palestinians, including children and youths who were killed in Operation Brother’s Keeper. It is unfortunate that some of my fellow students and officials at the Technion were pulled into impassioned reactions. It is clear that some of the harsh responses and the violence come from racism and prejudice.”I won't speak to al-Hija - to him, I have nothing to say. The anger that chokes me at all that Israel gives this "student" makes it difficult to breathe.
I will address the Technion of Haifa. Did you know that the Technion's medical school is located in Bat Galim, located at the foot of the beautiful Carmel Mountain...Bat Galim is also the name of Gilad's mother. God works in such amazing ways...
The medical school is named in honor of Ruth and Bruce Rappaport in gratitude for the millions of dollars they donated to Jewish and non-Jewish causes, and for generous donations to establish the school itself. I can't help but wonder how they would feel to know their money is going to help someone like Murad Abu al-Hija become a doctor.
I was just in Rambam hospital - while there, I was seen by three doctors. Two were Jewish (one from Texas) and one was an Arab. What an incredible opportunity Israel's Arabs are given to learn at Israel's finest universities - usually at a fraction of the cost of what Israeli students pay and most definitely with a little help from the universities' accepting lower grade requirements.
The government has special programs to help encourage the university to accept "minority" students and while I'm all in favor of helping minorities, I cringe at the thought that we are helping some insensitive jerk who can celebrate the kidnapping (and the murders, if you believe the media's timing and not al-Hija's excuses) of three innocent boys.
The Technion should be commended for its egalitarian attempts to find the best students from all communities and it is important for Israel's future that we have doctors from all walks of life, financially, socially, culturally, and even religiously. When Amira went for an interview at Ben Gurion University - her grades and test scores were certainly high enough), she was interviewed and the crux of the interview focused more on her and their perceived prejudices against religious Jews than her qualifications.
My daughter who is a loving mother and wife, daughter and sister, is smart and caring and would have made an incredible doctor. Instead, through the twisted logic of double standards, we are educating Murad Abu al-Hija to be a doctor.
I can promise you, if I'm ever in Rambam or any other hospital and I see a name tag that says al-Hija's name, I will refuse treatment. I would rather crawl to another hospital than allow this person to treat me. I would never trust that he wouldn't consider damaging my health or taking my life as another "goal for Palestine."
The only distortion here comes from al-Hija himself; the only prejudice and racism is from him as well. Regardless of whether he was celebrating the kidnapping of three innocent boys or the murder of three innocent boys, he deserves to be kicked out of the school permanently. A man who celebrates the suffering (and murders) of others does not deserve our generosity and he certainly does not have the makings of any doctor I would want to see in Israel.
Remove him from the student body as you would remove a cancerous growth.