The surprising reason a Muslim from Gaza is now a Jew in Israel

by Avi Abelow

What a story! Even though he grew up in Gaza being taught to hate Jews, he ended up running away to Israel to convert and become a Jew! He is not alone.

Meet Yitzchak Shachar

Yes, Yitzchak Shachar is NOT the name he was given at birth, it is the Jewish name he took on after he converted to Judaism. Not many Muslims convert to Judaism, but Shachar is not alone.

What is unique about Shachar’s story is that he was a kid when he came to the realization that something was very wrong with what his Muslim society in Gaza taught him. He simply could not accept the lies they taught him about the Jews as the truth. How many children have the fortitude to question those types of lessons? Especially when his own father beats those messages into him as well.

Not Alone

There are a number of Muslims, and Muslims from Gaza, who have converted to Judaism.

Just a few months ago I met a Muslim from Gaza who was in the process of converting to Judaism. His story was fascinating. His family in Gaza was persecuted by Hamas because they were associated with the Palestinian Authority. So his father started secretly helping the Israeli army in fighting Hamas. Because his life was in danger, the whole family resettled in Israel. Thankfully they were now safe living as Muslims in Israel. However, all three boys of the family grew to really love Israel and love Judaism as well. All three boys decided to convert to Judaism. Today they are all Jews. Born in Gaza. Muslim parents. Yet, three boys all Israeli Jews.

Mark Halawa

Another famous story is about the Kuwaiti Muslim, “palestinian” refugee, who today lives as a religious Jew in Jerusalem. That is a definite must-watch story as well.

How a Kuwaiti Muslim discovered his Jewish roots

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