Jerusalem Post’s editorial, Justice delayed long enough in World Vision Hamas case appearing on Monday 15 February 2021 asks, “Which version is true? Is my son Mohammad El Halabi an innocent man or a terrorist?”

I  have the righteous answer.

My dear son, Mohammad  El Halabi, incarcerated in Ramon prison since 2016 is innocent.

A parent knows the soul of the child. It is what we parent have given our lives to: to nourish and nurture our children’s bodies and souls.  I know my son. He was innocent before the arrest and after.

How do I know? Why am I so certain? I know this with certainty because innocence is  integral to integrity and truth. My son is a good man, a man of integrity.

Innocence shines like the sun. Even when clouds cover the sun, it shines. When my son’s life is darkened by the cloud of false accusation, his innocence always steadfastly shines.

I did not need the proof of  Mohammed’s innocence that was provided by the investigations conducted by the Australian government and World Vision that determined not a cent of aid monies were channeled to Hamas, let alone the phantasmagorical millions of dollars according to the  accusations by Shin Bet.

Mohammad was offered a plea bargain of three years imprisonment and of course he refused it.

Why?

Why would he not grab the chance to accept knowing that after three years he would  be once again in the arms of his agonising mother, in the arms of his beloved wife, be able to hold in his arms the treasures of his heart- his five children?

Why?

Because he is an innocent man. Because as a man of integrity he would have to admit to the lie that he was guilty. How then  could he face his family as a liar? What great lesson of life would he be teaching his  young children? That a lie has more power than the truth? That honour is a bargaining chip?

As my Jewish brothers and sisters are aware the Talmud states, “The Holy One, blessed be He, hates a person which says one thing with his mouth and another in his heart”

And in my holy faith we are warned, “Avoid falsehood. For it may appear to be a way of salvation, whereas in reality it leads to destruction.”

Better for Mohammad to suffer the torture and degradation of prison, than to never walk free from suffering the degradation of his soul.

Israelis know well the destruction, the horror and the lethal consequences of  lies.

The Nazis rounded up innocent Jewish men, women and children, incarcerated them in prisons such as Auschwitz, Belsen, Buchenwald, Terezin,Treblinka, under the false and antiSemitic allegations that Jews were subhuman and responsible for Germany’s social and economic problems.

Surely, we Palestinians and Israelis share a  common humanity that is held together by the principles of Truth, Compassion,  Justice and Love.

My son Mohammed  lives by those principles in his personal and family life and in his dedicated work for the vulnerable as  the director of  World Vision in the West Bank and Gaza.

For this, the United Nations honoured him as a Humanitarian Hero.

He should be freed on his terms: the Truth of his innocence. Now.

His 157th court appearance will be on 3 March 2021.