Son of terror victim calls on world scouts to drop Palestinian association

(JTA) – The son of an American man killed in a Jerusalem terror attack has called on the world scouting organization to drop the membership of the Palestinian branch, which has glorified his father’s killer.

The Palestinian Scout Association, which was accepted six months ago as full member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, named its leadership training course that started last week after the killer of Richard Lakin. 

Publicity for the Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course shows Alyan in a Palestinian scouts uniform. The Palestinian branch had been a non-voting conditional member of the world body for 10 years.

“Should you allow the Palestinian Scout Association to keep its membership in the World Organization of the Scout Movement at the same time as they are presenting a murderer as a role model for future scout leaders, then your organization is effectively a co-sponsor of this terror promoting course,” Micah Lakin Avni, of Tel Aviv, wrote to the world scouting organization.

Richard Lakin and two others were killed last October in a stabbing spree aboard a Jerusalem bus by Alyan and an accomplice. Lakin moved to Israel from Connecticut in 1983 and held dual American and Israeli citizenship. More than 10 people were wounded in the attack. Alyan was killed and his accomplice was captured; Balal Abu Gaanam was sentenced to three life sentences.

“As long as Palestinian leaders nurture a culture of hate, encouraging school children to go out and kill, more violence is inevitable,” Lakin Avni also wrote to the scouting group. “By encouraging hatred, they distance all of us from the love of and belief in peaceful coexistence for which my father stood.”

The watchdog website Palestinian Media Watch first highlighted the Palestinian scouts’ leadership course. It also called on the World Organization of the Scout Movement to cancel the membership of the Palestinian Scout Association.

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