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

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The son of Richard Lakin, an American man killed in a Jerusalem terror attack has called on the world Scout’s organization to drop the membership of the Palestinian Scouts, 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 which started last week after Lakin’s killer.

Publicity for the course, called the “Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course,” shows Alyan in a Palestinian scouts uniform. The Palestinian Scouts were a non-voting conditional member of the world body for ten years prior to its acceptance to full membership.

“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 wrote to the world Scouts organization.

Alyan was killed in the October 2015 attack, during which he and an accomplice boarded a bus in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing its riders. Two others were killed in the attack and more than 10 were wounded. Lakin moved to Israel from Connecticut in 1983 and held dual American and Israeli citizenships.

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

The watchdog website Palestine 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.