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the shooter is sorry

From Page Six
While in prison, Khatib claimed he was sorry for shooting Rabbi Blumenfeld, an assertion that was viewed with more than a bit of cynicism in Israel.

"It is amazing," Laura Blumenfeld, a Washington Post reporter, told PAGE SIX. "Some people questioned [Khatib's] remorse while he was in prison -- they said he only wanted to get out. But since he left prison, he is still apologizing for shooting my father." In a strange twist, Khatib, jailed for a terrorist crime, is now a peacenik. "He is now speaking to Arab groups, telling them that the only way is peace [in the Middle East]. He says he wants to be a diplomat."

Israel's largest circulation magazine, Yidiot Aharonot, featured Khatib on its cover in January, quoting him as saying, "Sorry I shot you Mr. Blumenfeld," in Hebrew. "It is just amazing," Blumenfeld said. "Omar called me to say he wanted to be in touch with me and at first I was worried -- I thought he might be angry with me and try to kill me. But he was just calling to say he was out of prison. My father once sent him a pen in prison with a note that said, 'The pen is mightier than the sword,' and [Khatib] has taken that to heart."

Three days after Khatib's release last month, he met with Yasser Arafat "to try to tell him to work things out with Israel," Blumenfeld said. "It is so hard to be hopeful in these dark times. It is amazing and ironic that he would now fight for peace and decry terrorism." As for the possibility of meeting him, Blumenfeld says she doesn't want to, but that her father one day might.

The HBO film will be directed by Julie Taymor, produced by Forrest Gump veteran Wendy Finerman, and is being written by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner.

HBO isn't the only fan of the book. Bill Clinton contacted Blumenfeld several months ago and said he and Hillary were fans. "[Clinton] asked for two signed copies," Blumenfeld said. "One for himself and one for Nelson Mandela."

From The Jewish Week
Laura Blumenfeld is getting more than her just revenge. She’s getting a film deal with an all-star production lineup.

Her 2002 book Revenge: A Story of Hope -- about her search for the terrorist who shot her father -- is being made into an HBO television film. Blumenfeld is, not surprisingly, “amazed and happy and thrilled. I can’t wait to see what they do.” Although she is officially on board as a consultant, she says, “I won’t be involved much at all. I have complete faith in their interpretation.”

Taymor read Revenge and loved it, and then got Kushner involved. Blumenfeld’s family and friends suggest that she be played by Julia Roberts or Natalie Portman, that her father, Rabbi David Blumenfeld, be played by Gene Hackman, and they wouldn’t mind at all if Susan Sarandon play her mother.

Blumenfeld got her revenge by restoring her father’s humanity in the eyes of the shooter, Omar Khatib. In January, Khatib was released from prison. He was recently featured on the cover of an Israeli newspaper, photographed at the site of the 1986 shooting; the headline reads, “Sorry that I shot you, Mr. Blumenfeld.” Since leaving prison, Khatib has been speaking to Palestinian groups, promoting peaceful contact with Israelis rather than violence as a way for Palestinians to gain their rights.

A paperback edition of Revenge is due out April 1, with an updated ending reflecting recent events.

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