Raed Salah, Who Spread Islamism among Arab Israelis, Goes to Jail

March 24 2020

Last month, an Israeli court sentenced the jihadist leader Raed Salah to 28 months in prison for his role in inciting the 2017 terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, in which his followers murdered two Druze police officers. Born in 1954, Salah—whose father and two brothers served in the Israeli police—was part of a wave of Arabs who were drawn into the Muslim Brotherhood, and has himself done as much as anyone to promote its ideology among his fellow Arab citizens of the Jewish state. Shaul Bartal explains:

After the Six-Day War, young Israeli Arab Muslims were able to attend religious institutions in the West Bank that were under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood. Salah . . . became part of the original nucleus of the Islamist cell at Hebron College (now Hebron University), which eventually turned pro-Hamas. Another member of that cell was Salah al-Aruri, the founder of Hamas’s military wing and now deputy head of its political bureau.

Salah was arrested for the first time in 1981 for joining [an] organization set up by Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish [that later became] the Islamic Movement in Israel. [In the 1990s] he began to formulate his worldview, which holds that Muslims in Israel must detach completely from governmental institutions and that the Islamic Movement must not take part in elections to the Knesset. That stance led to a division of the Islamic Movement into the Southern Branch, headed by Sheikh Darwish, and the more radical Northern Branch, led by Salah.

Salah’s speeches are laced with anti-Semitism, and for that reason he was barred from entering Britain in 2012, although he was granted entry after an appeal. His message contains several consistent themes: the Jews aim to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslims are duty-bound to defend it by any means necessary; the struggle between Jews and Muslims is an eternal one that appears in the Quran; the Palestinian nakba is comparable to the Holocaust; and “martyrs” [i.e. those who die committing terrorist attacks], are praiseworthy and will only multiply on the path of jihad until victory.

Salah later founded the Murabitun and Murabitat, two groups responsible for constant agitation and harassment of Jews on the Temple Mount, and his organization maintains close and friendly ties with Hamas.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Hamas, Islamic Movement, Israeli Arabs, Temple Mount, Terrorism

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy