RECOMMENDED READING: “Doing God’s Work: A Look At The Islamic Movement In Israel ”


Israeli Arab analyst Dr. Nuhad Ali has published a an article titled “Doing God’s work: A look at the Islamic Movement in Israel” that looks at the history of the movement essentially representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel. The article begins:

March 13, 2015 Much has been said in the Israeli media about the union between the four Arab parties leading up to the March 17 election. But while the Jewish-Arab Hadash party, nationalist Balad and Ahmad Tibi’s Ta’al are well-known to most Israeli Jews, Ra’am (United Arab List) remains something of a mystery. And when we do hear about them? It’s usually in the context of ‘the Islamists’ and how they’re stances on women, polygamy and the LGBTQ community affect the Joint Arab List.

Much less attention is paid to the decision by Ra’am — which forms the parliamentary framework for the southern branch of the Islamic Movement — to unite with Communists, secularists, feminists, Jews and others. The very decision of the southern branch to run for the Knesset is not self-evident, especially in such a framework.

The heads of the southern branch themselves have stated that the establishment of the Joint List does not mean there are no more ideological differences between the parties. On the contrary, they state that ‘this is a moment of political maturity, where we have learned to agree on the similarities between us, and disagree on the differences,’ and clarify that ‘we are not imposing our opinions on our partners, and we will not allow them to impose theirs on us.’ They view the Joint List as a protest by the Arab public, as well as an attempt to improve its status among the Israeli public.

But who is ‘The Islamic Movement in ‘48 Palestine,’ as it is known by its members? What is its origins? What differentiates the southern branch, which is participating in the elections under the leadership of Masud Ganaim, from the northern one, led by Sheikh Raed Salah, which boycotts the elections? The answers to these questions can be found in the history of the movement’s growth throughout the 20th century, and the division that occurred between its two branches, which began with Ra’am’s participation in the 1996 elections.”

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW reported in late January that the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet had shut down three Islamic charities for allegedly inciting violence against Jews and Israeli security forces. According to the Israel Hayom report, the charities were created in October 2014 by the northern branch of the Islamic movement in Israel.

In June 2014, the GMBDW reported on claims by the Shin Bet that a senior Hamas official arrested in April had admitted that Hamas is exploiting the Islamic Movement in Israel to promote its interests in Jerusalem. We had reported a few days earlier that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to outlaw the “Northern branch” of the Islamic Movement headed by Raed Salah and essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood.

For profile on Raed Salah, go here.

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