Raed Salah And The Israeli Muslim Brotherhood; At The Heart Of The Current Violence

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Various media are reporting on the key role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel in the current violence that has gripped the country. According to a Times of Israel report, the main beneficiary of the violence is the so-called northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement and its leader Raed Salah:

October 11 2015 Meanwhile in the West Bank, the protests have actually declined somewhat, at least as of this writing. After a stormy Friday, Saturday saw smaller, milder demonstrations. In Ramallah, Nablus and other northern areas of the West Bank, the picture was far from that of an intifada, in part because of the PA’s activities. The main focus of protest on Saturday was Hebron, long a Hamas stronghold.

But the main popular protests are now taking place inside Israel, among Israeli Arabs. And the main beneficiary is that veteran partner of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Raed Salah and his northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement. For years, Salah has tried to utilize the Temple Mount to inflame the Arab Palestinian street. Now he’s finally managed to do so. “The defender of Al-Aqsa,” as Salah is known, continues to warn against the ostensible plans of the Jews to harm the mosque, vowing that he is prepared to do anything to “protect it.” His activists are everywhere in Arab towns and villages, successfully fomenting friction against Israel.

On September 20, Salah predicted the beginning of a new “Intifada” (uprising) if Israel continued what he called “the Spatial and Temporal division of Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to deliberate plans”:

September 20, 2015 Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, expected the outbreak of a 3rd Intifada (Palestinian uprising) in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem if things remain as they are.

‘If the Israeli violations continue against Al-Aqsa Mosque, that might lead to a 3rd Intifada in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem,’ Salah said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

He warned that Israel is working on the Spatial and Temporal division of Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to deliberate plans.

‘The response on the Arabic and Islamic level lies in putting pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop its arbitrary actions against Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem,’ Salah said. ‘We will keep knocking on all doors, to raise the voice of Jerusalem.’

Read the rest here. 

On October 5, Salah declared that the new Intifada had begun in Jerusalem:

October 5, 2015 Head of the Islamic Movement Inside the 1948 Territories Sheikh Raed Salah said a new intifada had really just begun in the occupied City of Jerusalem.

The Israeli atrocities practiced on the Palestinians in Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank led to a popular anger, said Salah.

‘There is a popular common uprising that no one can expect,’ said he.

We are facing a new era of holding tight to the Palestinian national constants,’ added Salah, confirming that Palestinians will never concede their rights.

On October 7, Islamist media reported that Salah had blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the escalating violence and said that Palestinians should ignore “Arab calls” for calm stating  ‘It is impossible to be silent about what is going on in Al-Aqsa Mosque. On October 11, Salah said that his organization had “a package of plans ready be unleashed immediately” in response to what he called “continued Israeli escalation” against the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Recent GMBDW report on Raed Salah and the Islamic movement has included:

  • At the end of August, we reported that Israel’s  Internal Security minister had asked the Minister of Defense to urgently ban two organizations operating on the Temple Mount and  funded by the Islamic Movement. According to another Israeli media report at the time, Raed Salah spoke out against the move saying that Arabs who attack police and Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount represent “the ‘honor’ of the Muslim nation and the Arab world”
  • We reported in January 2015 that the internal security service Shin Bet had shut down three Islamic charities for allegedly inciting violence against Jews and Israeli security forces. According an Israel Hayom report, the charities were created in October 2014 by the northern branch of the Islamic movement in Israel.
  • In June 2014, we 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..

Raed Salah is the leader of the so-called Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially comprising the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. He is noted for often alleging that Israel is conspiring to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque.)

For profile on Raed Salah, go here.

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 representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel. 

At the beginning of the violence, former diplomat and politician Moshe Arens wrote an editorial for the Israeli Haarertz newspaper asking “Why has Raed Salah been allowed to promote his lies for years?” The piece begins:

September 22, 2015 Why has Raed Salah been allowed to promote his lies for years? Why has the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, a subversive, seditious movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel, not been outlawed?

For over 10 years Raed Salah has held an annual demonstration in the city of Umm al-Fahm under the banner of ‘Al-Aqsa is in danger.’ At these demonstrations there is blatant incitement against the State of Israel, accusing it of planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Initially these demonstrations were attended by hundreds, then by thousands and in recent years by several tens of thousands.

Slowly but surely, Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, succeeded in getting his message across. It was a message that reverberated in the hearts of Muslims around the world: One of the most holy sites of Islam, the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, was in danger of being destroyed by Israel. The message is a lie.

This lie has been spread throughout the Islamic world very effectively, and is lighting a fire that will be difficult to extinguish. It is arousing anger in Arab capitals. The talk of Israeli changes in the status quo on the Temple Mount is just icing on the propaganda cake, an attempt to stop Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, as a first step to really changing the status quo there and keeping Jews off the Temple Mount. It is a minor charge compared to the real thrust of Salah’s attack on Israel, that it intends to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque, an allegation which has led to the daily violence in Jerusalem and protests from around the world. Salah has succeeded.

Read the rest here.

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