RECOMMENDED READING: “The Rise Of Raed Salah, Israel’s Islamist Leader Who Wants Jerusalem At The Heart Of A Caliphate”


Israeli media has published a profile of Israeli Muslim Brotherhood leader Raed Sarah titled “The rise of Raed Salah, Israel’s Islamist leader who wants Jerusalem at the heart of a caliphate.” The Times of Israel profile begins:

In 2001, Sheikh Raed Salah did something almost unheard of in the Arab world: He voluntarily relinquished power.

Since 1989, he had served as mayor of Israel’s second-largest Arab city, Umm al-Fahm. He and his organization — the now-outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement — had transformed the city from a communist powerhouse into the center of Islamist life in Israel.

But, he said, it was time for him to step away from politics and concentrate his energies on one particular goal — the defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from an ostensible Israeli state plan to destroy it.

On Tuesday morning, Salah was taken into custody by police on suspicion of incitement. Jewish Israeli politicians from the left and right celebrated the move, while Arab Israelis opposed it. If he is imprisoned, it will be his fourth stint in Israeli jail, his third for incitement charges.

In 2015, his movement was outlawed over what Israel said was ‘a mendacious campaign of incitement under the heading ‘Al-Aqsa is in danger.’’

Sheikh Raed Salah, center, smiles as he arrives at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on August 15, 2017. (AFP/JACK GUEZ)

Yet, since 2015, Salah has been gaining in popularity among Arab Israelis, according to one expert — and the more the security services are seen as persecuting him, the more he is perceived as a martyr sacrificing his freedom for Muslims’ most potent national-religious symbol between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

Read the rest here.

In January 2017, the GMBDW reported that Salah has been released from prison after serving a nine-month sentence for incitement to violence and racism. The GMBDW reported in November 2015 that an Israeli court had sentenced Raed Salah, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel, to 11 months jail for his role in inciting the current violence in Israel. GMBDW reporting on Salah has included:

  • In October 2015, we reported on Raed Salah and the key role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel in the wave of violence that gripped the country at that time.
  • In August 2015, 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.

For a profile of the Islamic Movement in Israel, go here.

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