Israel – Hands Off Sheikh Ra’ed Salah!

Condemn Netanayhu, Father and Son for Siding With the Nazis in the US Against the Anti-Fascists

By: Yossi Schwartz (The Internationalist Socialist League – Israel / Occupied Palestine)

In November 2015, based on the 1945 British Defense (Emergency) Statutes, the Israeli Security Cabinet declared the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, an illegal organization. These statutes have been used by Israel since the founding of the state, mostly against Palestinians.

These regulations grant extraordinary powers of various types to the Executive Authority, that does not have to prove in court any allegations it made against a person or organization. When these regulations were initiated as response to the Jewish revolt against the British for refusing mass immigration of Jews to Palestine, the Zionists “reacted with fury and very determinedly. This reaction is understandable in light of the extreme impact on human rights issuing from them. The regulations contain no provisions for balancing security needs against human rights. They grant the regime nearly total, unaccountable discretion (even though the position of the Supreme Court on this point was subsequently softened when it determined that any discretion is by its nature limited) and they have no critiquing mechanism against misuse of authority”.[1] 

In January 2017 Ra’ed Salah was released from prison after serving nine months following his conviction for defending the Mosques In alQuds (Jerusalem), the Zionist kangaroo court convicted him for inciting violence and racism in a sermon he delivered in East Jerusalem in 2007.

In his sermon in the Wadi Joz neighborhood of east Jerusalem he said “Now we are in this blessed and pure place, a place of blessing and purity, if not for the disturbances and obstruction that has befallen us by the Israeli conquest which will be removed, please God, just as other such occupations were removed in the past.’’[2]

Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, was arrested again on early Tuesday morning on suspicion of inciting terrorism. According to the police “on several different occasions—all of them taking place after the (Islamic Movement’s) northern branch was outlawed the Sheikh made public comments relating to the movement’s worldview, and some of his statements were published in the media as well. An examination of all the material raises suspicion of (security) offenses that were carried out and, as a result, an investigation was authorized.”[3]

The police asked for an 8 day extension of his detention for further investigation, but the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court at first extended his remand by three days.

The specific allegation is that Sheikh Ra’ed Salah’s remarks delivered in a speech last month at the funeral of three Israeli Arab gunmen who killed two police officers at the alAqsa compound. In the speech, the police claim he praised the attackers and asked others to follow their example.

Denying that he called for killing policemen Salah said during his court hearing: “I told the investigators I teach at mosques, and I told them (my remarks) were Islamic insights we got from the Sunni Quran”.

There is no reason to doubt the Sheikh. The real reason behind his arrest is obviously the pressure of the Israeli government on the police following its defeat over the struggle in defense of the Mosques where Sheikh Ra’ed Salah was a leading figure of the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli actions.

In Court Salah also said:

“You are not prosecuting me, you are prosecuting the Quran. What you’re doing is an expression to the continued persecution of our public by the Israeli government. This is political persecution. This is an attempt to get the media to talk about my arrest.”

Jamal Zahalka of Balad Party (Joint List) said the arrest was “vengeful” and “political” in nature and “meant to silence (Salah) in an effort to limit and minimize the Arab public’s freedom of political activity.” 

“I call on all those who oppose fascism to wake up and protest. These arrests won’t deter us and we will continue with our just struggle to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from an insane government that supports actions meant to harm the mosque,” Zahalka added.

On Friday an Israeli court in Rishon LeZion extended his detention to four days, on grounds that it is necessary to question him on suspicion of inciting terrorism and violence and supporting a banned organization.

We support Zahalka’s call and we have to demand from Hadash and the Southern Islamic Movement to join the call –  Israel – hands off Sheikh Raed Salah!

The detention of Ra’ed Salah takes place in Israel at a time that its prime minister did not condemn for three whole days the Nazi march in Virginia – a march aimed at spreading terror in the hearts of people of color, Muslims, Jews and many others. 

As Bradley Burston on Aug 17, 2017 wrote in Haaretz:

“This is the message of Netanyahu’s silence: I am not the prime minister of the Jewish people. I am the prime minister of all of the Jewish people who are right-wing, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian, pro-Me.

In truth, there should be nothing more straightforward for a prime minister of Israel than to condemn Nazism and overt, unvarnished explosions of anti-Semitism wherever and whenever they appear.

But for three solid days, Netanyahu, Mr. Holocaust himself, who has something to say about just about everything, had nothing whatsoever to say about Nazis in Charlottesville. He posted about the death of the world’s oldest man, he posted about his “week of works,” he compared Israel’s economy favorably with that of Venezuela.

And when, at long last, he decided to post something about Charlottesville, he and his staff managed to compose a tweet so mealy-mouthed, that it far surpassed Trump’s outrageous original statement for sheer opacity and intentional lack of focus.[4]

Israel is a state where while the police is persecuting Sheikh Ra’ed for allegedly supporting terrorism, Yair Nethanyahu, the son of the prime minister, echoed Trump and his father’s disgusting statements on the Nazi march, saying that the real danger are the AntiNazis who hate Israel, while the Nzais are a thing of the past. Like his father who a few months ago claimed that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin alHuseini was the one to convince Hitler to exterminate the Jews, distorting history in what can be only interpreted as aiding Nazi propaganda.

Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have signed international conventions banning hate speech. Israel and France forbid the sale of Nazi items like swastikas and flags. But it is a place where the Prime Minister and his son, instead of calling to fight the Nazis when they are still small in numbers, tell the Jews to fight the Anti-Nazis instead.

Anyone who follows Benjamin Netanyahu’s ties to the fascist movements in Europe cannot be surprised by the possibility that the Netanyahus are motivated by the notion that Anti-Semitism is good for Israel as it will force Jews to emigrate and perhaps even join the settlers. It is also possible that their statement reflect their sympathy to Trump but it certainly is motivated by racist Islamophobia.

[1] The Israeli Democracy Institution

[2] The Jerusalem Post January 17′, 2017



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