Sheikh Raed Salah is one of the heads of the Islamic movement in Israel. He definitely likes to draw attention and to make fiery anti-Israel speeches. A couple of months ago, he was finally charged with incitement to violence and racism. Among other things, he said:
“They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks. Our blood has passed from one ‘general terrorist’ to another ‘general terrorist.'”
He also said, “We are not those who ate bread dipped in children’s blood.”
Nice, huh? I wonder if he’s up to date on paying his taxes. Somebody should check.
Well, that was last month’s news. This week the Sheikh who is still free to go about and give speeches had more to say “during a press conference he convened in Jerusalem to respond to voices calling for the expulsion of Israeli residents of the city who participate in terror activities against Israel.”
“Those calling for the expulsion of Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem are hysterical and stupid and belong in the trash can,” Salah said at the conference.
He went on to deny any Israeli or Jewish historical claim to the city, denying that there ever existed a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount.
“The claims of the Jews are big lies and they have no right to any speck of dust here,” he said.
Israel, he claimed, was carrying out extensive digs under al-Aqsa mosque, and was hiding destructive tunnels under the compound which had already caused damage to the mosque and several houses in the Muslim Quarter.
“I think that we are at a critical time. We believe that al-Aqsa is in danger and that it is under occupation, and we believe that Jerusalem is in danger because it is under occupation,” Salah said. “Jerusalem is not only houses – it is faith, it is history, it is a culture, it is a present, a future and an eternal right that we will not relinquish.”
Sounds to me like a call to war.
Israel is an amazing democracy that they allow incitement to civil war by its own citizens.
I had a scary vision of the future earlier today, one where Israel becomes full of the same type of sectarian strife that we see right now in Iraq. Where the violence and suicide attacks are so pervasive that you hear about dozens of dead every couple of dead thanks to yet another attack.
People like this man and perhaps even he himself will be the ones who lead such a civil war. Israel should take steps to protect itself now by enacting laws that strictly prohibit this type of incitement. It’s been going on for years with Israel’s Arab MKs who don’t belong to mainstream political parties and it has led to nothing less than Arab Israeli MKs going off to Syria and Lebanon to support Israel’s enemies even in times of war. Here we have another front opening up, one where an Arab religious leader is calling for Arabs inside Israel to take active steps to violence against…well, against the Jewish Israelies. There is no amount of political correctness or defense of democratic values that can permit this type of incitement (should I call it fascism?).
And no, this should not be exclusive to Arab Israelis, the law should apply to all.
UPDATE: For some weeks, Arabs in northern Israel have been stoning cars as they drive through parts of the Galilee. This is definitely part and parcel of the incitement by Salah and some of the Arab MKs.