[News] Israel bans Islamic party in crackdown on Palestinian citizens
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 18 11:35:36 EST 2015
Israel bans Islamic party in crackdown on Palestinian citizens
Charlotte Silver <https://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver>
17 November 2015
In a major escalation of its crackdown on Palestinian citizens
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/palestinians-israel> in the
country, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlawed
<http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.686521> the Northern Branch of the
Islamic Movement in Israel
The draconian measure means that association, membership or assistance
to the party will now be considered a criminal offense.
In July, Israel issued travel bans
on the movement’s leader Sheikh Raed Salah
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/raed-salah> and two other prominent
Israeli police conducted
overnight raids on the group’s offices, Monday, confiscating computers
and seizing documents and cash.
A total of 17 branches were closed, including in Umm al-Fahm, Jaffa,
Nazareth, Kufr Kana, Bir al-Saba and Rahat, all cities in present-day
Israel with large Palestinian populations.
Police also froze the movement’s bank accounts and the government may
now seize other property.
Haneen Zoabi <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/haneen-zoabi>, a
Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of parliament for the Joint
List <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/joint-list>, said
that the timing of the move, just days after the attacks in Paris, was
Zoabi accused Netanyahu of exploiting the massacre to paint Palestinians
struggling for their legitimate rights as no different from the ISIS
gunmen and bombers who killed 130 people.
Netanyahu accuses the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement of
“incitement” for focusing on the danger to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque
from Israeli government-backed groups whose ultimate declared goal
is to replace the Islamic holy site with a Jewish temple
Last month, Isaac Herzog
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/isaac-herzog>, leader of the
Zionist Union, Israel’s ostensibly dovish official opposition, also
for the group to be outlawed.
On Tuesday, the Zionist Union
<http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/> the decision and
admonished Netanyahu for not doing it sooner.
But two weeks ago, Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/shin-bet> secret police told the
government <http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.683671> he had
no evidence linking the group to terrorism and objected to proposals to
Pursued by state
The Islamic Movement in Israel was founded in the 1970s but split in
1996. While the Northern Branch observes a complete boycott of Israel’s
institutions, the Southern Branch participates in elections.
Three members of the Southern Branch serve as lawmakers in the Israeli
parliament, as members of the Joint List, an alliance of Palestinian and
Israeli political parties.
The ban on the extra-parliamentary Northern Branch will likely encourage
Israeli politicians seeking to outlaw
even Arab parties that are represented in parliament.
The movement’s leader Raed Salah, a former mayor of Umm al-Fahm, has
long been targeted by the Israeli state.
Last month, a court rejected Salah’s appeal
against an 11-month prison sentence he received in March 2014.
The conviction was for supposed “incitement to violence
over a speech he delivered in 2007.
Ahmed Tibi, a member of the Israeli parliament for the Joint Arab List,
said the court
had been “influenced by the impassioned public atmosphere.”
Salah was previously jailed for two years in 2003 after he was convicted
for supporting “terrorism,” over fundraising for charities in the
occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In an extensive 2007 interview
with the /Journal of Palestine Studies/, Salah said, “To this day I
don’t know the real reasons for my arrest and imprisonment. Maybe it had
something to do with our role in thwarting Israel’s schemes targeting
al-Aqsa mosque through our rehabilitation and restoration works, even
though we worked under the umbrella of the al-Awqaf Committee and the
al-Aqsa Mosque Restoration Committee” – bodies recognized by Israel that
manage the holy site.
Salah also notes that long before his trial in 2003, then-Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ariel-sharon> had
explicitly called for outlawing the Islamic Movement.
The ban imposed this week further erodes the distinction between how
Israel treats Palestinians who live under military occupation in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, on the one hand, and the 1.5 million in
present-day Israel, on the other, who ostensibly enjoy more civil and
political rights, even if not on a par with Jews
In June 2011, Salah was detained in the UK after interior minister
Theresa May moved to bar him from the country where he was due to give
As The Electronic Intifada reported, May’s claim that Salah had written
an anti-Semitic poem was based on fabrications
provided by an Israel lobby group
Ten months later, a UK court overturned the ban
finding no evidence to support it and completely vindicating Salah.
/Ali Abunimah contributed research and translation./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News