By Ted Belman
Haaretz reported that Netanyahu wants to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement then published this editorial:
Don’t ban the Islamic Movement
arguing Anti-incitement is rarely invoked against Jewish racists, but the long arm of the law seems to reach Arabs more easily.
The Kach movement, which was disqualified from running for Knesset because it preached racism, also operated as a terror group, whose members included Tomb of the Patriarchs murderer Baruch Goldstein, which is why it was designated as such in Israel and other countries. The northern faction of the Islamic Movement does not recognize the State of Israel. Its officials, particularly its leader Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, make slanderous remarks against the state, incite against its policies and support violent resistance by Palestinian groups. But parallel opinions against Arabs can be heard from extremist Jewish activists, rabbis and even MKs. While the sections of the law against incitement are rarely, if ever, invoked against Jewish racists, the long arm of law enforcement seems to reach Arabs more easily. The comparison to Kach not only distorts the facts, but broadens the definition of terror to an extent that puts the principles of democracy at risk.
First of all Zionism is not racism. The Arabs are our enemies and to wish to transfer them is not an instance of racism but of self preservation. Obviously Haaretz rejects this idea and removes it from public discourse.
The party that Netanyahu wants to ban makes “makes slanderous remarks against the state, incites against its policies and supports violent resistance by Palestinian groups.” Haaretz suggests “… parallel opinions against Arabs can be heard from extremist Jewish activists, rabbis and even MKs.” Not good enough. It should quote these opinions and make the case that they are parallel.
It then makes the charge that the law against incitement is brought to bear more easily against the Arabs than the Jews. Nadia Matar would beg to differ. Nadia Matar Explains Her Arrestand Nadia Matar’s “incitement” Letter. It turns out that charges of incitement are quite common against the Jewish Right but not the Jewish left. “Left-Wing Incitement Is Ignored“. OK but what about charges against the Arabs. I could find none.
Haaretz offers no support for this either “The comparison to Kach not only distorts the facts, but broadens the definition of terror to an extent that puts the principles of democracy at risk.” Nor do I understand what it is saying.
This at a time when those groups of Jewish terrorists that conduct “price tag” attacks are still designated as merely “unauthorized associations.
Its suggestion that the perpetrators of “price tag” attacks are “Jewish terrorists” is abominable. Vandalism even with a political motive, in no way amounts to terrorism.
Especially aggravating is the argument by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who said, “They’ve been banned in all the countries in the region,” apparently referring to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been designated a terror movement in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, the minister found a worthy role model in these countries, where democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are not quite guiding principles. In those countries speaking up against government leaders is considered a violation of the law. It isn’t clear, therefore, why the minister made do with their outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is pure sofistry. This group has been banned because it is seen as a threat to the regime.It is also a threat to Israel and must be banned. Haaretz is arguing that in the name of democracy we should not enforce the law.
The northern faction of the Islamic Movement is not a political party and does not participate in Israeli politics. It is a religious ideological movement, most of whose principles are repulsive to many Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike. But this disgust cannot be grounds for making it illegal. The government, which has already done enough to deepen the rift between Jews and Arabs, must allow the movement to continue operating legally.
The issue is not whether it is repulsive but whether it is likely to lead to violence. The answer is “of course”.