||Dear Supporter of Israel,
On September 9, 2001, the war of radical Islam against the State of Israel took on a dangerous new dimension.
On that day, Arab terrorist Muhammed Shaker Habashi strapped an explosive vest to his body and entered the train station in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya. Before security guards had the opportunity to stop him, he detonated himself on the crowded platform, killing three Israelis and wounding more than 90 others.
This suicide bombing, for all its tragically familiar hallmarks, differed in one critical element from those that had preceded it. Habashi had not crossed into Israel from the Palestinian Authority to murder Israeli citizens. He was himself an Israeli citizen, a resident of the Galilee town of Abu Snan.
For the first time, an Israeli Arab had successfully carried out a suicide bombing against his Jewish neighbors. That same month, the General Security Service (Shin Bet) arrested several other Israeli Arabs from the city of Umm al-Fahm on charges of having been recruited by the Hamas terrorist organization to carry out suicide bombings in Israel.
The Islamic Movement incites hatred and terror
The common thread that links these terrorists is the extremist Islamic Movement, led by radical fundamentalist Sheikh Ra'ad Salah. This organization, founded in Israel in the early 1970s and which today is under Salah's charismatic leadership, has had remarkable success in aggressively agitating against both the Israeli government and the Christian Arab community.
While ostensibly an advocate for the preservation of Islamic holy places, the Islamic Movement openly endorses Hamas and aspires to the violent destruction of the State of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in its place. This fundamentalist message is being actively and effectively disseminated by Salah and his associates with the goal of radicalizing the Israeli-Arab community against the Jewish State.
Salah, who asserts that "the Jews do not have a right of any kind in the Temple Mount area" and that "the Torah was forged," has assumed the role of Islamic defender of the Al-Aqsa Mosque against what he terms "the Zionist infidels." The Islamic Movement's green flags and radical messages have gone far toward shaping a Palestinian-Muslim, rather than an Israeli-Arab, identity among Israel's Arab citizens.
Taking full advantage of the reluctance of the Israeli authorities to prosecute incitement, the organization's pamphlets and speeches regularly present the Jews as "monkeys" and "snakes" whom it is legitimate to attack. A master of provocation, Salah has vigorously spread the lie for years that Israel is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in an effort to mobilize Islamic public opinion against the Jewish State. Salah's decade of militant warnings, and Israel's refusal to respond, has succeeded in convincing more and more Israeli-Arabs to take part in terror attacks:
||First suicide bombing by an Israeli Arab: Nahariya train station, September 9, 2001
- On September 25, 1996, the Islamic Movement sparked off days of violent rioting in Jerusalem to protest Israel's opening of the Western Wall Tunnel to tourists. Arabs heaved stones from atop the Temple Mount onto the Jews praying below, as Mosque loudspeakers called for Muslims to come and defend Al-Aqsa. More than 16 Israelis were killed in the week-long violence.
- In September 1999, three members of the Islamic Movement were killed while attempting to carry out a bombing aboard buses in Haifa and Tiberias.
- On September 29, 2000, the Islamic Movement led campaign against the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount culminated in Muslim rioting that spread throughout East Jerusalem and the territories and provided Arafat the opportunity to launch the current intifada.
- In March 2003, the Shin Bet arrested a cell of fundamentalist Israeli Muslims in Jaljuliya for operating the first explosives laboratory inside of Israel. The group planned to perpetrate a car bombing in an Israeli city.
- On October 4, 2003, Jamal Mahajaneh, an Islamic Movement member from Umm al-Fahm, transported the women terrorist who carried out the suicide bombing at Maxim's restaurant in Haifa, in which 21 Israelis were murdered and 60 were wounded.
- On March 14, 2004, Basil Mahajane, an Israeli Arab resident of Umm al-Fahm, was arrested for planning and perpetrating terrorist acts inside of Israel on behalf of Hamas.
- This past March, Ashraf Kaisi, an Israeli Arab from Baka al Garbiyah, was arrested for helping to plan and carry out the suicide bombing of the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv, which murdered five Israelis and wounded fifty others.
Salah's impassioned message of hate and violence against the Jews has firmly taken hold in Arab town after town. Today, the municipal council of Israel's largest Arab city, Umm al-Fahm, is controlled by Islamic Movement members. Numerous other Arab municipalities, including the once-Christian stronghold of Nazareth, will be under Islamic Movement control after the next local election. Left unchecked, Salah and the extremists will soon be the only political voice heard in the Israeli-Arab community.
The Shin Bet has long advocated outlawing the Islamic Movement. The government, however, fearful of a foreign political backlash, has refused.
On March 15, 2003, the Shin Bet and the Israeli police finally took action, raiding the Movement's Umm al-Fahm offices. Thirteen leaders of the organization, including Salah, were arrested. They were charged with money laundering for Hamas, membership in a terror organization, and contact with enemy agents - Salah had been tape-recorded several times in telephone conversations with Nabil Mahazuman, an Iranian intelligence officer involved in Palestinian terror.
According to then-Minister of Internal Security Tzahi HaNegbi, "the suspects had been engaged in the illegal transfer of millions of shekels from abroad, from illegal NGOs and companies, to activities of the Hamas in Judea and Samaria and also in the Gaza Strip. The transfer of these monies was camouflaged in the framework of charity funds and humanitarian aid, but its practical significance was in oiling the wheels of murderous terrorism that has killed more than 640 innocent Israelis in the last two-and-a-half years."
||Salah (far left) and his Islamic Movement co-defendants in the prisoner's dock at the Haifa District Court
But on January 13, 2005 - just as the trial was set to begin - the State Prosecution announced that it was striking a plea bargain. Salah and the other defendants were permitted to plead guilty to only one count of contact with a foreign agent - an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years - and another count of violating the Emergency Defense Regulations and the Money Laundering Law. In exchange for the guilty pleas, lawyers for the government agreed to recommend that the defendants should be sentenced to a mere three and a half years in prison. The Israeli government was simply too afraid to send Salah and his co-defendants away for long prison terms.
With time served and a further one-third reduction for "good behavior," these admitted and convicted enemies of the State were released in six months. Salah has now returned home from prison to a hero's welcome and has seamlessly resumed his position as chief inciter and leader of the Islamic Movement.
bold 17px verdana; COLOR: rgb(1,137,95)" align=center>The Islamic Movement's treasonous activities
are a dangerous threat to Israel's survival.
||A large billboard at the entrance of the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm congratulates Salah on his release from prison: "Umm al-Fahm Greets Sheik Al-Aqsa. Municipality of Umm al-Fahm."
In the face of the refusal by the Justice Ministry to shut down this growing domestic threat to Israel's security, we at Shurat HaDin - the Israel Law Center, an Israel-based Jewish civil rights organization - will do the job ourselves. We intend to sue the Israeli-Arab extremists on behalf of the terror victims in the Israeli courts. Several civil actions for many millions of dollars against Salah and the Islamic Movement, including imposing responsibility for the bombing of the Nahariya train station, will be filed.
Our goal is to bankrupt the Islamic Movement and put its leaders on the run through civil litigation, much the way the Southern Poverty Law Center in the United States brought the Klu Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi hate groups to an operational standstill. We will not stand by while Salah and the Islamic Movement turn the Israeli-Arab population into a fifth column within the Jewish State.
We are asking you to join with us in this vital project. We cannot afford to allow those fanning the flames of anti-Semitic hatred within Israel to go unchallenged. Together we must act to stop the Islamic Movements' message of racism and intolerance and its support for terrorism against Jews.
If you are frustrated by the murderous attacks that have devastated Israel over the past few years, outraged by the anti-Semitic incitement from within the Israeli-Arab community, angered by the world's indifference and fearful for Israel's future, please make a generous contribution to Shurat HaDin's campaign against Islamic fundamentalists in Israel.
bold 17px verdana; COLOR: rgb(1,137,95)" align=center>Help Us Stop The Israeli-Arab Extremists.
Join Us In Combating The Islamic Movement!
Very truly yours,
Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center