Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
____________________

JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

_____________________

Posts

Fear stifles Umm al-Fahm


This Wikipedia photo of Umm al Fahm, already well endowed with mosques twenty years ago when this was taken (Moataz,1997), has had ‘many new mosques’ built since then.

Israeli-Arab town’s residents fear speaking out after Temple Mount attack

Residents of Umm al-Fahm, an Israeli-Arab town that was home to the three perpetrators of Friday’s Temple Mount attack, claim that ever since Islamic Movement’s northern branch leader Sheikh Raed Salah was elected mayor, the town has been turning extremely religious.

By Shlomi Eldar, trans. Danny Wool, Al Monitor, Israel pulse
July 17, 2017

The three terrorists from Umm al-Fahm who launched the attack on the Temple Mount on July 14 were not the first terrorists to emerge from the Israeli Arab community. On Jan. 1, 2016, Neshat Melhem, a resident of Arara (in the north of Israel), carried out an attack in Tel Aviv that left two Israelis dead and seven wounded; he also killed a third person as he tried to escape. Melhem’s father claimed that his son was unstable.

There was also the October 2015 shooting attack in Beersheba by Muhanad Alukabi, a Bedouin resident of the town of Hura in the Negev. A relative described his actions as a moment of temporary insanity. That attack left an Israel Defence Forces soldier dead. An Eritrean guest worker who happened to be in the area was also killed in the incident when he was lynched by passersby who confused him for the attacker.

In contrast, the recent attack on the Temple Mount was committed by three armed terrorists after careful planning. In their case, no one in Umm al-Fahm claimed they acted out of some momentary impulse or that they are not mentally responsible for what they did. The three men — Muhammad Ahmed Jabarin (29), Muhammad Hamid Jabarin (19) and Muhammad Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin (19) — belong to one of the largest families in the city. They launched their attack out of religious zealotry, fomented by the steady flow of incitement in the largest Arab city in the Triangle. Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, is directly involved in the incitement.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 accelerated the replacement of communist ideology with religious Islamism.

After the attack, residents of Umm al-Fahm who are not supporters of Salah were afraid to speak to Al-Monitor. “There is a sense of terror here toward anyone who speaks critically of the Islamic Movement,” said A., a father of five who lives in the city and spoke on condition of anonymity. He claimed that Umm al-Fahm became very religious after Salah was elected mayor in 1989, defeating Hashem Mahmid of the radical left-wing Hadash Party. Until then, many residents of the Arab city were considered to be supporters of Hadash, with its socialist and communist messages. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 accelerated the replacement of communist ideology with religious Islamism.

With the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accord, Israel’s Islamic Movement split into two factions: The southern faction supported the peace agreement with the Palestinians, while the northern faction headed by Salah considered itself to be an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood and also of the Hamas movement, which violently opposed the agreements signed between Israel and the PLO.

When Salah served as mayor up until 2001, most of Umm al-Fahm’s cultural institutions were shut down because the municipality suspected them of disseminating anti-religious messages. One of the cultural institutions shut down by municipal order was the Diwan al-Joun Theatre, which was founded by actor Ghassan Abbas and put on plays critical of the Arab leadership worldwide and of changes in the overall approach to Islam. Up until its closure, theatre-goers suffered serious threats and even boycotts.

Over the years, the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has become the strongest faction in Umm al-Fahm. All the town’s residents, including those who describe themselves as secular, are forced to live in a religious environment imposed by the city’s leadership.


A horizontal line from the red boundary to the left (the wall) going west through  Harish and the adjacent striped Israeli territory is the base line of  ‘the triangle’.  Now in Israel, the triangle, including Umm al-Fahm,  was initially supposed to be part of Palestine, but minds changed.Map from the Economist

Many new mosques have been erected in Umm al-Fahm over the past two decades. Al-Farouk Mosque in the Jabarin neighbourhood was where the three attackers — all members of the Jabarin family — prayed. Apparently, it was there that they absorbed the jihadi messages of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement and the calls of its leader — Salah — to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Salah and activists of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch were the ones to organize the Mourabitoun and Mourabitat groups of men and women at the Temple Mount compound. These groups consider themselves to be “guardians of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” shouting “Allahu Akbar” each time they detect a Jew ascending Temple Mount. This activity by Salah generated political and religious competition and tension between his movement and the Waqf (guardians of Muslim holy sites), who are appointed to their posts by the Jordanians.


Sheik Raed Salah has made himself the foremost unofficial protector of the Al Aqsa mosqu in Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound. Here Palestinians in Gaza City carry pictures of the Sheikh, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, during a protest to condemn what protesters claim was a desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists, Sept. 4, 2013. Photo by AP

Umm al-Fahm is home to four main clans, with each clan generally concentrated in a particular neighbourhood. The Jabarin clan consists of approximately 20,000 people. One of its members (though not a close relative of the men behind the recent attack) is Knesset member Yousef Jabareen of the Hadash Party. He was evasive when asked if he would speak with Al-Monitor but finally agreed to provide a written response to the attack. He claimed, “Ever since the establishment of the state, the Arab population of Israel has adopted the path of political struggle based on civil, nonviolent means. We oppose any use of arms and the incorporation of violence in our struggle.”

One resident of Umm al-Fahm, Khaled Fa’ur, did agree to speak openly to Al-Monitor. He said, “I’m not afraid to speak. I want to stress to every Israeli that these three men and the messages of hate that they picked up have caused indescribable damage to the city. Many of the residents are hurting and ashamed.”

He said that the northern branch of the Islamic Movement has not been operating openly in the mosques ever since it was outlawed in November 2015, “but it is not at all impossible that it still operates quietly. The fact is that three members of the Jabarin family were radicalized in a way that the other residents of the town, including some very religious people, never imagined could happen. We did not see any indication that this could happen. This isn’t the religion we were raised in. This is something very different and foreign to us. We were not familiar with it. We didn’t even know that it existed.”


Protest by the women’s section in a Palestinian-Israeli march of protest in Umm Al Fahm against the outlawing  by Israeli state security of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch. Photo November 29, 2015 by Reuters

He said that while a religious struggle over Al-Aqsa Mosque is taking place “coming from the Jewish settlers, extremist politicians from both sides are abusing and aggravating this struggle. What happened was the tragic consequence of that.”

“There’s a gloomy mood in the city,” said Fa’ur, summing up the conversation. “For many years, but especially since the events of October [in reference to a 2015 violent anti-Israel demonstration in the city], the people of Umm al-Fahm have been trying to change the negative image that is attached to the city. We hoped that one day the Jews who used to come here to visit and shop would return. That was all ruined in a day, and in such a brutal way, too.”

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.