Islamic State Warns Jews That Palestine Will Soon Be a Graveyard


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of Islamic State, recently issued an unambiguous threat against Israel; the first ever indication from the terrorist organization that the Jewish state happens to be part of its agenda. In an audio recording that was released by the terrorist organization on social media, al-Baghdadi said his forces would soon meet with Jews in Palestine before adding that Israel would have to pay a heavy price at the hands of Islamic State militants.

“Palestine will not be your land or your home,” al-Baghdadi continued. “It will be a graveyard for you. Allah has gathered you in Palestine so that the Muslims may kill you… The Jews thought that we forgot about Palestine and diverted our attention from it. Never, Jews. We have not forgotten Palestine for a moment… The leaders of the jihad fighters will surround you on a day you think is far, but we see it as close. We are coming closer to you day by day.”

In a video released end of last year, Islamic State pledged to wage war against Jews. With masked militants carrying automatic machine guns on either side, a jihadist flaunting a knife could be seen, saying how he and his comrades plan on preparing for a major war against the Jewish state ‘with God’s help, God willing’. In the message that was addressed to all Jews –who were described as grandchildren of pigs and monkeys– the jihadist, whose face was blurred, warned that Islamic State was planning on infiltrating Israel to carry out these terror attacks.

“We are coming for you from all over the world to slaughter you,” he said.

Previously, Islamic State had addressed Israelis in a Hebrew video, telling them how no Jew would remain once its militants conquer Jordan and reach Israel’s borders.

“This isn’t just talk. We will advance toward you from everywhere, from the north and the south, from Sinai, from everywhere,” said a masked man in fluent Hebrew.

This particular video was soon removed from YouTube, where Islamic State had first published it. However, the original video resurfaced in bits and pieces after Islamic State released a series of videos in October last year, glorifying the wave of fatal attacks that have been carried out against Israelis.

The videos, bearing titles such as ‘Message to the Mujahedin in Jerusalem’ and ‘Project Behead the Jews’ were uploaded from websites under the control of Islamic State. Some of these propaganda videos went viral on social media alongside the hashtag #BeheadtheJew.

“I recommend that you take the path of Jihad, which God tells you to follow, I bless this jihad against the Jews. Strike fear in their hearts, they are the enemies of God,” said one fighter while another said, “A victory is coming to the mujahedin of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] from above, you are the ones who start but we will continue it.”

According to the country’s security forces, at least 50 Israelis have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State over the past couple of months. With this backdrop, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke about the growing level of support for the terrorist organization among some Arabs in Israel. He also discussed different ways in which the problem could be solved while speaking at an international conference that was hosted by Institute for National Security Studies last month.

“The Islamic State is already here and that is no longer a secret,” said Rivlin. “I am not speaking about territories bordering the State of Israel, but within Israel itself.”

The presence of Islamic State in Israel exists in the form of support among Arabs, who constitute roughly 20 percent of the country’s population.

“Research studies, arrests, testimonies, and overt and covert analyses, many by the INSS, clearly indicate that there is increasing support for the Islamic State among Israeli Arabs, while some are actually joining the Islamic State,” explained Rivlin.

While much of the sympathy for Islamic State has been seen among religious people, a good amount of support in favor of Islamist radicalism has also poured in from secular circles.

“We are today seeing the influence of extremist ideas even in areas and groups identifying as secular,” noted Rivlin. “We have seen the waving of the black flag of the Islamic State in various villages and at political rallies, some which have included the participation of members of Knesset.”

Even though terror threats may be emanating from a sizeable portion of Israel’s Arab population, Rivlin stressed upon his vision and belief that both Jews and Arabs could continue to live together in harmony. 

“When I took upon myself the promotion of the full integration and partnership of the Arab community in the State of Israel, I did so as one who believes that we are not doomed to live together, rather that it is our destiny to live together,” the Israeli president said.

At the same time, he said that Israel was not holding the entire Arab population responsible for the growing support in favor of Islamist radicalism.

“The State of Israel certainly does not regard the whole Arab sector as an enemy nor as a group entirely tainted with extremism and Islamic fundamentalism,” Rivlin said.

However, he did accuse the Arab’s leadership in Israel of failing to check the growth of religious extremism among the country’s minority.

“I do not for a moment absolve the Arab leadership of responsibility,” Rivlin stressed. “The voices that blame the ‘occupation’ as the source of all ills while displaying sympathy and understanding for attacks on innocents represent a serious problem.”

He said that it was the Jewish state’s responsibility to offer Arabs a better future in comparison to the one being offered by Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.

“The State of Israel must create an alternative that does not fear a positive and secure Israeli Palestinian identity and at the same time does not in any way accept the delegitimization of the State of Israel or affiliation with the worst of our enemies,” Rivlin suggested. “If children are growing up without a dream, without hope or without aspirations, with the feeling that their blood and their lives are of a lesser value in the State of Israel, then we must think of how to offer them a dream, hope, and faith—the faith that every one of them has the ability to succeed and to advance here in the State of Israel.”

On January 18, Rivlin urged the government to arrange new funding for Arabs so they too could help counter what he believes to be a growing influence of Islamic State in Israel. Warning that Daesh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State) had already found its way inside Israel, Rivlin spoke of how urgently Arabs needed support if they were to help counter religious radicalization among Israel’s youth.

“Those who know the Arab community know that in recent years there has been a very significant radicalization in several Bedouin villages in the Negev and in [some] Arab villages in the north on the question of implementing sharia law. Even places and groups that are considered secular are now feeling the influence of extremist ideas. More and more, moderate voices feel threatened, feel the ground falling out from beneath their feet,” Rivlin said.

In December, the cabinet passed an estimated $3.85 billion plan for developing Israel’s Arab communities, but neither the specific programs nor the funding have been finalized so far.

Rivlin, whose post as president is mostly symbolic, said that even though religious radicalism was not unique to Israel, the more the state refuses to take responsibility, the more it would distance itself from the brewing issue and the faster jihadists would rush in to fill that void.

“The recent resolution by the government on a system-wide plan for the economic integration of the Arab population is a step in the right direction,” he said. “The plan has many detractors among the Jewish population, and it is clear why. But it is the correct and essential step, for it is a decision that represents a systemic change of direction.”

Photo Credits: Vice News

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