Islamic Movement protests film outside TA's US embassy 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Chanting “God is Great” and waving the green flags of the Israel Islamic
Movement, around 50 activists gathered outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv on
Thursday, to protest an anti-Islamic film that has inflamed passions across the
Attorney Zahi Nujeidat, spokesman for the Islamic Movement, said
Thursday that the protesters came from across Israel to the embassy to “express
our rage about this despicable movie that has harmed the honor of our
Nujeidat said he and the protesters did not see the movie
Innocence of Muslims as merely the creation of a single individual, rather a
direct result of US policy in the Muslim world.
“We are protesting here
because US policy, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, is directly responsible for
inspiring people to express this hatred towards Muslims and Islam,” he
While the riots have so far taken the life of the US ambassador to
Libya and seen violent disturbances in cities across the Arab world, the protest
Thursday was a decidedly mellow, beachside Tel Aviv happening.
stood on the promenade with signs criticizing the US in English, Hebrew and
Arabic, while across the street about a dozen Tel Aviv police officers watched
along with a small contingent of embassy security personnel.
while, shirtless bike riders and beachfront joggers cruised past the protesters,
who dispersed peacefully after about an hour in the sun.
also voiced their anger at the film on Thursday.
“Zionist elements” are
to blame for increasing hatred and fear of Islam, MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab
List-Ta’al) said on Thursday, in reaction to rioting over the film.
is an abomination and a desecration of God’s name,” a-Sanaa
“Whoever made this is playing with fire.”
The UAL-Ta’al MK
said whoever is responsible for the film does not understand the role Muhammad
plays in the individual and collective identity of Muslims.
He added that
“Zionist elements” are trying increase Islamophobia “out of political
“Western countries are to blame, because they encourage
the demonization of Muslims and Islam,” a-Sanaa said. “The UN should intervene
and stop the wave [of violence], or there will be a world war.”
Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) asked YouTube to remove the video, saying that it offended the
sensitivities and faith of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and
the clip’s removal could stem the current violence and anger.
condemned the murder of US Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and the
attacks on American consulates.
“What is the connection between the
American people and a group of bizarre people who produced a pathetic video?
There is no connection, and we cannot make generalizations,” he
Tibi called the video “despicable and contemptible, meant to light
bonfires of hate while there are waves of Islamophobia in the West.”
response to the video may not be violent or brutal,” he added. “The principles
of Islam are clear, and do not allow outbursts of violence, and nothing
justifies murder.” Tibi said people should ignore the video, and violent
responses are only playing into the hands of its creators.
MK Yariv Levin
(Likud) called for Tibi and a-Sanaa to be removed from the Knesset, saying that
they are trying to incite Israeli-Arabs into starting a religious
“They are directly responsible for any violence that could happen as
a result of their words,” he said. “Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein should
immediately take action against them before they cause a serious wave of
MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) said “Tibi and his friends
forgot that they are supposed to represent the State of Israel and continue to
serve as messengers of terrorist organizations.” Miller added that the MKs’
words could lead to rioting like in Libya, and said they are strengthening
“I have never heard these hypocrites condemn anti-Israel
films,” he stated.
“They preach about democracy and equality, so I would
like to remind them that freedom of artistic expression is an integral part of