Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks to the press before the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called Thursday for the outlawing of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch in Israel, saying that the group holds the same ideology as the terrorists who killed 12 people in Paris on Wednesday.
"If there is an important lesson to be learned from the terror attack that took place yesterday in Paris, it is that we must immediately deal with extremist movements which are separated from terrorist groups only through semantics and legal loopholes," Liberman wrote on his Facebook page.
Liberman said that the group "is an inseparable link in the chain that includes the terror groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida and ISIS."
He said that the Islamic Movement's members, particularly its leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, have proven time and again over the years that they support terrorism.
Salah has in the past been convicted of invoking blood libels, funding Hamas and inciting against Israel by saying the authorities plan to attack the al-Aksa mosque. He was also arrested for attacking police and took part in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, sailing on the Mavi Marmara
Liberman said that even Britain had acknowledged the threat that Salah presents, attempting to deport him in 2011 because of his incitement to violence and anti-Semitism after he entered the UK against the wishes of the British government.
"Those who are tolerant toward movements and organizations like this eventually pay the price in the blood of innocents and threats on the same democracy that allowed them to act," he said. "Therefore we must not dawdle further, we must not enable the Islamic State's Northern Branch under the leadership of Sheikh Raed Salah to act."
He said that the group threatens Israel's democracy and its citizens by showing a lack of tolerance for all things that criticize it or go against its beliefs, just as the terrorists in Paris did, allegedly attacking satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo
in response to caricatures mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
The foreign minister said that the legal hair-splitting which had prevented Israel from outlawing the group until now must stop. He vowed to pass legislation to that effect that could not be overturned through legal technicalities.