‘Murder’ of bin Laden politically motivated, says Arab MK

Knesset member questions US president's motives in killing of al-Qaida leader, saying he may have been trying to raise low approval ratings.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
May 4, 2011 01:40
2 minute read.
Ibrahim Sarsour

ibrahim sarsour 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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MK Ibrahim Sarsour (United Arab List-Ta’al) said on Tuesday that the “murder of Sheikh Osama bin Laden” might be motivated by the “launch of US President Barack Obama’s campaign for his second term in office.”

“Mixing Arab and Muslim blood with [political] campaigns in the United States and Israel is no longer exceptional,” wrote Sarsour, who also heads the southern “moderate” faction of the Islamic Movement, in a lengthy statement in Arabic.

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“Anyone who has followed the cycle of blood and elections in the American-Israeli culture in the past 10 years will see it clearly and without doubt. I could not rule out the possibility that the murder of bin Laden is not the launch of Obama’s election campaign for his second term, especially in light of the fact that the Republican majority in Congress is lying in wait against his domestic and diplomatic policy.”

The MK added that the assassination of bin Laden should raise questions about what pushes al-Qaida and other jihadist organizations to become so extreme. Sarsour suggested that the radical groups are merely the symptoms of a disease caused by oppression and subjugation of Arabs and Muslims, “especially in relation to Palestine and Jerusalem.”

Sarsour called on the US to completely withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq, work toward establishing a Palestinian state with full sovereignty, and end Israeli occupation of Palestinian national soil, including Jerusalem, and not to hinder popular revolts in the Arab world.

Sarsour’s comments did not come as a surprise to MKs on the right.

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“Killing bin Laden proved the direct connection between [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, the leadership of the Israeli Arabs and al-Qaida,” MK Danny Danon (Likud) said. “MKs who support al- Qaida and Hamas belong behind bars and not on the benches of the Knesset.”

Also on Tuesday, two other members of Sarsour’s Knesset faction paid their first visits to Egypt since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak. MKs Ahmed Tibi and Taleb a-Sanaa, together with MK Muhammed Barakei (Hadash), arrived in Cairo to participate in an annual conference in memory of PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

The conference had been scheduled for two months ago, but was delayed due to the protests that swept Egypt at the time.

The visiting MKs reported that they found Cairo a freer city than in the past.

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