(photo credit: ISLAMIC SOCIAL MEDIA)
Three Israeli youths have been attempting to enter Syria from Turkey in recent days in order to join the Islamic State terrorist group, according to reports.
The three youths hail from Ramle, Umm el-Fahm and Nazareth. According to reports in the Israeli-Arab news media, family members of the three youths have been trying to track their movements and prevent them from crossing the border into Syria.
The phenomenon of Israeli Arabs joining the ranks of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is growing and, according to estimates, numbers in the dozens.
Israeli-Arab community leaders have condemned these cases, as well as what they refer to as an “incitement campaign” in the Israeli media against the Arab public, which they say staunchly condemns the joining of a small number of youths who have been led astray.
Mideast expert discusses ISIS threat to Israel
Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi said that it was “painful to hear of Palestinian youths joining ISIS, especially since in most of the instances these are youths who feel they have lost their way, and are living here without a goal and without a strong sense of identity, which pushes them to these acts.”
Zoabi said that the phenomenon of Israeli Arabs joining ISIS includes “many sad cases of angry and frustrated youths looking for a place in which they feel they can exercise control in their society, or at least something that will give them the feeling that they are the masters of their lives and their destinies.”
Zoabi said that ISIS “shows the moral depths to which people are capable of falling.” In order to fight the phenomenon, Israeli-Arab politicians must fight to keep such youths from being pushed to the margins of society, “which has become this country’s policy,” she claimed.
She accused Israeli politicians of “rushing to celebrate with declarations of incitement against a whole community, with every report of this or that youth joining ISIS... I’m sure they feel great satisfaction with each new report.”
Daniel Pipes, scholar and president of the Middle East Forum think tank, told The Jerusalem Post that Islamic State “offers a compelling body of ideas that many healthy and accomplished Muslims find seductively attractive.”
“Like communism and fascism, Islamism offers a powerful vision; like them, it needs to be defeated and marginalized,” asserted Pipes.