Thousands of Israeli-Arabs rally against Islamic State

Senior Israeli Arab official blames US, Israel as creators of radical Islamist group seeking to establish its own state across the Mideast.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 13, 2014 00:54
1 minute read.
Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah (C), head of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Thousands of Israeli Arabs convened in Umm el-Fahm Friday for a rally organized by the Islamic Movement in Israel's northern branch in opposition to the radical Islamic State group.

Israel Radio cited the leader of the Islamic Movement's hardline northern branch, Sheikh  Raed Salah, as stating that his position was set against the extremist Islamist group that has conquered parts of Syria and Iraq and aims to remap the Middle East.

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However, Salah noted that he also opposed the coalition led by US President Barack Obama pledging to take military action against Islamic State fighters, saying the initiative threatened the Arab world.

Also speaking at the march held under the banner "Al-Aqsa is in Danger," a senior Israeli Arab official blamed the US and Israel as the creators of Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Mohamed Zidan, the head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, pointed toward Washington as funding the terrorist organization on which the US has declared war.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said on Friday the US was at war with Islamic State terrorists in the same way it is with al-Qaida, but he stresses this is very different from the last time the US went to war in Iraq.

"In the same way that we are at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates around the globe, we are at war with ISIS. But make no mistake when I say we, I'm not talking just about the United States. I'm talking about this broader international coalition that includes Sunni-led governments in the region and our allies around the world who are united in confronting this threat," Earnest said using an alternate name for Islamic State.

The statement came after US President Barack Obama told Americans in a prime time addresses earlier in the week that he planed to build an alliance to root out Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, plunging the United States into two conflicts in which nearly every country in the Middle East has a stake.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared Israel's support for the United States' plan for united action against Islamic State.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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