Islamic State Wants to Exterminate Both the Jews and Israel
Dr. Jacques Neriah, foreign policy expert, speaks to Manfred Gerstenfeld about ISIS. Revelations about Islamic State and Israel.
By Manfred Gerstenfeld
23 August 2015
Published in Israel National News
“It is extremely important to understand the plans of the Islamic State. According to this movement both the State of Israel and Jews the world over should be exterminated. In principle, Sunna Islam has no feud with Judaism and Christianity. Yet the Islamic State proclaims that Israel and Judaism are not only part of Western colonialism, but are also associated with ‘the Zionist Scheme’ and therefore must be eradicated.
“According to this Muslim terrorist movement, Jews thus cannot even benefit from their historical inferior status in Islam. (Historically, Jews living in Islamic countries held the status of dhimmis, second class citizens allowed to live their lives as long as they pay Jizyah – a poll tax.) It is thus crucial for Jews and Israelis to understand the ideology and specific aims of the IS movement, and not only its global point of view.”
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. He is now a senior analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
He observes: “Islamic State is a product of Sunni ideology. The long historic rift between Shia and Sunna has never been bridged. Both nowadays fight for hegemony in the Islamic world. They continue the internal Muslim war waged since Mohamed’s cousin Ali was deprived from the caliphate and his sons were killed. The Shia consider Ali the first Imam.
“IS views the Shia as heretics which should be fought, punished and eradicated from the face of the earth. As for Christians, even though they can be granted dhimmi status, they can still be looted and plundered by Islamic fighters in the heat of the battle. Islamic fighters can enjoy the spoils of war, which include women as sex slaves, people’s houses and wealth. Afterwards these Christians will be permitted to live within the borders of the Islamic caliphate. However fundamentally Christianity and the Pope are associated with Western colonialism, and as such will be fought until defeated.
“Islamic State is a magnet which has attracted thousands of foreigners, eager to fight and enjoy the carnage of war. Its major triumphs derive from the fact that most Arab states do not offer alternative social solutions and ideologies. The lack of coherence in these countries as well as the mounting wave of social unrest in Europe and Asia have allowed Islamic State to become a beacon and a rallying force. Each IS success on the battlefield draws more volunteers. Furthermore various factions which were associated with Al-Qaeda have abandoned their previous identity and have pledged allegiance to IS. It shows the appeal of the IS movement.
“The extreme ideology of IS, which combats all elements associated with Western values, has found a warm welcome in Muslim communities all over the world. It seems that it offers a solution to the loss of national identity experienced by some Muslims in the different nation-states where they have been living for decades. In a way, it is a form of revenge against the West’s material and technological supremacy. By combating the West and its alleged spearheads – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt – the IS has presented an answer to thousands of young Muslims who feel they have lost their way in a culture they do not accept or respect.
“Today the IS influence extends through Morocco, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Islamic groups in Africa, and first and foremost Boko Haram, are part of this community. The IS presence in each of the Arab states is continuously eroding the authority of central governments. Even radical Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia which apply the Sharia law are not immune. After years of benefitting from funds poured into Salafist movements by the radical Arab states, IS has now turned against these benefactors. It claims that they are illegal and anti-Muslim. Even Turkey which has been instrumental in building the IS military apparatus is considered today to be the ultimate collaborator of the ‘crusaders’ and therefore should be fought.
“Israel realizes that IS cells are active in Jordan. In Syria, IS military units are fighting not far from Israel’s Golan borders. In Lebanon IS has taken advantage of the existing hatred between Lebanese Sunnis and Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored Shiite organization. IS has founded numerous cells acting mainly in North Lebanon and in the Bekaa valley. In Gaza IS supporters openly preach their cause.
“The inroads IS has made so far in Israel are only visible to a limited extent. According to the Internal Secret service (Shabak) about thirty Arab Israelis have joined IS in Syria and Iraq. However, IS cells exist and function mostly underground. In cities such as Umm el Fahm and Bakaah el Gharbiyya, from time to time one can see Islamic State flags hoisted on roof tops. IS cells have also been uncovered in Southern Israel in Bedouin communities such as Rahat and Tel-Sheva.
“In summer 2015, Muhammad Abd al-Ghani, an imam at an Umm al-Fahm mosque, expressed his support for IS. He attacked Hamas saying that it cooperated with Israel against IS. He called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a ‘Jewish dog’ and blamed Israel for all the problems in the Muslim world.
“All this shows that we are in an extremely dynamic situation. Therefore Israel has to follow developments on an ongoing basis. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) brought out a document recently, outlining the threats Israel currently faces. One major change in the IDF stance on threat perception concerns its attitude toward IS. The IDF now considers the IS as an enemy. Israel will not allow IS fighters to get near its borders even if that would require Israeli incursions into Syrian territory on the Golan Heights.”