16 June 2011
This statement was issued by the Office of Shaikh Raed Salah, Um al Faham
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
The vicious political harassment of Sh. Raed Salah, the Head of the Islamic, began many years ago, long before the current allegations which date back to 2007 were made. This latest is only one of many attempts to justify the unjustifiable, nothing more.
In 1989, when Sh. Raed was the elected mayor of his home town of Umm al-Fahm, there was an attempt to plant illegal drugs in his pocket. Israeli intelligence tried to recruit a known drug addict to plant the evidence; he was threatened with a long prison sentence if he refused to cooperate. But refuse he did, and told the intended victim of the plot to incriminate him.
Nine years later, there were disturbances in Ar-Rawha after Arab land had been confiscated by the Israeli authorities; the army stormed into Umm Al-Fahm Secondary School, injuring more than 600 students and local citizens over a three-day occupation of the premises. Sh. Raed Salah, who was the mayor at the time, was badly beaten by the army; when he fell down an Israeli soldier tried to throw a heavy rock on him. By the grace of God, the rock fell at his side. The mayor had to spend the night in hospital due to the injuries he received at the hands of the soldiers.
During the Al-Aqsa Intifada (uprising) in 2000, Sh. Raed was standing at the side of the road leading to Umm al-Fahm in order to control demonstrators and make sure that matters did not get out of hand. When a military vehicle appeared a number of Israeli soldiers got out and fired so-called rubber bullets, hitting Sh. Raed in the head. His injury again required hospital treatment.
Sh. Raed Salah was on the Freedom Flotilla which was attacked by Israeli commandos at the end of May 2010. A man standing near him, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Sh. Raed, was shot dead by the Israelis in an execution-style killing. Sh. Raed told an Israeli court hearing in August of that year that he was convinced that he was the target on that fateful day and that the soldiers shot and killed the wrong man.
In mid-July 2010, Israel media covered the arrest of Chaim Pearlman, a man with far-right political leanings who was accused of killing two Palestinians 12 years earlier. Pearlman claimed that Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, had paid him to assassinate Sh. Raed Salah. Israeli Channel 2 carried the interview in its main news bulletin: According to Pearlman, “One of the Shin Bet agents asked me to kill Sh. Raed Salah by shooting him or by putting an explosive device beneath his car. I said, ‘How can I do this? A war may be ignited as a result.’ The agent answered: ‘Let it be!'”.
Reasons for the attack by the Israel lobby in Britain against Shaikh Raed
- First and foremost, this must be seen in the context of an Israeli establishment which is disturbed by the possible exposure of its racism and oppression of its own Palestinian citizens and those in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- The Israeli government is determined to ensure that the Palestinian voice is drowned out; despite the oft-trumpeted claim to be “the only democracy in the Middle East”, Israel can’t and won’t tolerate any opposition to its oppressive policies.
Specific recent allegations
With reference to the question of Al Aqsa Mosque and the Buraq/Western/ Wall, Sh. Raed stresses that he has no personal opinion about this; what he stands by is rooted in Islamic doctrine as well as international law which regards this as part of occupied Palestinian land. He cannot compromise on this to satisfy the occupiers or their supporters.
It has been claimed that he repeated a “blood libel” by saying, “among those whose blood was mixed with the sacred (Jewish) bread”; this is an absolute lie and a malicious fabrication. Sh. Raed was questioned by the Israeli authorities over allegations that he made such a remark, which he refuted categorically challenging them to provide any shred of evidence and they could not. He told his interrogators, “My belief is that no divinely-inspired religion ever sanctions the shedding of children’s blood; likewise, no adherents of any religion should sanction the killing of children in Palestine or anywhere in the world. We Muslims are guided by the authentic Prophetic saying which asserts, ‘the sanctity of a believer is more precious with Allah than the sanctity of the sacred Ka’aba in Makkah’. Hence, whoever gives himself the right to deviate from the divine teachings and kills even a single child from the children of the world, that person’s crime is despicable and its heinous nature will continue to haunt him, even in the bread that he eats.”
With regard to the statement that “the Creator made from you [the Jews] monkeys and losers”, this is again a lie and fabrication. We challenge anyone to provide any true evidence that such words were ever uttered by Sh. Raed Salah. This calumny condemns those who have instigated it with their own racism and incitement to hatred of others.
A further attack on the Sheikh relates to an article he wrote and later published by the Middle East Monitor. In it he cited a number of sources to show how Israel is losing its credibility internationally.
A reference was made to a story published in the Israeli mainstream media, in which Ukrainian academics accused Israeli companies of kidnapping 25,000 Ukrainians for their organs.
Sh. Raed notes: “This example was cited to demonstrate how Israel’s moral image has been damaged; to the extent that such ludicrous allegations can be openly made and published. They do not reflect my personal view”.
Harry’s Place has accused the Sheikh of everything from blood libel to holocaust denial – he asserts these allegations are false.
He further says, “I unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, including anti- Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism towards my own people, the Palestinians.”
People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This old saying is very appropriate in terms of the accusations of anti-Semitism and racism levelled against Sh. Raed Salah. There is ample evidence of blatantly racist statements made by leading Israelis, but the Israel lobby remains silent about them. Sh. Raed has contacted his legal team to take appropriate measures against those in Britain who have sought to defame him.
One day, God willing, perhaps an honest and open debate about Palestine will be allowed; until then, those with sham claims to hold the moral high ground continue to censor opposing views lest their own lies are exposed. For this to happen in Britain, the Mother of Democracy, is a slur on the memory of all British and Commonwealth citizens who fought and died for freedom and justice in two world wars.