Arab City Hosts Anti-Israel Event in State-Funded Venue, Sparking Outrage
JNS.org – A support rally for Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was held last month in the predominantly Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in a facility built with donations from the Jewish state’s national lottery agency, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday.
The fact that the rally was held in a building constructed with the help of Mifal Hapayis, a public institution, has sparked outrage.
Maor Tzemach, chairman of the Lach Yerushalayim organization, sent a letter to Mifal Hapayis Chairman Uzi Dayan, calling on him to declare the building off-limits for use by members of the Northern Branch.
“All activity of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch is…against the law and comprises support of incitement and terrorism,” Tzemach wrote. “We expect Mifal Hapayis to strictly monitor its facilities in Arab communities so they don’t become centers of incitement and nationalist anti-Israel preaching.”
Mifal Hapayis issued a statement stressing it had “no information about the rally being held” and “takes a very serious view of political events in its facilities.”
The Umm al-Fahm Municipality said the event “was organized by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee and the People’s Committee of Umm al-Fahm, which includes all the political and social movements in the city….It had nothing to do with the Islamic Movement or its people.”
Salah is awaiting trial on three counts of inciting terrorism and three counts of support for an illegal organization.