Profile: Our Land of Israel

Right-wing group wants Palestinian-Israeli Islamic Movement, operating in occupied territories, to be made illegal.

    Our Land of Israel supporters do not believe in land concessions to Palestinians [AFP]

    Our Land of Israel is a far-right Jewish group, part of SOS Israel, which was founded in 2003 "to oppose and fight the political accords with the Arabs that include land or security concessions".

    SOS Israel is against giving up any part of the occupied territories - or compromising the security of those that live there.

    They believe that any accord or agreement that includes land concessions to Palestinians endangers Israel and that expelling Jews from settlements is illegal.

    SOS Israel has 200 branches all over the country, with thousands of volunteers.

    Among their activities are disseminating literature, taking part in gatherings and demonstrations, assisting and supporting expellees and settlers, as well as fund-raising.

    On October 27, violent clashes broke out between Palestinian-Israelis and Israeli police in response to a demonstration by members of Our Land of Israel in the town of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

    The Jewish protesters called for the Islamic Movement in Israel, a group led by Sheikh Raed Salah which advocates Islam among Palestinian-Israelis in the occupied territories, to be made illegal.

    One leader said that as Umm al-Fahm was a part of the Jewish state, they had the right to march there unhindered.

    "The Islamic Movement is part of the international Islamic jihad," Michael Ben Ari, a right-wing politician who took part in the protest, said, accusing it of having ties to the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    Our Land of Israel regularly protests against what it says is the police's failure to deal with the Islamic Movement in Israel in their land.

    The October 27 march roughly coincides with the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a right-wing religious leader who routinely referred to Palestinians as "dogs" and called for their expulsion from Israel.

    Meir was shot dead by an Arab in New York in 1990 and his Kach movement was banned by Israel in 1994 for inciting racism.

    Many Palestinian-Israeli political leaders fear that his controversial ideas are gaining new currency under Israel's right wing-dominated government.

    Earlier this month, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, lent his support for a bill that would require all new citizens to swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state".

    Palestinian citizens, who make up 20 per cent of the population, have called the bill racist and said it aims to delegitimise their presence.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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