Caving to party pressure? Israeli lawmaker cancels anti-terror speech

Mansour Abbas cancels speech in which he planned to forcefully condemn recent wave of deadly terror attacks.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Coalition kingmaker and Ra’am party chair MK Mansour Abbas cancelled a speech in which he planned to condemn the wave of recent deadly terror attacks in Israel because of “conflicting opinions” in his Islamist party, Channel 12 reported.

A statement from the Ra’am party indicated that Abbas would be making “an important speech” on Sunday. He was reportedly slated to condemn three recent terror attacks perpetrated by Arab Israelis and Palestinians that left 11 people dead.

“We will not be content with condemnations and condolences because terrorism does not stop and does not bow its head,” Abbas said in a previous statement released last week.

“We are determined to embark on the path of peace in the face of all extremists, and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent harm to innocent civilians.”

However, Sunday’s speech, which would have taken place on the second night of Ramadan, was quietly cancelled without an explanation.

“As I understand it, the Islamic movement thinks that Mansour was a bit over the top in some of the statements regarding the wave of terrorist attacks and fears criticism from the Arab public,” Muhammad Majadele, a Channel 12 commentator, wrote on his Twitter account.

Majadele added that he believes that pressure from the Islamic Movement, Ra’am’s spiritual advisors and a major influence on the party, also contributed to the decision to scrap the speech.

Notably, the Islamic party has not made any public statements condemning the terror.

Other MKs from the Ra’am party did not follow Abbas in condemning the attacks, staying silent about the violence which three of the perpetrators were reportedly inspired by the Islamic State’s jihadist ideology.

In February 2022, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an independent security think tank, analyzed recent texts and articles written by Sheikh Ra’ad Badir, director of the Islamic Movement’s Institute for Rulings on Sharia Law and Islamic Studies.

The JCPA found that Badir had declared that the widespread rioting in Arab communities in Israel during May 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls was “100 percent…a religious war.”

Badir added that if tensions escalated in Jerusalem, “it will be worse than anyone can imagine and it will end with the eviction of all Jews from Palestine, from all of Palestine, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”