Concerned with its deteriorating image in the US, the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence has asked the country’s diplomatic staff to triple its efforts to divert the attention from the war crimes in Gaza and use religious forums to lower the critical voices. The Israeli foreign minister recently admitted that his country was losing its edge in promoting the official narrative. Along with the cabinet ministers, he has asked the Ministry of Intelligence to use all possible resources and assets to justify the legitimacy of the aggression by the apartheid state.
The Ministry of Intelligence is a government ministry in Israel based on the US Intelligence agency’s model.
It maintains contact with the intelligence organizations and ensures that they execute the directives of the political echelon and formulate a work plan for the intelligence community, in coordination with the intelligence community heads of all its members. Its task is to design and synchronize national projects that relate to the intelligence community in its entirety, acting as a mediator between the heads of the various organizations in the intelligence community.
In addition, the Ministry of Intelligence develops and creates civilian intelligence, which deals with broader aspects of national security. This intelligence supports planning and strategic decision-making processes. Through its diplomatic staff, it works closely with Rabbis who use interfaith forums to stifle any discussion on Israel.
The recent statement circulated by Houston, TX’s Shariq Ghani of the Minaret Foundation on the Israeli aggression in the Holy Land seems to have the imprints of the Israeli intelligence. Twenty-three Imams from among 209 Masajid and Musallas and 28 Rabbis of the 40 synagogues in Houston issued a statement that describes the killing in Gaza as an event.
The six-point statement puts together the aggressor and the aggressed upon in the same category. They cunningly avoid reference to the leading causes of the aggression, do not use the word occupation, and try to justify the illegal settlements and forcible ejection of Palestinians from their homes by giving the occupiers the right to explain its unlawful actions.
The statement does not talk about human rights violations, violation of international law, continuous expansion, and the targeted killing by the apartheid state.
One of the signatories Waleed Basyouni, an Egyptian by ethnicity, issued a justification of the statement by equating it with the Sunnah of the Prophet. He referred to Hilful Fudul (an agreement between various tribes of Arabia in the pre-Islamic era) and the Prophet’s dealings with the people of the Book to claim that his Imams’ actions were proper.
Basyouni cunningly avoided the read issue and justified his dealings with the Zionists who have tried to support the occupation and aggression in the name of Judaism.
He conveniently ignored the fact that the state of Israel is an apartheid state determined to displace the Palestinians from their land, as it has done that in the last 73 years of its existence. He, along with 22 other Imams, also neglected the ground realities in the occupied land. Except for one, all other 22 Imams come from a non-Palestinian background. No one has given them a right to speak on behalf of Palestinians. They live in the comfort of the Western world and enjoy their status based on their claim of religious knowledge. Yet, in this statement, they overlooked the basics of the faith, speaking the truth. They, in the words of the Quran, mixed truth with falsehood. “And do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth.” 2:42
By equating the suffering Palestinians with the aggressive Zionists in bombing the unarmed citizens, they overlaid the truth with falsehood. By not recognizing the illegal occupation, they knowingly suppressed the truth.
No one in Houston gave these Imams the right to sit down with the Rabbis and declare Palestinians guilty of violence in the occupied land. No one endorsed their position to support the Rabbis plea, not to mention the name of Israel as an aggressor.
Did the Imams (many affiliated with ISGH) consult the ISGH to sit with the Rabbis? The Muslim Houstonians’ body had ceased all interaction with the interfaith group after the Gaza invasion by the Zionists.
Did they discuss the statement with their congregants and ISGH board members?
Did they try to find out the connections between the Israeli intelligence Ministry and officials with the Rabbis?
Did they ask the Rabbis to condemn the apartheid policies of Israel?
Were they honest to themselves when discussing the Palestinian issue with the Rabbis?
The Imams under or affiliated with ISGH, who signed this statement, violated their affiliated organizations and employers’ agreement. If they feel so passionate about absolving Israel from any crime in Palestine, they should resign from their positions and join the Rabbis in singing the praise of the apartheid state.
They should be honest with themselves. Many are on record in denouncing Jews and Judaism in their conversation with their congregants. They see this statement as political maneuvering to appease the Rabbis for their future status and careers.
If their commitment to God were a matter of concern for them, they would have questioned the Rabbi’s sense of justice and peace regarding the apartheid policies. They remained silent on these issues and could not see the apparent link between the apartheid and Rabbis. They are not qualified to lead the Muslim community.
The Masajid these Imams represent should issue a show-cause notice before terminating their contract or releasing them from their board positions. The community should avoid them in their religious gatherings. They are unreliable, and the Friday sermons’ podium is too sacred to be given to such people who violate their contract with God.