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Does Bibi know more than the Israeli intelligence service?

Despite recommendations by the Shin Bet to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood, the Netanyahu government decided instead to side with the police and outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement.

About two weeks ago, the Israeli Cabinet had already decided to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, but the decision was kept secret. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked for a convenient time to publicize the decision that would turn some 10,000 Islamic Movement members, Israeli citizens, into lawbreakers. The terror attack in Paris on Nov. 13 presented him with the ideal opportunity to do so. Now, when France and all of Europe are on high alert due to extreme Islamic terror, Israel demonstrates how to fight subversive Islamic elements located inside the state and exemplifies the “defensive democracy” concept.

Not everyone supported this decision. The Shin Bet has opposed this step for more than 15 years, not out of love for extreme Islam but out of pragmatic considerations. The charisma of Sheikh Raed Salah, also called “Al-Aqsa sheikh,” has been dissipating in recent years. The sheikh, who heads the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, is viewed as the one fanning the flames of incitement regarding the Temple Mount and the one who funds the Mourabitoun and Mourabitat (Palestinian activists — men and women — operating on the Temple Mount compound) that were outlawed Sept. 9. Recent years have seen a decline in the number of attendees at the Islamic Movement’s annual rally. Arab-Israeli youth are not attracted to this organization in large numbers, and the Shin Bet feels that outlawing the movement may arouse antagonism among Palestinians in Israel and make it more difficult to track the radical elements within extreme Islam in Israel.

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