Arab MKs from the joint Arab list have rushed to make clear that they condemn Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and that the terror group's values are contrary to Islam.
"ISIS's crimes not only do not represent the values of Islam, but serve the interests of the enemies of the people of the region, and the mongers of racism and Islamophobia," the joint list said in a statement Wednesday night. "The joint list condemns the crime organization ISIS, and the terror it imposes on behalf of Islam, as it were."
The statement was released following ISIS's horrific execution of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, who was burned alive on video. The execution sparked worldwide condemnation, including particularly strong criticism from within the Arab world.
Oddly, however, it released a half-criticism of the international coalition against ISIS, led by the US, as well. According to the Arab MKs, the US may be fighting terrorism, but it is doing so mainly to perpetuate its own interests in the region.
"The list also criticizes the powerlessness of the international community in light of the war crimes of the Israeli government against the people of the region," the MKs said.
Joining ISIS: discouraged, but also justified?
The joint Arab list, likewise, encouraged Israeli Arabs "not to fall into the trap of the terrorist organization, which commits crimes against Muslims and against the unity of nations" and called instead for young Arabs to unite around "common values" represented by the list – "the human values of tolerance and collaboration and the joint struggle against racism and hatred."
Aida Touma-Suleiman (Hadash), number five on the joint list, provided some justification for Israeli Arabs joining ISIS, however.
"Young Arabs, although small in number, who are accused of joining ISIS are actually victims of exploitation from fundamentalists who use religion for political purposes contrary to the true interests of the Arab population and the people of the region."
"These young people are pushed into the arms of these organizations in desperation and as a reality of racist and discriminatory policy that attempts to distort the national identity of the Arab population," he added. "Our young people must understand that these acts are harmful to the Arab population."
In October, sources revealed that no fewer than 30 Arab citizens of Israel have joined ISIS; there is a move in the Knesset to revoke their citizenship.