Israel Govt Revokes Citizenship of Israeli ISIS Members, Ignoring Own History of Assisting ISIS

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Written by Whitney Webb; Originally appeared at Mint Press

While the recent decision to revoke the citizenship of alleged Daesh members has largely been framed as the Israeli government cracking down on terrorism, such narratives ignore Israel’s own past support for the terror group over the course of the Syrian conflict.

Israel Govt Revokes Citizenship of Israeli ISIS Members, Ignoring Own History of Assisting ISIS

Top Photo | A Jabhat al-Nusra fighter talks on a radio while carrying his weapon in the front line of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, May, 2014. (Photo: Hamid Khatib/Reuters)

On Wednesday, Israel’s Interior Ministry announced that it would revoke the citizenship of 19 Israelis who are alleged to have fought on behalf of Daesh (ISIS). The move comes after a new law went into effect, giving Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri the ability to strip Israelis deemed to be members of foreign terrorist organizations of their citizenship.

The alleged Daesh members were identified by Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, which provided the Interior Ministry with the names of 20 Israeli nationals who had joined Daesh. However, for reasons that are still unclear, one of the individuals on that list, who was left unnamed, did not have his or her citizenship revoked. Reports in Israeli media have claimed that the majority of individuals on the list were Israeli Arabs, though some were identified as Jewish Israelis.

Overall, Shin Bet estimated that 60 Israeli citizens have left the country since the conflict in Syria began in 2011 in order to fight on behalf of armed opposition groups, including Daesh and the Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front. Fewer than 10 are believed to have returned to Israel since fighting in Syria began. The Jerusalem Post further notes that “dozens” of Arab Israeli citizens have been arrested by Israeli authorities in recent years for allegedly seeking to join terror groups like Daesh.

With Syria lost, Daesh outlives its usefulness to Israel

While the recent decision to revoke the citizenship of alleged Daesh members has largely been framed as the Israeli government cracking down on terrorism, such narratives ignore Israel’s own past support for the terror group over the course of the Syrian conflict.

Indeed, from early on in the conflict, Israel made it clear that it “preferred” Daesh’s presence in Syria to the presence of Syria’s legitimate government, a preference soon followed by a report published by an Israeli government-funded think tank that called Daesh a “useful tool” against Israel’s regional rivals — Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Since then, considerable evidence, including a 2014 United Nations report, has shown that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have long been in regular contactwith Daesh, even bringing wounded Daesh members into Israel for treatment. Particularly jarring was the 2016 statement made by Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, that Israel does not want to see Daesh in Syria defeated.

Even the very Israeli who declared ISIS an illegal terror organization, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, later went on to candidly admit last year that Israel maintains open communications with a Daesh cell active in the Golan Heights, even though communicating with any group deemed terrorist by the state is, without exception, illegal under Israeli law. Not only that, but Ya’alon also went on to describe a specific incident in which Daesh apologized to the IDF after opening fire on an IDF position, suggesting that the Israel-Daesh relationship is deeper than “open communications.”

Given Israel’s proven collaboration with Daesh over the course of the Syrian conflict in order to aid its own regional ambitions, the recent decision to revoke the citizenship of 19 Israeli Daesh members is hardly the straightforward counter-terrorism measure it is being made out to be.

Instead, it is likely an indicator of the quickly approaching end of the Syrian conflict, which has seen the Syrian government largely reconsolidate its territory despite the efforts of largely foreign-funded opposition groups. Indeed, though Daesh was once a “useful tool” to the Israeli government, it’s failure to dislodge the Syrian government means that the group has outlived its usefulness — as have the handful of Israelis who joined the group over the course of the conflict.

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  • jakoDELETED

    Maybe those were some “freelance” terrorist and not their own regular Jihad terrorist’s that fight Jihad for Israel ! :-))

    It is obvious that they looking for scapegoats to white wash Israel from obvious support of terrorists in their Jewish Jihad.
    But than ISIS is also after the scapegoats or any kind of goat when opportunity arises and they only know that they use any opportunity to make goats happy! ;-))

  • Lena Jones

    And soon enough, the headline will read: ‘Hezbollah Destroys Terrorist Israel ID and nation’.

  • Rob

    Tehran: Russia to build a new nuclear power plant capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity in Iran, energy minister Reza Ardakanian said on Saturday, according to the Tasnim news agency.

    Iran currently producing 1000 Megawatt electricity from Bushehr nuclear power plant. Iran has plan to build nuclear power plants in Iran to generate total 11,000 MegaWatt electricity till 2030 to meet their electricity demand and reduce their dependence on petroleum, natural gas and coal.

    • TS

      From Wikipedia.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushehr_Nuclear_Power_Plant
      In August 2013, the head of Russian nuclear regulator Rosatom said
      that the state company would soon sign documents transferring
      operational control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iran, and on
      September 23 of 2013, operational control was transferred.[7][8][9]

      In November 2014 Iran and Russia signed an agreement to build two
      new nuclear reactors at the Bushehr site, with an option of six more at
      other sites later.[10] Construction formally started on 14 March 2017.[11]

      • Rob

        That’s correct.

  • Rob

    Russia will build a 1,200 MegaWatt nuclear power plant of type PWR-VVER-1200 in Syria.

    • potcracker2588

      lets meet in vegas……I bet 1000 dollars that this will never happen…….I´ll give you 10-1 odds

      • Rob

        Benjanyahu don’t cry to me cry to Putin which is the true hero and true world leader.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        That will require for you, to show prove of funds. Can you do that ?

    • FlorianGeyer

      Is it wise to build a nuclear power plant in such a contested area Rob ?

      • Rob

        The area feasibility report prepared jointly by Syrian government nuclear department and Russian government civil engineers. Russian ministry for power generation also said that the plant will be jointly build by Russian and Syrian engineers and will be under Russian protection from any aggression.

        • FlorianGeyer

          That protection would entail a permanent anti aircraft regiment for the foreseeable future plus specialist ground troops and a major problem with that can be the troops boredom over time as we witnessed with the US Nuclear missile forces who resorted to drink and drug abuse.

          Tis far better in my opinion NOT to build such vulnerable targets, especially in a country with vast swathes of desert where solar power can be harvested with no real environmental costs when things go wrong.

          Israel has Dimona and I would think that nuclear facility is a rather big target in extremis :)

          • Rob

            This is Assad government decision not mine.
            I have told you before that the nuclear plant will be protected by Russian aerospace forces. There will be S-400 and Pantsir-S to protect nuclear power plant.

            Russia is so sincere with Syria that they have established latest electronic warfare in Syria where all female military force control Syrian aerospace by using Russian Reconnaissance satellites and ground station radars to counter the aggressor’s missiles, fighter jets and drones.

            A little mistake of benjanyahu will completely eliminate Israel from Palestine.

          • FlorianGeyer

            ” I also have that dream Rob “

          • Val Shadowhawk

            Agreed. Dimona is a great target. Bombs away!!!

      • Ronald

        Building any nuclear structure in Syria or Iran, is just creating an irresistible target.

        • TS

          Syria has a research reactor already.. Has it been bombed? I think not.

      • You can call me Al

        What would be the point of blowing up a nuclear power plant when the fall out would affect Israel, Jordon and many other Countries.

        • FlorianGeyer

          American politicians and Military Top brass tend to like a practical example of their folly before blaming Russia for it Al :)

          And I suppose real drug crazed terrorists of any colour and creed just do not care.

          • You can call me Al

            Good point. Cheers.

    • TS

      Very good idea.. With Russian technicians of course and cooled by the sea.. not at Al-Qusayr, More like Tartus as there is not enough coolant in the Al-Qusaur region.

  • FlorianGeyer

    ” On Wednesday, Israel’s Interior Ministry announced that it would revoke the citizenship of 19 Israelis”

    Is number 20 on the list Al Bagdhadi ? :)

  • John Mason

    If serious then they will reduced the jew population by at least 50%. Definitely a welcoming news.

  • Luutzen

    Probably Arab Hamas supporters from Israel.

  • Val Shadowhawk

    The ‘useful tool’ has outlived its usefulness to the so called ‘jewish State’. And to any and all such useful tools, fools and idiots, I say, you had it coming!