The 'Gandhi of Palestine' sits in a cell, awaiting deportation

Sheik Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel (Photo: AP)
Sheik Raed Salah (Photo: AP)

The British police have finally caught up with Raed Salah, the delightful gentleman I wrote about on this blog two weeks ago, after he was served with (but managed to evade) an exclusion order by the Home Secretary on the grounds of his undesirability. (Raed has also been banned by the Speaker from parliament, where he was due to address a meeting of Left-wing Labour MPs tonight.)

Salah’s British supporters blatantly lied about the revolting views which led to this action, even though they have been documented in many places over many years. They also denied he’d been excluded from Britain almost up until the moment he disappeared into police custody. They even claimed to have “served” legal proceedings against me last Friday for my disgraceful slurs on the “Gandhi of Palestine,” as the “Middle East Monitor” website hilariously calls him. I’ve received nothing at all so far, alas – maybe it’s lost in the post?

The Salah story illustrates two problems for Islamists. Firstly, though lying is of course one of their principal techniques, they really do need some better liars. And secondly, more importantly, the idea that someone like this could seriously be described as “the Gandhi of Palestine” illustrates the terrible mess the Palestinian cause has got itself into.

It is a noble cause. The Palestinians are an oppressed people. But I’ve always thought the road of bigotry (as with Salah) and violence (with others) has been a complete dead end for them. Not only is it wrong in principle, it is mistaken tactically. It dooms them to play in a game they can never win. The amount of violence the Palestinians can bring to bear against Israel is always going to be less than the amount of violence that Israel can bring to bear against them. Killing civilians also significantly reduces the advantage which the Palestinians should have, the moral advantage.

Perhaps if they really had had a Gandhi – peaceful, non-hating and above all a builder, not a spender, of moral authority – the Palestinians might have got more of what they want and deserve by now. Instead, they’ve got Raed Salah.

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