by Dr. Edy Cohen
The terrorists who perpetrated the attack on the synagogue in Jerusalem last week were inspired, among other things, by the Islamic State group. It was a hate crime against Jews, and Islamic State encourages the murder of Jews. The gruesome propaganda videos posted by the terrorist group over the past few months encourage Palestinian youth to fight Jews. It is the new jihad.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi recently gave a dangerous anti-Semitic speech, which included an unprecedented verbal assault against Jews throughout its 17 minutes. Baghdadi stated the military campaign against Islamic State was doomed to fail, and that the origination will fight the "crusaders" to the death and until victory is secured.
Addressing the makeup of the coalition against Islamic State, he said, "The Jews are afraid for their economy. They are afraid. They steal the Muslims' money so they can enjoy it. They fight us secretly and indirectly through the Muslim leaders who are traitors."
The Jews, he said, "Are very afraid for themselves, in case there is a revolution. They are afraid of the Muslims and of the return of the Islamic caliphate. We recognize their fears and weaknesses. They have recruited their dogs and their slaves [the Arab nations fighting Islamic State] to fight us.
"The Jews and the crusaders do not need the retarded pilots of the Gulf states. It is all an act. They [the Western allies] are selling them [the Arabs] their planes only after they retire them from service."
Baghdadi refrained from the use of the word "Israel," as he does not consider Israel as a viable entity, but rather as territory belonging to the Islamic nation. This is why he seeks to impart on his followers the belief that all Jews are the Muslims' enemies and therefore a war must be waged against them.
The Sunni jihadist organization has been able to overrun vast areas in Syria and Iraq, and most recently it has struck an alliance with the Nusra Front -- formerly a bitter rival -- thus paving the way for it to potentially overrun Syria altogether.
Joining forces with other jihadist groups in Arab nations such as Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia, affords Islamic State the status of a would-be state, as per their leader's vision.
Moreover, a few months ago, we learned that Islamic State also has a newspaper, "Dabik," which is published in several language and is distributed free of charge in the areas the group has overrun.
The past few weeks have seen Islamic State's "treasury department" issue its own currency -- gold, silver and copper coins featuring a relief of a palm tree, wheat, and Al-Aqsa mosque. The latter symbolizes the important place of the Holy Land to Islamic State.
Islamic State is currently busy fighting the Syrian Army and the Kurds, and dodging the aerial campaign mounted by the U.S. and its allies, which is why Israel has yet to become a priority for its operations. The organization, however, eyes the "Jewish question" as part of its objectives, and the day when we will have to confront it on our borders is not far off.
Dr. Edy Cohen is a research fellow at Bar-Ilan University.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.