How the Islamic State is seeking to exploit the Palestinian cause
The so-called Islamic State (IS) is using a new wave of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories to serve its own purposes. This co-optation of the Palestine question poses real challenges to the Palestinian people. It also poses major challenges to the European nations that IS threatens, which, in the wake of the Paris and Brussels attacks, are struggling to enhance the European Union Agenda on Security.
IS’s attempts to re-frame the stabbing attacks as part of its Salafi-jihadi creed are dangerous incitements to violence. In addition, this reframing feeds straight into the demonisation of the Palestinian narrative by voices inimical to Palestinian rights, reducing a Palestinian rebellion against an occupying power to the same type of “terrorism” as IS’s religious fanaticism.
One of the ways in which European initiatives have attempted to tackle the apparent appeal of IS’s ideology has been the establishment of counter-narratives. The challenges these efforts face have been discussed extensively elsewhere. However, one highly politicised element of the IS narrative has been absent in counter-narrative campaigns: its Palestine propaganda.