In a January 18, 2022 interview on Yarmouk TV (Muslim Brotherhood – Jordan), Israeli Islamist leader Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, criticized the Southern Branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement and its political party, the United Arab List, for joining the Israeli coalition government. Salah said that joining the coalition has "shocked everybody in our society" and that it was a "slippery slope" with a "dangerous significance." He argued that the United Arab List was given "material benefits" in exchange for adopting positions and making declarations that "completely contradict our principles."
He singled out Knesset Member Mansour Abbas, the leader of the United Arab List, for making statements in which he recognized the "narrative of the Jewish identity of the State" of Israel and accepted that Israelis pray at the Western Wall. Raed Salah was recently released after serving a prison sentence for inciting terrorism and membership in the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. For more information about Sheikh Raed Salah, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 6120, 4587, and 4525.
Interviewer: "While you were in prison, the southern branch of the Islamic movement joined the Israeli government. There were some noteworthy declarations issued by the United Arab List that are being widely discussed. How do you view this experience and what is the context for all of this?
Raed Salah: "This is a slippery slope, to tell you the truth. This has dangerous significance, as we already feel. This has shocked everybody in our society — among Palestinians and in a more general context.
"It has become clear to us and to all the observers that joining this coalition was meant to drag those who committing this unfortunate mistake into the principle of 'give and take.' In other words, the coalition offered them some material benefits in exchange for positions or declarations that completely contradict our principles.
"In other words, when [United Arab List leader] Dr, Mansour Abbas said what he said about accepting the narrative of the Jewish identity of the state — that completely contradicts our national principles.
"When Dr. Mansour Abbas clearly declared that he agrees that Israelis would pray at the Al-Buraq Wall [i.e. the Western Wall] that is very much in contradiction with [our] religious principles.
"I will go even further and say that I, personally, have never heard of a single person in all our Islamic and Arab history that dared to say such a thing. The truth is that this is an unfortunate and distressing matter. I hope that the brothers in the United Arab List reconsider, and adhere to the principles once again."