(JTA) — The Islamic State said in its weekly newspaper that it has not focused on attacking Israel because it does not believe the Palestinian cause is more significant than other issues affecting Muslims.
According to the Times of Israel, which cited a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a March 15 article in ISIS’ al-Naba said, “If we look at the reality of the world today, we will find that it is completely ruled by polytheism and its laws, except for the regions where Allah made it possible for the Islamic State to establish the religion…. Therefore, jihad in Palestine is equal to jihad elsewhere.”
The article also criticized late secular Arab leaders, such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, for pressing the belief that “Palestine is the Muslims’ primary cause.”
The article calls for jihadists to fight the “infidels” nearest to them, leaving the fight against Israel to the Muslim Palestinians.
The article argues that jihadis should focus first on toppling the Arab regimes, which it believes defend Israel, and only when that is accomplished should they approach “the borders of [the] Jew[ish] State and confront its army directly,” according to The Times of Israel.
But it notes that Muslims have a religious duty to bring Palestine back into the “house of Islam” and should send aid to Palestinians who are fighting Israel.
The article encourages those unable to travel to the Middle East to fight Israel to attack “the Jews and their allies wherever they find them, [by] killing them, destroying their property, and harming their interests in any way they can.”