Translator: Davood Salehan
In the perspective of observers, sons of the Land is a political organization with ethnic trends firstly and the Palestinian National trends secondly. The movement refused to recognize the State of Israel and participation in parliamentary elections, which calls it political game, and it wanted to find a Palestinian national Arab solution to the problem of the Palestinian people. The initiation of formation of sons of the Land goes back to the early seventies and in addition to sectarian influence among Arab students studying in Israeli universities it could achieve considerable success in Arab local council elections in the eighties. Since early Nineties, the movement saw intellectual and political developments. Changes in the Arab countries and fundamental changes in the program of the PLO, which resulted in its current peaceful policy, is reason to these developments. Many believe that the sons of the Land is natural continue of (or heir) Earth movement which was formed in the late fifties in Arab areas and in half of the sixties the Israeli authorities banned its activities.
Sons of the Land was founded in form of a small organization in 1973 in city Um Al-fahm by attorney
Sons of the Land movement intellectually and politically has gone through three stages. At the beginning of the first phase that lasted from 1973 to 1983, the movement did not have a crystallized thought or clear political line and taking the Palestinian minority into account in Israel as an integral part of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation, rejecting the reality called Israel and opposition to the political plans of Rakah (or Hadash) were interface of all projects and policies and positions of the movement. With approaching the end of this period, sons of the Land besides clarifying its political identity as one of the backing of the Palestinian national movement led by the PLO, said that its ultimate goal is establishing a democratic and secular society throughout Palestine. Rejecting Jewish community in Palestine as a nation, knowing the Israeli government illegal and calling Arab countries to boycott it and not participate in Knesset elections were including the views of the movement in the first stage. In the second phase that continued from 1983 to 1988, sons of the Land maintained its earlier views but some realistic orientations emerged in the main wing of the movement that its signs can be seen in various fields including efforts to cooperate with the Communist Party (Rakah or Hadash) (in spite of the party's position in order to support the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the integration of the Arab minority in the current status) and raising slogan of equality of the Arabs and Jews in Israel in 1987. At the same time with new focus, the Islamic movement and pioneer list for peace were under aggressive advertising attacks. In the third stage, which started in 1988, sons of the Land witnessed intellectual and political transformations, and the following points are among the most important and significant of these changes. Acceptance of the idea PLO based on of statehood for Palestinians in the occupied territories and the establishment of peaceful relations with Israel, tend to accept the current status and participation in shaping political events. Some observers predict that the position of the movement towards boycotting the elections of the Knesset will be changed soon. This change does not mean ignoring the movement's ultimate goal that is the establishment of democratic and secular government in Palestine and formation of a Palestinian state next to Israel is a stage goal not final in the perspective of this movement.
"Sons of the Land" movement was adopted in 1990 and in terms of organization, it has a structure similar to communist parties organizational structure. The structure consists of:
1. Superior Public Congress that specifies the policy and stage and final objectives of the movement and it holds meetings every three years or at the request of the Central Committee.
2. The Central Committee which is the highest organ of Decision making of the movement on the conclusion of the Congress. Central Committee has 17 members and 12 of them are chosen by Congress from among its members, 5 other members, including three representatives of the three Arab regions, a representative of the students and a representative of the women.
3. Political Bureau of the Executive Committee responsible for electoral affairs and the daily tasks of the movement. According to the statute of 1990, the < Central democracy > principle, which is common in the Communist Parties, governs the activities of the movement.
Islamic Movement Party
In the seventies a movement began that later was called the Islamic Movement in the Arab community in Israel. Before that time, Islamist political activists were not present at the scene and political activity in Arab areas in Israel was limited only to the Communist Party, the nationalists and groups dealing with the Israeli government and Zionist parties. Extensive infiltration of the left-wing and nationalist movements particularly among young people and the inability of religious institutions and their dependence on the state that endowed Islamic confiscation and had limited dealing with religious affairs and the appointment of Jomeh Imams to himself, are reasons of the issue. But the most obvious causes of emergence of political Islamists groups in the seventies and expand of their influence in the eighties include: the return of many young people to religion (phenomenon that is known as < religious awakening >); direct relation with religious circles and experienced political Islamist formations in the West Bank following its occupation by Israel in 1967 and large numbers of young people studying in the Islamic science centers in the region; the Islamic Republic of Iran; the weakness of nationalist and left-wing tendencies on the one hand, and the rapid growth of Islamism.
Religious groups first emerged in the mid-seventies in the area Almosalas and at the end of this decade and the early eighties they were developed to the Galilee and elsewhere. Some of the young people who returned to Israel after studying at Islamic centers in the West Bank and awareness of social, cultural and political themes of Islam, had an important role in the formation of these groups. The youth after return to Israel in addition to publishing concepts of Islam through training courses, started some cultural and social measures including construction of library and reading room, building charity bases, doctor's office and health club. Sheikh Abdullah Nimr, a Darwish living in the village of Kafr Kassem, was one of the first people who attempt to form religious groups; Dervish is considered as one of spiritual and political leaders of the Islamic movement, and he was arrested in 1981, and he was sentenced to 4-years of prison that was released in 1984, after three years in prison. Darwish was sentenced to prison due to links with a secret Islamist organization called Asrh` al-Jihad (Jihad family). The organization was identified in 1981 in the region of
Islamic Movement believes that Islam is the solution to individual and collective human problems and it hopes that in the future create a state ruled by Islamic law throughout the Palestinian territory that would be a part of an Islamic state in the Middle East or even the world. Despite having such a purpose, the move seems to follows a moderate policy in dealing with the political realities in Israel and the secular active groups in the Arab areas. For example, it refuses participation in Knesset elections that knows it as a mark of legitimating government of Israel but also it does not call for a boycott of the elections, but it encourages its members and supporters to take part in it in favor of Arab candidates and in the last national elections (1992) the leaders of this movement made a lot efforts but they were hopeless and could not persuade Arab parties to provide a single list. The move does not recognize Israel, but it raises the idea of the equality of the Arab and Jewish civil and economic rights and besides active participation in local elections in Arab areas, it takes part in all national and local meetings that Arabs hold for their demands. Regarding the issue of the Palestine, Islamic movement since the late Eighties has emphasized the right of refugees in 1948to return to their country, and it stated its support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel's government.
Islamic Movement in terms of organization does their activities through local groups and organizations in various towns and villages. Although the move is still lacking of a general organization (that relates local groups and organizations and make them into a unified unit), it acts such as an organized group in the level of political activities.