In recent days, an Israeli Arab citizen who joined ISIS has been asking for the right to return to the Jewish state. More than one Israeli media outlet reported that the man known as Sayyaf regretted his actions and wanted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept him back, as he is presently being imprisoned by the Kurds in Syria. However, no matter how many times Sayyaf tries to appeal to our emotions, it is of critical importance that Israel never lets him or any other Israeli Arab who joined ISIS to return to the country.
Not too long ago, Yezidis commemorated the five year anniversary of their genocide. During that genocide, more than 10,000 Yezidis were massacred in cold blood. They were either shot, beheaded or burned alive. The Yezidi men and older Yezidi women were given the choice between conversion to Islam or death. Yezidi women and girls were sexually enslaved, where they were systematically raped and tortured. Meanwhile, Yezidi children were transformed into cannon fodder and Yezidi holy shrines were systematically desecrated.
The Christians in Syria and Iraq under ISIS rule did not fare much better. Meanwhile, the Kurds were ethnically cleansed by ISIS from huge swaths of land. An entire culture and civilization in Syria and Iraq was almost completely wiped off the face of the earth. Sayyaf, who joined a murderous terror organization that committed this grave crime against humanity, should face Kurdish justice for the Kurdish authorities in Syria represent the victims that ISIS hurt most. It is poetic justice for the victims of ISIS themselves to be able to try and convict him on their own.
The fact that ISIS also went after Sayyaf due to his Israeli citizenship is irrelevant. The point remains that Sayyaf joined one of the most brutal terror organizations known to humanity on his own free volition and thus should face the consequences. He should not return to Israel and enjoy five-star hotel like conditions in Israeli prisons, like the Palestinian terrorists do.
That would be an insult to the victims of ISIS. As a nation which survived the worst genocide known to humankind, we should not be lenient on any Israeli Arab citizen who joins a terror group which is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. It would be an insult to our Kurdish and Yezidi allies, who are staunch supporters of the State of Israel.
Furthermore, it would be equivalent to conceding defeat in the War against Terror for ISIS is a terror group dedicated to the destruction of Israel and thus Sayyaf returning to Israel after joining ISIS would be akin to allowing a fifth column into our wonderful nation. Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, proclaimed: “We were shocked in recent years by images of ISIS slaughtering innocent people, burning a Jordanian pilot in a cage and committed many other atrocities.”
However, Safadi claims that in recent days, too many in Israel have forgotten about these images and thus seek to forgive Sayyaf: “This testifies to the true equality among citizens of Israel. It highlights that there are Israelis that are willing to forgive him as if he did not join in the crimes of ISIS.”
Nevertheless, Safadi believes that such forgiving portrayals of Sayyaf in the media are highly problematic: “A person who went beyond the Islamic Movement, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and reached the point of joining ISIS lost all sense of humanity. He reached an unprecedented level of extremism. Therefore, we must not allow our human emotions to be involved in decision-making.
This terrorist surpassed all human barriers and reached into the very heart of the epicenter of evil on this earth. He can’t come back after that. It is forbidden to let him return to Israel, even to an Israeli prison. He can also pose a security threat inside an Israeli prison. It is not less damaging then him returning to his family. We simply must lock the keys to the state and to throw away the keys in the sea.”
According to Safadi, such forgiving portrayals of Sayyaf in the media are designed in order to help us “forget the crimes that he did.” However, his crime of joining ISIS is so grave that it is unforgivable. The mass graves of Yezidis in Iraq and Syria prove this point. Sayyaf cannot bring those people back to life nor undo the trauma of sexual slavery that ISIS inflicted upon Yezidi women and girls.
Furthermore, Safadi added that even though Bangladesh has forgiven the crimes of ISIS and repatriated terrorists to their nation, they are now utilizing them in order to ethnically cleanse and rape Hindus en masse within their nation. According to him, this illustrates the danger that ISIS still poses to society. Therefore, Sayyaf must remain within a Kurdish prison in Syria and the Kurds should be given the freedom to do whatever they like with him.
Given the scope of his crime, he should either be executed or spend the rest of his life in a third-world Kurdish Syrian jail, dreaming of the luxuries that he once enjoyed in Israel. This will serve as a deterrent for other Israeli Arabs who may consider taking a similar path.