Europeans see that groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda use the Palestinian issue as a recruiting tool. Their conclusion is that if they only solve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, they will solve the underlying cause of all Middle-East unrest.
But the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not the reason why Muslim youth feel oppressed in Europe. It is not the reason why European Muslims heads to Iraq or Syria to wage Jihad against what they see as Western oppression.
The Jews, as always, are just an excuse.
Divided ethnically from Belgian society, these largely Salafist groups created an alternative rhetoric of Muslim unity as their rallying call. “The question of Palestine was the decisive element in convincing my son Anis, aged 18, to leave Belgium to fight with ISIS in the battlefields of Syria,” says Geraldine, a mother of a terrorist from Molenbeek. “With the heavy police presence in the area, young people often compare the constant identity checks they conduct to living under occupation in Palestine,” confirms the deputy mayor. Karim Amezian, a manager of an independent association aiming to deradicalize youth in the area, says that there is nothing like Israeli checkpoints when it comes to upsetting young people in disadvantaged areas of Brussels and Belgium as a whole.read more
“My son, like many others, remained unemployed, afflicted by an implicit rejection from society by being unable to enter the labor market,” explains Geraldine. The same story is repeated by other mothers of jihadi fighters from Belgium, who know these men and their journey to radicalization best. Annalisa Gadaleta, a local official working in education for the municipality, adds how “the youth here in Molenbeek are frustrated in both identity and socio-economic terms."