Robert Spencer Exposes The Palestinian Delusion
Barry Nussbaum: Hello, and welcome to ATP Report. I'm Barry Nussbaum. We have a fantastic guest today, Robert Spencer, the creator, and editor of Jihad Watch. And he has a new book out he's going to talk to us about. We're going to get inside information from the world's expert on the questions you're about to hear. So, without further ado, Robert, thank you so much for coming on. We're big fans of yours, and we're thrilled to have you today.
Robert Spencer: Well, it's mutual. Barry, thank you. It's great to be here.
Barry Nussbaum: All right. Let's dive right into it. The new book is out. The Palestinian Delusion. Before we get going on in-depth questions, why don't you give us a brief teaser about the new book? What's the main thesis? And please tell our audience where they can get it.
Robert Spencer: Well, I can tell you, Barry, that I wrote this book because so many people over the years asked me, "What's a good guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that explains why it never gets fixed and why all the various peace processes have never worked." And, you know, J.D. Salinger, the novelist who wrote The Catcher in the Rye, and he wrote other books that I actually think are much better than Catcher in the Rye. And somebody once asked him how did you figure out what book to write? And he said, "I thought of the books that I wanted to read that didn't exist, and I wrote them." And so, I tried to follow that as a rule myself. And I wanted this guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that's what this book is intended to be, a one-volume, simple and clear explanation of what the issues are, how the various powers of the world have tried to solve those issues, why it hasn't worked and what we can do instead. And I hope that's somebody with some power and influence will read this book. And it'll make a difference because one of the main lessons coming out of it is that our policies toward this conflict have been wrong, have been based on false premises for decades, and that has wasted billions, if not trillions of dollars. And it wastes a lot of time and energy as well. And we could take care of things much more efficiently if we understood the problem. And that's what this book intends to make easier to do.
Barry Nussbaum: So, Robert, where can fans of the show find it?
Robert Spencer: It's at Amazon.com, and it is at Barnes& Noble.com. If there are any bookstores left out there, it should be at any self-respecting bookstore. Anywhere books are sold, it ought to be available. The publisher is Bombardier Books, and so wherever you will find Bombardier books, there it will be.
Barry Nussbaum: Terrific. So, let's start at the beginning. Before 1948, Palestine was a huge territory. It included all the Jews and the Arabs living in that geographic zone. In fact, The Jerusalem Post, the main newspaper in Israel until nineteen fifty, two years after the creation of the state of Israel, was still called the Palestine Post. In other words, the Jews were the Palestinians. And somewhere along the line, Palestine became a word for oppressed Arabs. And Israel became the word, at least in the name of those that hate the Jews and hate Israel to be the oppressor regime. Israel, the oppressor, apartheid-like entity, and Palestinian the poor victim of the oppressor. So, where did this name come from, and how did it become associated with Arabs only?
Robert Spencer: It's actually two thousand years old. It comes from the Romans who got it out of the Bible, adapting it from the Philistines, who were the ancient enemies of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. And the Romans took it to rename Judea. Judea is the land of the Jews, which they controlled during the first century of the common era. And they were putting down a revolt of the Jews in the year 70. And they decided after another revolt in the year 134 that they would expel all the Jews from the area, forbid them to live there, and rename the place. And to taunt the Judeans and the inhabitants of Judea. They actually renamed it with the name of the ancient enemy of the Judeans, the Philistines. So, this was the name of a geographic region. Palestine ever after was the name of an area like Brooklyn or Hawaii, but not the name of a specific ethnicity or nationality or race. It only became that in the 1960s, and it's been one of the most canny public relations moves, one of the most canny propaganda initiatives in the history of the world, really.
Barry Nussbaum: You are psychically feeling out my next question, which is the first leader of the Palestinians, and I put that in quotes, especially after your definition, Robert, was an Egyptian, an Egyptian terrorist murderer named Yasser Arafat. And my memory is the Soviet Union working with Arafat's guerrilla group who were on the run for all the murders they had committed and enticed others to commit in their name created this movement basically out of the air. Can you talk about that?
Robert Spencer: Yeah, Well see the Palestinian designation coming out of the regional name Palestine referred to, as you noted, the Jews and the Arabs of the area. Because even though the Romans expelled Jews in the first century, they never left. Most of them never left. There was a Jewish presence there throughout history. The modern-day claim that the Jews are all Europeans who came to the land of Palestine in the 20th century is completely ahistorical. But what happened was, if you look at the time of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the controversy was entirely framed as being one of Israelis versus Arabs. And you never hear mention of Palestinians. The word, as you noted, was referring to everyone who lived in the area. Not only was there the Palestinian Post, but there was also the flag of Palestine from the 1930s before the creation of the state of Israel and had a big star of David on it because most of the people there were Jews. Now, the Israelis were very popular in the beginning of the state of Israel. And it was partly because America loves an underdog. And the Israelis had defeated the surrounding Arab states that wanted to destroy it because of Islamic principles of jihad. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, they all went to war with Israel, and Israel won. And this was an extraordinary thing that made Americans love Israel and think this is the tiny, plucky, courageous state of Israel facing off against gargantuan and vicious, violent aggressor opponents. And so, in the 1960s, the KGB, which was a master of propaganda, and Arafat, who is no slouch at it himself, decided that they needed to outflank this with their own propaganda. And they would do this by inventing an ethnicity, a nationality of people, the Palestinians, and claiming that their land had been stolen, that this was the historic land of the Palestinians. The reality, of course, is that the Palestinians are not in the least distinguishable ethnically, racially, religiously, or culturally or linguistically from the Syrian Arabs, the Lebanese Arabs, the Jordanian Arabs. But Arafat and the KGB cooked up this whole idea of an even tinier people that would then be the underdog facing the massive Israeli war machine. And you've got to hand it to them. It's worked wonderfully. They have turned world opinion against Israel. They have made a generation, or even more than a generation of idiot college students think that they're working for justice when they stand with vicious Palestinian jihadis who pass out candies when they murder Israeli civilians. And this is all because of the propaganda that Arafat and the KGB invented about the Palestinian people.
Barry Nussbaum: So, Robert, unless I'm wrong, Arafat was an Egyptian, am I correct?
Robert Spencer: Yes, he was certainly an Egyptian. It's funny because most of the big heroes of the Palestinians were not Palestinian. I recently came across an article that was talking about some artist who had designed a lot of Palestinian money. And the article I'm planning on writing about it, the article was just a classic example of how this Palestinian propaganda works. In the first place, it said Palestinians had not been allowed to have their own currency for 60 years. Well, you know, the Palestinians never had their own currency because they never existed, and they never had a nation of Palestine. There was a British mandate for Palestine currency that the Jews and the Arabs both used. It was not some specifically Muslim Arab currency. Anyway, the point is that this artist has created this new Palestinian currency. It hasn't been adopted, but there are actually pushes for it to be. And he has all these heroes of the Palestinians on the money. One of them is the Egyptian Arafat. And another one is Edward Saïd, who was an academic, an American academic who claims to be Palestinian but was himself Lebanese. And this is one of the things about the Palestinian nationality that once you invent it, it's really quite fluid because since it didn't really exist, there aren't really any rules, you know? I can say my ancestry, and I can say where my parents were born, where my grandparents were from, and so on and so on. And I can't change that. That is what it is. But if an Egyptian or Lebanese or a Syrian or a Jordanian can suddenly become Palestinian, then it's a free for all. And anybody can claim to be. You know, maybe your Palestinian now, Barry, I don't know. But I mean, of course not, because Jews aren't allowed.
Barry Nussbaum: Exactly. Thanks for joining us today on ATP Report. Please remember you can text the word TRUTH, T-R-U-T-H, and send it to 88202 on your cell phone. It will subscribe you automatically to all of our videos like this one with Robert Spencer. You'll get it for free. You'll get them every day right on your cell phone, and it won't cost you a penny. Or you can go to our website. The easiest way to get there is type and findbarry.com. You can see all of our articles, including work by Robert Spencer there, and we look forward to having you. Again, for ATP Report, I'm Barry Nussbaum.