Robert Spencer: “The Jihad Against Israel Will Go On”
Barry Nussbaum: Welcome to ATP Report. I'm Barry Nussbaum. We are back with our esteemed guest scholar on the Middle East, Islam, and the Palestinian people. Robert Spencer is the founder and editor of Jihad Watch. He has a new book out that I urge you to go find on Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.
Robert Spencer: Robert, welcome back. Great to be back, Barry, thank you.
Barry Nussbaum: Terrific. So we were talking in the last episode about Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 2004. His term expired in 2008. For any of you that actually know, he's still the president of the Palestinian Authority. He has banned all elections and made himself dictator for life. But he's getting old, and that life may not be long term. The adage in Israel is he's the president of the Palestinian Authority till they kill him or he dies. The obvious question is, what comes next? Obviously, Abbas does not want elections because when there were elections in the other Palestinian territory, the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians hated the Palestinian Authority so much they voted for Hamas, who promptly killed everybody that opposed them within the territory, banned all future elections as those types of wanton violent dictators are prone to do. And the worry on the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority is still in control is Abbas is gone, and there is an election are the Palestinians going to vote for Hamas just because they hate the corruption of the Palestinian Authority so much? Robert, what's your prediction? What comes next?
Robert Spencer: I do think Hamas is likely to win an election in the West Bank and that they would do the same thing that they did in Gaza. It's not even so much I don't think because the people are upset about the corruption, really. Corruption is not something that anybody can say that they're free of in this realm. You mentioned in the last segment that Mahmoud Abbas is a multi-millionaire. Well, you know, he doesn't have a trade. He doesn't have a business. He's been siphoning off aid money. But other multi-millionaires in this realm, our Khalid Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzouk of Hamas, who also have been siphoning off aid money. And you know neither the followers of Hamas nor the followers of Fatah, the Palestinian Authority's political arm really care about corruption. Nobody is standing up and saying, I'm the reform candidate. I'm going to clean this government up. Mohammed, the prophet of Islam he says you obey your ruler even if he is an Ethiopian with a head like a raise, which is an extraordinarily racist statement from the supposed great prophet. But it's instructive in the sense that he's telling Muslims that they need to acquiesce to authoritarian regimes. And for the most part, that has become a cultural habit all over the Islamic world. That's why you don't see democracies in culturally Muslim countries. And this is why Mahmoud Abbas has been able to hang onto power, why Hamas has been able to hang onto power, and why Hamas would likely take over. It's more because they are so fanatically Islamic. And being fanatically Islamic is what is really popular in these areas. So I do think that when Abbas dies, it is likely that there will be civil strife, but probably Hamas will prevail.
Barry Nussbaum: Well, you're probably right, number one. And number two, that's terrifying, because I've been all along those borders. I've been all around the Gaza Strip, and on the Israeli side is a light fire zone from rifle fire, grenade launchers, balloons with incendiary devices tied to them, Katyusha rockets and longer-range rockets, as you know. Fortunately, those weapons, for the most part, have not been lobbed over the security barrier from the West Bank and Israel proper. But I remember standing on the roadside at the barrier parallel to Tel-Aviv. I could see from the border of Israel in the Jordan Valley all the way to the Mediterranean with my eyes, no binoculars. And in my field of vision was the main power plant for Israel, which is just outside Tel Aviv and the Ben Gurion Airport. And God forbid, there was Hamas on the West Bank with those similar weapons. They could stop tourism into Israel with one grenade launcher that hit a plane landing or taking off. It's that serious. In other words, the land barrier that protects Israel, as we talked about in an earlier episode in the north with the Golan in the far south with the Sinai, does not exist between the West Bank and Israel. One side of that barrier are Palestinians that may have bazookas or grenade launchers or making weapons that they can just throw up in the air and over the fence. And on the other side is a civilized people that doesn't shoot over the fence even though they have more weapons than almost any country on earth. What do you believe, given that geography that you've seen, that I've seen, how is there going to be peace there?
Robert Spencer: Well, I don't think there's going to be peace. I think this is the fundamental fallacy of all the peace negotiations. And this is one of the primary points of the book. There is not going to be peace. Americans don't want to hear this. People are used to television shows that wrap up the problem in half an hour or an hour. And they think there's got to be a solution. I can't tell you how many times I've spoken in various places around the country and around the world, for that matter. And people at the end of it, they think, oh, no, this is such a downer. And they ask me, can't you give us any good news? What's the solution? And I tell them we have to understand the problem as it is. I would love to be able to stand up here and tell jokes and make everybody happy. But we need to be informed about what the situation really is so that we can deal with it realistically and effectively. And the fact is, this problem cannot be solved as long as there are people who believe that Allah is God, and the Koran is the prophetic book and Mohammed is the prophet then they're going to believe that they have to drive the Jews out of the land of Israel and destroy the state of Israel. So the problem can only be managed, and it can be managed. That is good news.
Barry Nussbaum: Let's talk about a couple of ideas. When I was last in Israel, I did a couple of interviews with Dr. Martin Sherman. He is of a mindset that you can't make peace with people who insist from the core of their being that they want and need to kill you. And his idea is you have to separate people like that. You can't have them in the same room, so to speak especially in regards to the West Bank, the territory of Israel inside the Green Line. The armistice from the War of Independence, which was supposed to be just a temporary secession of violence line that somehow in Europe ended up being the border, which must be honored. He wants the people separated because he says without that, you'll never have peace. Are you familiar with his idea of paying Palestinians to relocate elsewhere?
Robert Spencer: Yes, I am. And I think that they would readily take the money and then come back because the jihad imperative overrides every other consideration. If you were a pious, believing, and knowledgeable Muslim, then you're not going to make any kind of agreement with infidels except one that will redound to your own advantage. And so they may be paid. They may leave, but the jihad will go on. And what there needs to be ultimately the way the problem can be managed is only by strength and societal self-confidence that Israel stops engaging in these self-defeating peace negotiations. Certainly, welcome any of the Arabs who wish to renounce the jihad and live in peace in a genuine manner with the Israelis as they already have. There are many Israeli Arabs, even in the Knesset, although not all of them, are actually loyal to the state of Israel. But, at the same time, standing firm and making it abundantly clear that this genocidal incitement is not going to be tolerated in a way that it has been tolerated now for about 40 years to nobody's benefit.
Barry Nussbaum: Yeah, exactly. I agree with you 100 percent. Thanks for joining us on ATP Report, and a special thanks to our esteemed scholarly guests, Robert Spencer, for joining us today. I want to remind everyone that they should text 88202 and put in the word truth in your message. That will subscribe you to our text message service, so you never miss an episode or any of our articles. You get it on a daily basis, and we never charge for content. For ATP Report, I'm Barry Nussbaum.