Frontpage interviews the scholar that saw it all, Bat Yeor here
FP: Your book on Eurabia came out in a French edition in 2006, and is now just out in Italian. Dutch and Hebrew edition will follow in autumn. Is there a difference with the American version?
Bat Ye'orr: Yes, there are differences. I wrote the American edition in 2004, hoping to alert the American public to the changes that were profoundly affecting Europe on the demographic, religious, cultural and democratic levels. These transformations will modify Europe's relations with America and increase the gap between both. This situation is not specifically related to President Bush, albeit his strong Christian faith is one major reason why he is extremely unpopular in Europe. The core problem is connected to the satelliztion of Europe by the Arab and Muslim world -- the result of a policy pursued for over 30 years by choice, fear and greed. The demographic Arab and Muslim weight in Europe combines with the flow of Arab capital, the globalisation of markets and the huge European financial investments in Arab lands.
All this creates important Euro-Arab links and pressures which determine a policy based on economic opportunism. The European Union (EU) runs several student programs for Arab foreigners; it finances countless pro-Arab NGOs, and has established strong Euro-Arab networks to coordinate a common position against the U.S.A. and Israel between academics, opinion-makers, journalists and union workers. European states fund and structure the ideological Palestinian war against Israel. We have seen recently that the Britain National Union of Journalists voted for a boycott of Israeli products. Last year it was the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) which voted to adopt a "silent boycott" of Israelis universities, professors and students. This policy is instituted by the Euro-Arab networks that bind together European and Arab syndicates.
There is a weighty, almost iron collaboration at all institutional level between Europe and the Arab League countries. European anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism are built within this Arab and Muslim political nexus. Unless America accepts to enter into the same parallel disintegrative process of surrender and moral support to jihadist ideology that is rotting Europe, Europe hostility will not pass; on the contrary, it will increase. Europe now is chained to the Arab-Muslim world and cannot disengage or change direction. Blair tried to do it and failed miserably. In fact, after ten years at the head of government, he bears the main responsibility for this hapless situation.
FP: What has changed since the publication of Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis in America (January 2005)?
Bat Ye'or: The situation has aggravated on every front. At the beginning of the war in Iraq, (in Spring 2003) there was some hope that a democratic government would take over and would bring justice and peace to its people. But the elimination of tyranny, thanks to the Coalition forces, only brought to the fore the worst evil and inhuman forces that consume Arab-Muslim societies. The war in Iraq exposed American's shortcomings, Western divisions and unreadiness to confront global jihad. The chaotic situation there and the nuclearisation of Iran have fortified the Islamists. Moreover, the lamentable response of the Olmert government against Hizbollah in Lebanon and the electoral triumph of Hamas in Gaza, comfort the impression in the Arab and Muslim world of an Israeli and a Western debacle. Britain was humbled and did not react firmly to the kidnapping of fifteen of its sailors by Iran. Instead, British journalists and academia turned with violent hatred against Israel to appease Muslim governments and particularly the Palestinians who had abducted for ransom a BBC journalist. Such behaviour is typical of dhimmitude: the Christian dhimmi being too afraid to attack his Muslim oppressor directs his impotent frustration against a weaker and innocent dhimmi victim, the Jew. Those triangular relationships are constant in the social and political fabric of dhimmitude for more than a millennium and till today.
The hatred of America, the anti-Semitic culture, the cynic inversion of true, the support given to, and the siding with killers and abductors, express a humiliating feeling of impotency. Britain has become the barking dog of its protectors: both Islamists and Palestinians. This situation is not limited to Great-Britain, but maybe because it was one of the proudest and most powerful countries in Europe, one of the three major victors of World War II, that this wilful decline and abasement are so traumatic. Some Europeans, of course, oppose such policies but the EU directives tend to paralyse democratic rights within a web of totalitarian control of culture, media, and universities.
Moreover, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Latino-Arab alliance encouraged by the Andalusian Zapatero isolates America even more. The tactic to divide the West in order to weaken it, is succeeding.
FP: You have introduced a new concept: "Palestinianism." What does it mean exactly?
Bat Ye'or: I think that it is, precisely, "Palestinianism" which is at the root of Europe's decadence. It is an ideology based on a replacement theology whereby Palestine replaces Israel. As it has been conceived and instigated together by European and Arab intellectuals and politicians, it combines the worst of both cultures. For the Arab and Muslim world, Palestinianism embodies the ideology and aims of jihad against a rebellious dhimmi people. It is therefore based on a Muslim culture and theology that deny territorial independence and sovereignty to any non-Muslim people.
Palestinianism opposes Israel on two main points: 1) Jews being a dhimmi people cannot rule Muslims ¨C even less liberate and govern their country, especially if it has been formerly conquered and colonized by jihad -- such as Israel, Spain, the Balkans, Hungary and parts of Europe. Jews must be brought under the yoke of Islam. And this, of course, applies to Christians as well; both must be reduced to submission and dhimmitude. 2) Muslim doctrine rejects the Bible, it does not accept that it is the history of the people of Israel and the source of Christianity. Muslims believe that the biblical narrative, as it is transcribed in the Koran, is the story of the Muslim people and of Muslim prophets. For this reason, they deny the historical patrimony and ancestry of Jews and Christians in the Holy Land. For them, both Testaments have an Islamic source and describe an Islamic history since the people in the Bible and Jesus himself (Isa) were Muslims. Judaism and Christianity are seen as falsification of Islam. This is the inner core of the ideology -- even a doctrine -- of Palestinianism and of its war against Israel.
The European trend has added to it traditional Christian antisemitism which condemns the Jews to perpetual exile till they convert. The Palestinian war against Israel, strongly encouraged by many in Europe, came as a magnificent opportunity to continue and maintain the culture of hate and denigration against the Jews -- now the state of Israel -- and by lending a moral and political support to a second Holocaust. Europe has been the biggest supporter and subsidizer for the Palestinians as well as their ideological teachers.
FP: Europe has been Palestinianized hasn't it? What have the consequences been to Europe?
Bat Ye'or: The consequences for Europe are manifold, profound and it seems irreversible. Palestinianism has been the most effective tool to divide, weaken and destroy the West. But this process could only happen because an institutional apparatus, the European Community (EC) -- which in 1993 became the European Union -- could impose Palestinianism over all its member-states as a common foreign policy.
While in the Arab and Muslim world Palestinianism was the jihadist tool to eradicate the independence and freedom of the Jewish dhimmi people, in Europe it assumes another signification. The EC unofficial support for the Arab League jihad to destroy Israel restores a culture of hate that is self-destructive for Europe itself. Whatever Europeans may believe today, their whole spiritual and humanistic culture come from the biblical prophets, from the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery, and the promotion of human equality and dignity, from the salvific virtue of humility, self-criticism and the asking of forgiveness, from the praise of peace and the separation of religion from the state, and so on¡and on. All Christian feasts are Christianized Jewish feasts; Jewish holy books are Christian holy books.
Joining the jihadist camp involves the suppression of those links that structure and support Christianity, thereby weakening it, and leaving it ready to fall apart. And hate destroys its bearer more than its victim. It means to adhere to the jihadist ideology that seeks to impose a totalitarian Islamic rule over the world, a view that does not conceive of human plurality in equality, or accept criticism, or freedom of expression and opinion. It means that Christianity as much as Judaism, as religions and civilizations, are denied and deserve to be destroyed.
Palestinianism endeavors to suppress the links between Christianity and Judaism because it professes that Christianity was born from Islam, from a Jesus who was a Muslim prophet -- the Koranic Isa -- and very different from the Jewish Jesus described by the four evangelists -- themselves nurtured by the First Testament and not the Koran. In Europe, the theological replacement of Judaism triggered by Palestinianism, affects also politics. Except for derogatory comments, the media avoids mentioning Israel as if already it didn't exist, thus suppressing it by a silent boycott. Another European trend consists in imposing a strict historical similarity and equivalence between Israel and the Arabs and Palestinians, whereas there are none.
Since Palestinianism is now the foremost ideology of Europe, it has determined European support for jihadist tactics. And jihad is not like any war, it represents a whole theological war corpus, with its holy strategy and ritual tactics. Europe justified the PLO aim to destroy Israel from the 1970s, its abductions and killings of civilians, its air piracy, kidnapping and terrorism, blaming the victims instead of the perpetrators. In order to justify these crimes that are so contrary to humanist values and moral, Europe had to demonize Israel, to paint it as the biggest enemy of peace and has therefore rejuvenated its passionate love to hate Israel, vilifying it with its own crimes.
That's not all. Most Europeans do not agree with such policy. Many denounced it and fought against it. Hence through a coordinate campaign monitored by the networks of the European Union bodies, a system linking politics to markets, culture, universities, media and opinion makers, has spread its totalitarian grip over the member-states in order to impose a despicable culture of lies and denial that support Europe's pro-Palestinian foreign policy.
FP: This is all very depressing Bat Ye'or. Is there any hope in the West's confrontation with militant Islam? Is Europe lost for sure? What should those of us in the free world do? What can we do?
Bat Ye'or: The only hope for the West lies in its perception of the global jihad's aim and dangers. This is not a military war only, it is even more a spiritual, intellectual and political debate. But the European Union is taking the opposite direction by even imposing a lexicon that will censure from debate the word "jihad" and its existence in history. The cowardly European position discourages courageous Muslims who struggle for a democratization and modernization of Islamic thought and societies. Europeans are so well conditioned by Palestinianism to hate America and Israel that they are not only in denial but anesthetized.
What we can do? First, in Europe and America reclaiming our universities which have become bastions of 'Saidism'. Rooted in Palestinianism, this school named after the Egyptian Christian Edward Said, replaced Orientalist scholarship with ignorance and hate indoctrination against the West and Israel. We must also put the discussion of ideas in the open and bring it to the public without censorship, boycott and threats. It is the only way to prevent a racism based on frustration and impotency. But -- above all -- Europeans must decide on their values, their future, and fight for their democratic institutions and against the subversion of their culture. They must recover the control of their own security rather than beg for the protection of jihadists and be ransomed