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Interview with Dore Gold pt 2
00:00:49:00>>> Well, you have to be very precise about the status of Jews and Christians under Islamic rule for centuries. Under Islam, Jews and Christians were seen as people of the book. Which means they weren't like infidels, you know, Kefir [PH], who you forcibly convert to Islam. But there were second class citizens that were forced to pay discriminatory taxes, like the ____ tax, known as jizy [PH] in Arabic, or a land tax, called jirage [PH]. In fact, in the early Middle Ages, there were still substantial Jewish land ownership in Israel and Palestine, in the 7th, 8th and 9th century. But the burden of these discriminatory taxes led to many Jews getting off the land, and the land being taken over by Arab landlords. But, at least, given the era that we lived in, at that time, Jews were protected from being killed by Arab rulers. And so, in a certain sense, as Jews were being burned in a church in York, at that time, in England, they at least were allowed to survive and physically live under Arab rule. So, one could say that in fact, there was a certain minimal degree of tolerance of Jews, but it wasn't a flourishing existence. What happened was that during the 19th Century, the Arab world imported many of the anti-Semitic motifs from Christian Europe, into the Middle East. And you have, for example, the famous 1840 Damascus Blood Libel [PH], which was based on a blood libel derived from Europe. You also had Arab interests in the protocols of the _____, which was, again, a forgery that came out of Russia. , So, to say that the Jews lived wonderfully under Arab rule, would be misrepresenting historical fact. But, at the same time, at least, Jews and Christians had a degree of safety, that perhaps they might not have had in other parts of the world at the time. INTERVIEWER: (Inaudible) that was here this morning also mentioned, in discussing the partition plan, he (Inaudible) and he said, the partition plan was unfair because 30% - or 20% of the land was owned by Jews, and actually more of it was owned by Palestinians, and it was a totally lopsided situation, where Jews were being given sovereignty over 50% ____ much less. What are we missing (Inaudible)? 00:03:27:00>>> DORE GOLD: Of course, much of the land ownership in the early part of the 20th Century, in the British Mandatory Palestine was from absentee Arab landlords living in Lebanon. And you had, also, Palestinian peasants working the land. This also created a sense, among the Palestinians, that when the Jewish agency brought the land from the rich land owners, what about the poor peasants that were working the land, and created a sense of unfairness or injustice. But there was an effort, over the last century, by Jews around the world who were putting their pennies and dimes into little charity boxes of the Jewish National Fund, to buy the land that we developed. And the issue of sovereignty, of course, came later. INTERVIEWER: They say that Israel - the hatred of America, on part of the terrorists, is because they support Israel. Might it be reversed? Might Israel really be just the larger hatred of western society in general, or might it be the opposite? DORE GOLD: Well, one of the questions that motivated me to take up nine months of my work time, and write a book called Hatred's Kingdom, was to answer the question that President Bush asked right after 9/11 - why do they hate us? And what I discovered was that the way that Wajabi Islam developed in Saudi Arabia, from where 15 of the 19 hijackers came from, was that in the 1960's and 1970's it became more and more preoccupied with what they called crusaderism, which was a reference to the west. _____, as they would call them. And, in fact, the hatred of the west emanated from these deviant off-chutes of Islam like in the Arabian peninsula, which (let me try to rephrase this) - 00:05:49:00>>> You know, one of the reasons why I took off nine months to write this book, Hatred's Kingdom, was because I wanted to answer the question that President Bush, himself, asked after 9/1
00:00:49:00>>> Well, you have to be very precise about the status of Jews and Christians under Islamic rule for centuries. Under Islam, Jews and Christians were seen as people of the book. Which means they weren't like infidels, you know, Kefir [PH], who you forcibly convert to Islam. But there were second class citizens that were forced to pay discriminatory taxes, like the ____ tax, known as jizy [PH] in Arabic, or a land tax, called jirage [PH]. In fact, in the early Middle Ages, there were still substantial Jewish land ownership in Israel and Palestine, in the 7th, 8th and 9th century. But the burden of these discriminatory taxes led to many Jews getting off the land, and the land being taken over by Arab landlords. But, at least, given the era that we lived in, at that time, Jews were protected from being killed by Arab rulers. And so, in a certain sense, as Jews were being burned in a church in York, at that time, in England, they at least were allowed to survive and physically live under Arab rule. So, one could say that in fact, there was a certain minimal degree of tolerance of Jews, but it wasn't a flourishing existence. What happened was that during the 19th Century, the Arab world imported many of the anti-Semitic motifs from Christian Europe, into the Middle East. And you have, for example, the famous 1840 Damascus Blood Libel [PH], which was based on a blood libel derived from Europe. You also had Arab interests in the protocols of the _____, which was, again, a forgery that came out of Russia. , So, to say that the Jews lived wonderfully under Arab rule, would be misrepresenting historical fact. But, at the same time, at least, Jews and Christians had a degree of safety, that perhaps they might not have had in other parts of the world at the time. INTERVIEWER: (Inaudible) that was here this morning also mentioned, in discussing the partition plan, he (Inaudible) and he said, the partition plan was unfair because 30% - or 20% of the land was owned by Jews, and actually more of it was owned by Palestinians, and it was a totally lopsided situation, where Jews were being given sovereignty over 50% ____ much less. What are we missing (Inaudible)? 00:03:27:00>>> DORE GOLD: Of course, much of the land ownership in the early part of the 20th Century, in the British Mandatory Palestine was from absentee Arab landlords living in Lebanon. And you had, also, Palestinian peasants working the land. This also created a sense, among the Palestinians, that when the Jewish agency brought the land from the rich land owners, what about the poor peasants that were working the land, and created a sense of unfairness or injustice. But there was an effort, over the last century, by Jews around the world who were putting their pennies and dimes into little charity boxes of the Jewish National Fund, to buy the land that we developed. And the issue of sovereignty, of course, came later. INTERVIEWER: They say that Israel - the hatred of America, on part of the terrorists, is because they support Israel. Might it be reversed? Might Israel really be just the larger hatred of western society in general, or might it be the opposite? DORE GOLD: Well, one of the questions that motivated me to take up nine months of my work time, and write a book called Hatred's Kingdom, was to answer the question that President Bush asked right after 9/11 - why do they hate us? And what I discovered was that the way that Wajabi Islam developed in Saudi Arabia, from where 15 of the 19 hijackers came from, was that in the 1960's and 1970's it became more and more preoccupied with what they called crusaderism, which was a reference to the west. _____, as they would call them. And, in fact, the hatred of the west emanated from these deviant off-chutes of Islam like in the Arabian peninsula, which (let me try to rephrase this) - 00:05:49:00>>> You know, one of the reasons why I took off nine months to write this book, Hatred's Kingdom, was because I wanted to answer the question that President Bush, himself, asked after 9/11, why do they hate us? And it became crystal clear to me, after a short period of time, that the hatred of the west did not emanate from the Arab-Israel conflict. Osama Bin Laden, for example, was much more preoccupied with Czechnia, Kashmir, and with other conflicts involving Muslim radicals around the world, than he was with the Arab-Israel issue. And in fact, many Arab intellectuals have pointed that out. ,What motivated the September 11th attacks, and what continues to motivate Al Qaeda, is a fundamental hatred of western civilization. And Israel is only considered a microcosm of a much bigger tapestry. In fact, if you use the Iranian language, the Iranians refer to Israel as the little Satan, and they refer to the United States as the great Satan. So that Israel is despised because it's seen as an outpost to the west. The west isn't despised because of its support of Israel. INTERVIEWER: You once talked about - that the Sharon government agonizes over trying to spare as many civilians as possible. As a government official, can you testify to the degree of indifference between Israel agonizing over trying to minimize civilian causalities, at least to their own soldiers? 00:07:23:00>>> DORE GOLD:, I can share with you - I was called into a meeting in the planning branch of the Israel Army, about the time of the Jeanine incident. We were expecting a special investigatory group to come from the security council, or from the office of Secretary General _____, and we had to prepare for that eventuality. And I recall sitting with a military man who sat next to me on the left, who had a pile of army doctrine manuals, from different armies. And these different western armies explained, what do you do when you face a terrorist threat from a built up area like a city, what type of weaponry do you use. So these manuals all called for air strikes, they called for the use of artillery in built up areas with civilians, they called for the use of flame throwers. ,Well, I can tell you, the Israeli Army in Jeanine, did not use air strikes, it didn't use artillery, and it didn't use flame throwers. In fact, to the contrary, Israel sent in its soldiers, its ground forces, in difficult house to house combat, threatening the lives of our own soldiers so they could save the lives of innocent Palestinians. In the Jeanine battle, we lost about twenty-three Israeli soldiers. These were married men, they were from the ____. There are many orphans, as a result of those losses, today. Young children who don't - will never see their fathers again. And the reason why Israel sent in those ground soldiers, is because we don't carpet bomb Palestinian refugee camps. If there are terrorists there, we use our special forces, our ground units, in order to find those who are engaged in terrorism, without causing injury to innocent Palestinians. INTERVIEWER: Another charge that was raised by the Palestinian people; look at the difference in numbers. The Israelis (,Inaudible). In light of Israeli concern, how do you achieve that statistical (Inaudible)? 00:09:37:00>>> DORE GOLD: Well, one thing is for certain, I think you have to look, not so much at numbers, I think you have to look at the strategies of both sides. The Palestinian military strategy, if you can call it that, is to target Israeli civilians. When they strap dynamite to the body of a young eighteen year old Palestinian, and tell him to walk into a hotel on March 27th, 2002, to kill as many Israelis who are having their Passover Satyr, together, that is an act which is intended to kill innocent civilians. When Israel sends an apache helicopter in the air, on the basis of intelligence, destroys a vehicle with three terrorists inside, and in that vehicle there is an innocent civilian. Israel is not directing its fire at civilians, its directing its fire at those who want to kill our civilians. There's a huge asymmetry between what both sides are doing. INTERVIEWER: The reality of the Oslo cause, you mentioned (Inaudible) today. You turn on the television and you just see Israeli checkpoints, Israeli reoccupation ____. Is it today, has it gone back to a situation where it can (Inaudible) or are these defense measures in a war? 00:11:01:00>>> DORE GOLD: Well, I think we have to understand what has happened. You know, Israel signed the Oslo accords, in good faith, in September of 1993. In implementing the Oslo Agreements, Israel withdrew its military government over the Palestinians, and put in its place the Palestinian authority; a Palestinian government, under Yasser Arafat. So, that by the time we get to September 2000, when Arafat launches his war against Israel, the Palestinians are not under military occupation. They have their own government. They don't have an independent state, but they're not under military occupation, either. And the entire Oslo Agreement was also based, not just on the concept of Palestinian grievances, but on the concept of - on the basis of Palestinian responsibility. We're giving you this territory, you have to govern it. And you have to take responsibility for security in those areas. But what happened? Those Palestinian cities, which now came under the Palestinian authority of Yasser Arafat, became vast bases for Hamas, for Islamic Jihad, to launch suicide attacks in the heart of Israeli cities; buses went up in flames, explosions in the heart of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, even _____. And hundreds of Israelis have died. ,So now that the Israeli forces have had to reenter Palestinian cities, they've done so because the Palestinian security services failed to take responsibility for the territories that we turned over to them under the Oslo Agreement. Israelis do not want to be in Palestinian cities. They don't want to be going in and finding suspects and interrogating them. What we want is a Palestinian democratic government which takes responsibility for the areas under its control, including, I should say even especially, security. If that happens, we can pull back from Palestinian cities, and there can be a Palestinian self-governing authority in the future. [OFF CAMERA COMMENTS] INTERVIEWER: What is motivating a young Palestinian to take his life like this? What kind of incentives could be placed? 00:13:23:00>>> DORE GOLD:,You know, most people who look at these suicide bombings from the outside think that a young person feels a sense of deprivation one day, opens up the refrigerator, nothing is there. He's seeing that people are wealthy on the other side of the fence. (Let me start again, that's not good). ,You know, most people who, for years, looked at the phenomenon of the suicide bombings in Israel, think that Palestinians, out of a sense of deprivation, or out of a sense of anger and rage, decide, spontaneously, to strap dynamite to themselves, walk into a crowded Israeli restaurant, and kill dozens of civilians. But terrorism is not just a spontaneous act. It requires a vast infrastructure to support it. It requires someone to purchase, and to acquire the weaponry, the explosive materials. It requires someone to transport those explosive materials to a forward position near an Israeli city. It requires somebody to gather intelligence, to find out that Jews go to the market place on Thursday, before the Sabbath, to make all their purchases. And therefore, that's an ideal date for time, for committing a suicide bombing. ,And finally, and I think perhaps most importantly, it requires brainwashing young people with religious doctrination, in order for them to believe that by taking their lives they will better their spiritual condition; that they will go directly to heaven and, on their day of judgment, they will proceed to a Islamic concept of paradise with 72 virgins, being able to bring their relatives to this even in the future. This religious indoctrination, I think, is one of the central elements in the motivation behind suicide bombers. There's a parallel element, of course, as well, which is the financial inducements given by states, by Iraq, of Saddam Hussein, or Saudi Arabia under King ____, and under Crown Prince Abdula [PH], who are pouring huge amounts of money, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars into Palestinian society to pay the families of suicide bombers. So that a young man who comes from a family of twelve or thirteen children can at least hope that by him taking his life he will be regarded by his family as a hero, as a shahid [PH], as a martyr. And he will also bring about tremendous financial benefit to his family, in the form of a five, ten, or twenty thousand dollar payment. INTERVIEWER: (Inaudible) DORE GOLD: 00:15:57:00>>> Well, we used to believe that suicide bombers were probably unmarried, were probably young, that they wouldn't give their lives and leave their families without a father. But we found that most of those profiles broke down. Many people in the west used to believe that suicide bombers were poor. But what we saw, for example, in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is that these suicide bombers came from Saudi families who were well to do. Many of them could have gone and taken their flight training background, and flown Saudi princes in their Gulf Stream aircraft. But, in stead, for ideological reasons, because of deep, religious motivation, they decided that they preferred to destroy symbols of American civilization, and kill American civilians in the process. INTERVIEWER: Can Israeli concession with settlements, for example, buy off and placate and satisfy the ideological image of these suicide bombers? DORE GOLD: Well, you know, the big question is, what's the motivation? If the motivation was a limited parcel of territory, which the Palestinians want independence over, then one could make the argument that by simply Israel pulling back from disputed territory and giving it to the Palestinians, the whole threat of suicide bombing would end. But if you analyze the motivation of the organizations, that are sending these suicide bombers against Israel, they don't want a piece of the West Bank, they don't want a state in the Gaza Strip, they want Israel. And as a result, by Israel simply giving a settlement, or pulling back unilaterally, you wouldn't be ending the process of suicide bombing. We might be accelerating it, by showing that we could no longer withstand the threat that we're facing, and that we were pulling back, and we're on the run. INTERVIEWER: Settlements, just one thing about them, are - there seems to be a grievance, an obstacle for piece, a problem blocking the possibility of (Inaudible). Is there any accuracy to that? 00:18:03:00>>> DORE GOLD: Settlements are not really the issue. Settlements are sitting on territory, and territory is disputed. Israel has claims in the West Bank and Gaza, for secure borders, under Resolution 242. The Palestinians have claims in the West Bank and Gaza, for their Palestinian state. If you understand that these are disputed territories, the land is the issue. How much land do all the settlements sit on in the West Bank? If you actually could take a tape measure and figure out how much land the built up areas of settlements are sitting on, low and behold you would find that the settlements are sitting on 1.36% of the entire West Bank. Therefore, the settlements are an overstated issue. They may attract a lot of CNN and BBC cameras, but they are not the fundamental issue holding up an Israeli and Palestinian agreement. They are not the issue that is blocking peace. INTERVIEWER: If there were a credible Palestinian partner that could come up with a solution for a Palestinian self rule, balanced by _____, would settlements sabotage the whole process? DORE GOLD: Not at all. Because, in fact, the settlements are many times located in areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that Israeli governments, for years, have thought, are vital for Israel's defense. For example, there's a settlement called Ofla [PH], north of Jerusalem. Now, the settlement itself doesn't provide Israel with security, it's not, you know, young couples with baby carriages that are going to stop and Iraqi division from coming down into northern Jerusalem. But it happens at the settlement of Ofla, is next to Bahazur [PH], the main early warning station of the Israeli Air Force, Israel's Norad [PH]. And therefore, by retaining that settlement of Ofla, we're helping hold - we're helping Israel hold on to the Bahazur early warning station. And in many cases, the settlements, which were mapped out by Israel's Ministry of Defense, in the 1970's or the late 1960's, far defending particular Israeli security interests, that Israel would hope to retain, in any future territorial settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. INTERVIEWER: Just an elaboration on that. What is the reason why Israel can't go back to June 4th, 1967? Where is geostrategic, geographical reasons? 00:20:26:00>>> DORE GOLD: Well one has to recall, in the June 1967 Six Day War, Israel came under attack from the West Bank sector. Jerusalem, our civilians, were hit by Jordanian infantry, and by Jordanian artillery. Jordan's armored forces were massed in the West Bank, and about to take over the narrower portions of Israel, near the Mediterranean. And because of that, that United Nations Security Council, back in November of 1967, recognized that Israel entered The West Bank in a war of self defense. And, as a result, Israel was entitled, entitled to defense of - [let me start again.] And, as a result, Israel was entitled to defense of borders which would not be the same as the June 4th lines. Those lines happened to be where the Jordanian and Israeli armies stopped, in 1949. There were never permanent, political borders. INTERVIEWER: Another point, what did Israel have in common with the war on terror? How does Israel - the Israeli front resemble, and help as a - help in the larger American war on terror? DORE GOLD: The war Israel is facing, from organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is not a war over some limited piece of territory, or some kind of narrow grievance, it is an anti-civilizational war. It's an attempt to destroy Israel as a free democracy in the Middle East. Hamas, it's no surprise, is alive with Al Qaeda, who has much larger goals of not just taking the piece of the United States, or having some limited grievances in Europe, it wants to destroy American civilization. If we can demonstrate that it is possible to defeat these terrorist organizations, first and foremost militarily, economically, and finally, politically, there may be a chance, in the larger struggle against terrorism, to do the same. Because, ultimately, what we have to do is eliminate the military threat. But, at the same time, demonstrate a path towards co-existence with the Arab world, and with the Islamic world. Israel is determined to do that, and hopefully our western partners, our democratic partners in the U.S. and Europe, will do the same. INTERVIEWER: I have one point, does Jerusalem say something about Israel's claim and why it's worth the fuss and (Inaudible)? 00:23:09:00>>> DORE GOLD: You know, over the years I became very close to the former prisoner of Zion [PH], Natan Sharanski [PH], who, of course, was in solitary confinement in a Soviet prison. And he shared with me his viewpoint that, first of all, what renovated or what restored the identity of Soviet Jews, who are under communism for more than 50 years, was the identification with Jerusalem. And when he was in prison, what gave him strength, was the sentence, (Inaudible) - next year in Jerusalem. ,Jerusalem has a deep, spiritual, almost mystical relationship with the Jewish people. It's our direction of prayer. It is the city that has been the capitol of the Jewish people for three thousand years, even though we were forcibly thrown out of Jerusalem by the Roman Empire, had only come back after five hundred years. If the Jewish people were to ever give up sovereignty in Jerusalem, were to ever conceive Jerusalem, it would be a fundamental blow against the identity of the Jewish people as a whole. In a certain sense, I would say, over the last number of centuries, Jews have been divided among themselves, over whether we have a responsibility first and foremost to ourselves, a particular responsibility, or a universalistic responsibility to the entire human race, to all of mankind. Jerusalem is the one case, the one area where there is two responsibilities to converge, because in protecting the rights of the Jewish people, and the rights of Israel, to sovereignty in Jerusalem, we are fulfilling our universalistic mission to protecting Jerusalem, as a city open to all faiths. The moment we let down our guard and give up Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, we are abandoning our responsibility to all mankind, to keeping Jerusalem; a city that's open, a city of coexistence for all the great religions. 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