By Anjuli Pandavar:
The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, by Robert Spencer. Bombardier Books, 2019. Kindle edition.
Within days of the reviewer returning from her first trip to Israel, impressions still fresh in her mind, this book landed in her Kindle. Pre-ordering works. She read it in one night.
The Palestinian Delusion packs a huge punch, arguably even bigger than that of Robert Spencer’s previous masterpiece, The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS. Not since Bat Ye’or’s 2013 Understanding Dhimmitude, has a book so critical to the survival of Israel, and by extension, civilization, appeared, at least not in English.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This slogan serves as the opening line of Robert Spencer’s new book, a line that could just as well have been, “This is the book about which there is no delusion.” As the book unfolds, it becomes clear that, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is not just a delusion, but a delusion that contains within itself multiple delusions. This appalling slogan is the culminating metaphor for all that has been “The Israeli-Palestinian peace process”, and a well-chosen scene setter.
Robert Spencer’s work is unanswerable because his credentials are impeccable, credentials that come down to two non-negotiable principles: original sources; and intellectual honesty. Those who will dismiss his books can do so only by not reading them. The writer’s life, for Spencer, is one of bravery — there have been attempts on his life, and tenacity — financial services companies have denied him service, bastions of inquiry have de-platformed him, one country has, infamously, debarred him. Spencer writes like a man who must keep writing, and his readers snap up his books as soon as they hit the shelves, or pre-order them.
Whereas The History of Jihad offers a blow-by-blow account of the fourteen-centuries-long barbaric assault on civilization that its perpetrators, Muslims, refer to as jihad, The Palestinian Delusion dissects just one, the most urgent, of jihad’s innumerable contemporary world-wide outbreaks: the jihad to destroy Israel. The “delusion” in the title refers to a multiple delusion: the first is the notion of a Palestinian nation; the second is that the “Arab-Israeli conflict” is a struggle over land; the third is that the so-called “peace process” is a series of negotiations, the fourth is that Judea and Samaria — what the Jordanians dubbed “The West Bank” — and Gaza (and the Golan Heights) are “occupied territories”; and that the Muslim Arabs are the wronged party. Along the way, many lesser and shorter-lived delusions are referred to, both directly and indirectly.
The manifestations of these many delusions are expertly woven into the historical sequence of developments that has been playing in and around the 28,000 square kilometers of mostly resource-starved scrub land on the Eastern Mediterranean coast, from which the Romans had banished the indigenous people, the Jews, less than two thousand years ago. In the chapter How Israel came to be, Spencer describes how the exiled Jews, having had enough of oppression, persecution and pogroms in their scattered existence, took to the idea of returning to their desolate scrub land. The only problem was that while they were away, that desolate scrub land had been overrun by Muslims on jihad, and when Muslims on jihad overrun your land, they ain’t never gonna give it back, ever. And should you have the temerity to take it back, Muslims will stop at nothing to take it from you again because, somewhere in the small print of jihad, it says that once Muslims rule a land, it can never ever be ruled by anyone else again, never mind that they seized it in the first place, as in this case, they did in 634 AD.
In Chapter Two: The Roots of the Hatred of Israel, under the subheading, Qur’anic Anti-semitism, Robert Spencer’s authority on the Qur’an, strong enough to deter Muslims and Islamic apologists from challenging him, is on full display. All the rage and hatred and killing that characterize the Muslim response to the establishment of Israel are traced back to the two sources in which they originate: the Qur’an (no fewer than sixty-nine verses are dissected for their role in this madness) and the hadith, accounts of the sayings and doings of the perfect man, the most excellent example for mankind, Muhammad, in particular the most notorious hadith of all, the genocide hadith, that no Muslim will repudiate — think about that:
“The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews,” (Sahih Muslim 6985).
Spencer explains, “Muslims are taught in their holiest books not just to despise and mistrust Jews, but that Muslims are doing a good and virtuous deed if they kill them, a deed that will bring about the consummation of all things and the dawning of eternal justice for mankind.”
Israel is not the first place where Muslim rule has been pushed back. Before the re-establishment of Israel, civilization was restored in various places throughout the 1400-year curse of Islam: Tartary, the Balkans, the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean islands, southern Italy, India, East Timor and, of course, Israel. Each of these reconquests is a deep affront to Muslims, for centuries the most galling of these having been the Iberian Peninsula, in particular, Al-Andalus (Spain), about which myths Muslim multicultural magnanimity abound. The re-founding of Israel eclipsed all other jihad losses, for it shook Muslim supremacism to its core. Not only is Jerusalem the setting of a great Islamic fantasy (a mosque that never was, from which Muhammad rode a beast that didn’t exist, on a journey that never took place), but Muslim rule was replaced with rule by Jews, and the Palestinian Delusion lays out, meticulously, which chapters and which verses in the Qur’an, and which saying and teachings of Muhammad, make it impossible for Muslims to countenance Jewish rule over lands that Muslims had once ruled, let alone Jewish rule over Muslims. The “Palestinians” are the objects of prayers and beseeches in mosques around the world.
Even Spencer’s meticulous tying-back of Muslim actions and utterances directly to the Qur’an and the hadith, will meet with incredulity from most. A delusion can be a medical condition, in which case the sufferer has no control over the condition. A delusion can also be a willful construct, a desire so desperately to believe something not to be true, that to be confronted with evidence to the contrary can prove an intensely distressing experience. So deeply and successfully have the twin ideological onslaughts of political correctness and multiculturalism wormed their way into the Western psyche, that otherwise rational people become quite irrational when it comes to Islam and Muslims. By the time even the brightest students enter the universities, high-school indoctrination has already completed its work on them. Whether they are consciously aware of this happening to them is not important right now. What is important is that it accounts to a significant degree for the anger-fueled delusions surrounding Israel, the Jews and the Muslim Arabs who today find themselves on the side of the River Jordan that Mandate Palestine had designated as the Jewish National Home.
Yet credit for conjuring this fantasy nation of “the Palestinians” does not go to Muslims, but to the godless Soviets. The Palestinian Delusion, through what should be the normal scholarly standard of going to the sources, but is nowadays shunned in favor of a priori ideological dogma, lays out that this nation that so many the world over get so angry and passionate about, is nothing but a squalid KGB Cold War side-project. They even repurposed an Egyptian born in Cairo into the “Palestinian” Yasser Arafat they needed. Spencer shows that Yasser Arafat himself denied the existence of Palestine and Palestinians:
“The question of borders doesn’t interest us…. From the Arab standpoint, we mustn’t talk about borders. Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean. Our nation is the Arabic nation that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and beyond it…. The P.L.O. is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call ‘Jordan’ is nothing more than Palestine,” and King Hussein of Jordan concurred, “The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”
So who, exactly, are the people who want to be “The Palestinians”? We read that they are fake. Everything about them is fake. Nothing about them distinguishes them from the Muslim Arabs around them. No songs, no national dress, no cuisine, and no quirky cultural habits. Even the “Palestinian” flag, we learn from The Palestinian Delusion, is the repurposed cast-off salvaged from the defunct Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan that existed for all of 138 days in 1958.
While it is absolutely correct that the Jews should retake their land, it stands as one of the great ironies of history that they should have been so unprepared for the ferocity with which the surrounding Muslim Arabs would meet them on their return. They had, after all, been dhimmis under Muslim rule all over the Middle East and North Africa for almost one-and-half millennia. It was (and quite patently remains) inconceivable that Muslims, “the very best of people” according to their Allah, would ever countenance “the descendants of apes and pigs” ruling over them. Why the Jews, the Zionists, had such a blind spot for their own 1400-year experience at the hands of Muslims is one of the gaps in the Palestinian Delusion.
The farce that was the “peace process”, Spencer shows, was little more than a monumental scam on the part of “Palestinian” Arabs to dupe Western leaders (who wanted to be duped) and to play the Western liberal intelligentsia (who wanted to be played), with the purpose of getting the leaders to pressurize Israel into making concessions to the Arabs and of turning the Western populations against Israel and the Jews in general. They even managed to bring Israelis to within a whisker of committing national suicide, having convinced so many of them that they could buy peace with land. Not only did the nation almost tear itself part when it withdrew from Gaza, the strip promptly turned into a nightmare right on their doorstep for which Israel’s southern communities have suffered intolerable insecurity in their own country ever since.
The Palestinian Delusion reads particularly strongly on the Sadat-Carter-Begin-Rabin fiasco, revealing, perhaps to the surprise of many, just what a sly, duplicitous and dangerous character Sadat was. When reading this, one cannot help but notice that Jimmy Carter’s enthrall to Anwar Sadat prefigured that of Nancy Polosi to Ilhan Omar. Carter’s naïvity and pathos might induce embarrassment in Americans, but it is no match for the shameful conduct of the British in this whole sorry affair, whose duplicity, double-dealing and treachery were almost on a scale to match that of the Muslim Arabs in the peace process. The Palestinian Delusion has nothing good to say about these two parties, and that is because there is nothing good to say.
The United Nations and its agencies come in for a well-deserved pummeling in The Palestinian Delusion, for they are shown to be little more than instruments of jihad, right down to the inculcation of Jew-hatred in the Arab children in UN schools and those children’s early indoctrination into aspiring to be jihad mass murderers. A child in a UN school shares his aspirations: “Stabbing and running over Jews brings dignity to the Palestinians. I’m going to run them over and stab them with knives.” If The Palestinian Delusion has one message, it is Get real!
The blatant, relentless and ritualistic discrimination against and legal abuse of Israel at the United Nations are also thoroughly treated, not least the outrageous “inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war,” contrived especially for Israel after it drove Jordanian troops back out of Judea and Samaria, Egyptian troops back out of Gaza and Syrian troops back out of the Golan Heights, after those countries had seized those territories in their aggressive 1967 war, intent on wiping out Israel. It has been a basic practice ever since men made war, that if an aggressor loses a war, that aggressor loses such territory as the victim had managed to conquer from it. The book makes clear that it is the first time ever that it is demanded of a country attacked that it returns territory won in self-defense. Of course, should Israel accept this blatantly ridiculous principle, any of its many hostile neighbors will have every incentive to try again next year in the full knowledge that they will never lose territory, the old pattern of annual jihad war restored. The Palestinian Delusion strengthens the view that it is well past time that the United Nations, one of the greatest delusion of all, has outlived its purpose.
Spencer describes all the “one-state solutions” on offer as “grim scenarios”. Grim they certainly are and he shows why they are. “What is to be done?” asks Chapter Ten in its title. Indeed, what is to be done? The jihad imperative is absolutely fundamental to Islam. It is never going to go away. Spencer is forceful throughout, but in addressing the question What is to be done, a great deal more forcefulness would be justified.
“There is no solution that will establish a permanent peace, but the problem can be managed. Islamic jihadists respect nothing about those whom they regard as infidels except strength… The key to Israel’s survival, therefore, is not negotiations or more concessions of land for a chimerical peace, but strength: military, cultural, and societal strength.”
Quite right. There can NEVER be negotiations; there have never been. Negotiations are premised on a reality of approximate parity and the presumption of mutual goodwill. All else is, to a greater or lesser extent, extortion. Israel might have been negotiating, but the Palestinians have done nothing but deceive and extort, aided and abetted by their naïve, deluded or self-serving allies and supporters, unshakably convinced that they hold the moral high ground. The Muslim Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria have zero goodwill, on the contrary. At the same time, there can be no notion of parity between one of the world’s most militarily powerful and technologically advanced societies, and — whatever the politically-correct term for it is — a squalid, ignorant, petty, superstitious, duplicitous and cruel people who rejoice at their own children’s deaths and go into religious rapture at the thought of killing Jews. Negotiations with such people are a nonstarter, always and forever.
Spencer goes on to caution, “If a Palestinian state is established, Israel should not only recognize that it will be its inveterate enemy from the first moment of its existence and plan accordingly.” This reviewer would say that it must be Israel’s topmost priority that no such state ever be established. The 365 sq Km Gaza strip alone, with its 1.85 million people, is a never-ending nightmare for the Jewish state. Because Israel’s response is always limited and the restrictions it imposes on Gaza are always lifted after, to the Muslim Arab mind, these are all victories, “Israel bowing to the demands of the resistance.” This not hype or spin; they actually do believe it. Every time Israelis run for their shelters, Gazans see affirmation of their superiority; they are ready to face death and do not run for cover when Israel bombs them. So whether their rockets kill Israelis or are shot out of the sky, every single rocket fired is a victory for Hamas. Truces agreed with Hamas are broken within the hour, and the rockets fly again. Thus does Israel itself, through its own delusional policies of limited response, keep the jihad waged against itself going.
Judea and Samaria fill Israel’s abdominal cavity. No inch of the Jewish part of Mandate Palestine can ever be sacrificed for a project as suicidal as a Palestinian state. “[Israel] should not pretend that the establishment of this state has solved or will solve anything.” It might be safe to say that Gaza has removed any danger of such pretense. Israel should offer neither apology nor explanation for dealing with those who will destroy it exactly as it sees fit.
“If… Israel… assumes full political control over what are at present considered to be the Palestinian territories, …[it] would require a sea change in international politics ever to be even seriously considered…”
Some Israeli leaders insist that Israel must be able to defend itself by itself. While this insistence is generally understood to mean that Israel should be military capable of fending off all potential attackers without needing to call on its allies, there could be more to this dictum: the Jewish state does not require international political approval for defending itself. If defending itself means establishing full political control over Gaza, Judea and Samaria, then it must do so without regard to international politics. It is hardly possible for Israel to be more isolated than it was in the immediate aftermath of its founding, when it was no more than the “desolate wasteland” left behind by centuries of Muslim rule. The country, a confident high-tech miracle that within seventy years, without oil, has managed lead the world in medical innovation, greened the desert and sent a craft to the Moon, is a very different proposition today.
“It is time for a new approach,” says Spencer. “The response of Israel, and of the free world in general, should not be fear or hatred, but a sober realism and a determination to remain resolute against the jihad, to defend Israel as a legitimate state and a free society, and to stand firm for humane values and the principles of human rights.”
A few days after the publication of The Palestinian Delusion, news broke of a bill making its way through the Indian Parliament, according to which Indian citizenship would be offered to all persons in neighboring countries suffering Muslim persecution. Muslims permanently and universally persecute non-Muslims, especially Jews, and Christians have done so for certain periods in particular places as well. Israel has set itself up as a country that rescues Jews from wherever they may be persecuted and provides them with a safe home. While Israel, quite reasonably, focuses on one group of victims regardless of the perpetrators, India, even more reasonably, focuses on all the victims of one group of perpetrators, Muslims, and wants to offer those victims a safe home. Given India’s liberation of Muslim women from the extremely unfair and humiliating (for the woman) Islamic divorce laws, its recent frustration of Pakistan’s jihad designs on Kashmir and the country’s growing affinity towards Israel, the new approach that Spencer proposes for Israel would be on firmer ground not with “The free world in general” (the major components of which are already ideologically paralyzed), but with hand-picked partners who show no “fear or hatred, but a sober realism and a determination to remain resolute against the jihad, to defend Israel as a legitimate state and a free society, and to stand firm for humane values and the principles of human rights.” Apart from the United States, India and Japan (not China! — this is the latest Israeli delusion) are two such partners. Taiwan and the four Visegrád countries could be, too, as could Rwanda. Just a few days ago, Bolivia invited Israel to help it clear out a Hezbollah infestation in their country. Israel is looking at the world with fresh eyes. It does not have to play the game by obsolete Cold War rules.
What about the Muslim Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria? Are they not tired of the rampant corruption and nepotism, and of the appalling governance? Is there any glimmer of hope from that quarter of a sensible, civilized and lasting way forward? The present reviewer sees none. It is true that everyone who is not on the make in “the Palestinian Territories” is bearing the yoke of a corrupt regime, but it is not the Palestinian population as a whole that will rise up against their corrupt and abusive leaders, and especially not when the “enemy” is the Jews. Muslims are taught that no matter how bad a leader is, if the leader is a Muslim, then you obey that leader, except when that leader commands you to act against Allah. Muslims are taught to be patient, and they are quite capable of being patient for generation after generation for centuries. These are authoritarian societies that run on dependent subordination and have an entire ideological infrastructure to keep that system in place. To the general population in such a society, the leaders are entitled to what they’re helping themselves to. No one has a problem with leaders favoring their sons for the top jobs. It is the right thing to do. In Arab society, no one is entitled to anything, except the leader of the land and the husband of the house, who dispense favors and hand-outs to their dependent subordinates. There is neither professionalism, nor service; only the dispensing and denial of favors. A problem only arises when the leaders fail to dispense sufficient hand-outs.
This is where the political economy of pay-for-slay comes in. It is not just that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is an corrupt, Jew-hating, terrorist outfit that pays its people to kill Jews, but with pay-for-slay, the PA manages to kill two birds with one stone: keep up jihad and keep the hand-outs flowing (more on this below). Only those people who have broken the ideological and psychological bonds of dependent subordination and become autonomous individuals — the kind of people who characterize free societies — have a problem with corruption, and they are firmly under the boot of the PA security apparatus. Only with them lies hope, but not nearly enough for Israel to build a policy on.
The Palestinian Delusion describes Hamas’ exhorting and offering to pay Gazans for getting themselves or their family members killed at the border fence with Israel, so as to make propaganda capital out of their deaths. Spencer quotes Mahmoud al-Habbash, PA President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser on Islamic affairs and Sharia top-judge, denouncing this Hamas practice and belittling the propaganda value of these deaths, essentially accusing Hamas of ‘bigging it up.’
“When you hear them [Hamas’ heroic slogans], you think that the people saying them are inside the al-Aqsa Mosque after they liberated it. And afterwards you discover that they’re only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims, [saying]: ‘You Palestinians, our people, go and die so that we’ll go to the TV and media with strong declarations.’ These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore. The Palestinian people…sides with the PLO.”
Spencer sees in this PA spat with Hamas the two sides jockeying for popular support. But the judge’s outburst is more sinister than that. Qur’an 9:111 exhorts Muslims thus: “Allah has purchased the life of believers, who must devote to His command and engage in Jihad—and slay and be slain in the process—in order to gain Paradise,” (emph. AP).
Hamas, being an even more primitive outfit than the PA, lacks the administrative infrastructure to run its own pay-for-slay program, let alone eclipse that of the PA. Whereas the PA offers pay-for-slay, Hamas must resort to pay-for-be-slain. It is quick and dirty and has the potential to rapidly mushroom and draw the envy of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, who have had their opportunities for martyrdom severely curtailed since the erection of the security barrier, the PA’s cooperation with Israel’s security forces, and the growing presence of armed Jewish communities in their midst. The PA is anxious for its own pay-for-slay policy not to be upstaged by any Hamas imitation, and is ready to fight to protect the pre-eminence of its generous policy in the eyes of the Palestinian population. So sly is the PA’s pay-for-slay set-up, and so ignorant is Israel of the political economy of Muslim Arab societies, that every time Israel withholds PA taxes to the extent of pay-for-slay hand-outs, it compounds the Palestinian population’s perception of Israel as oppressing them, and the PA wastes no time in making the most if that perception. Fear of facilitating a Hamas take-over of Judea and Samaria stays the Israeli’s hand in their dealings with the PA. Israel is fighting the “Palestinians” with one hand untied behind its back.
Israel being under attack from three terrorist organisations and worrying about protecting one terrorist organisation, the PA, from another, more barbaric, Hamas, and this second in turn from yet a third and even more barbaric, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, makes for Byzantine complexities. This reviewer was left wishing that The Palestinian Delusion had thrown some more light on the nightmarish three-dimensional chess game that these four parties find themselves entangled in, not to mention the evolution of Egypt’s role in the long-running saga and the entry of new mischief-makers, Iran, Qatar and Turkey, into the fray. Thankfully, the recent mass-deportation of “refugees” from Eritrea and Sudan, clearly a hijra infiltration à la EU and probably orchestrated by the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), shows the Israeli government is not easily intimidated by accusations of racism. But it is also telling how few such accusations came forth from the Western media and intelligentsia. Is it possible that the Western European populations are finally beginning to make the connection between the jihad on Israel and the jihad invasion they are themselves experiencing? It would be a potentially fatal own-goal for the OIC if the Western European populations were to wake up to what its handmaiden, the EU, has been doing to them, through learning about Israel’s rationale for deporting their “refugee” Muslim invaders.
The start of The Palestinian Delusion does an excellent job of contextualizing the jihad facing Israel within the doctrines of Islam. Surprisingly, there is no matching contextualization at the end, missing the opportunity for a more political, rather than doctrinal, contextualization. If Islam is the problem, as the book clearly and rightly shows it to be, then even if the Palestinian question were soluble, it is but a single manifestation of a much greater problem: the orchestration of global jihad by the OIC, Allah’s diplomatic corps. This organisation’s stranglehold over the European Union and the United Nations allows it to direct nations against Israel as instruments of the Qur’anic jihad imperative. There is no telling which country will bend to its will next. But it is facing growing frustration on a number of fronts, not least on account of President Trump moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the significance of which is well highlighted in The Palestinian Delusion. This one is a slow-burner, but it will keep burning.
Israel and Islam are mutually exclusive; unstoppable force meets immovable object. Islam is Islam is Islam, and Israel has to be extremely wary the Muslims Members of Knesset (MKs), especially now that the tide may be turning against the “Palestinians” and for Israel, e.g., the Austrian proposal to have BDS declared anti-Semitic and to deny funding to organisations that support BDS principles. Muslim MKs may not be terrorists, but they are Muslims, adherents of the scripture that commands them to, “Drive them out from where they drove you out,” and followers of a prophet who stressed to his followers that, “The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”
When those MKs are strong enough, they will break cover. Muslims know this, but unfortunately, Jews do not — at least, not yet. Many who should have listened to Bat Ye’or did not, and the delusions rolled on. Perhaps they will now listen to Robert Spenser. His natural audience and focus is the United States, its Government, its security establishment and its people. The Palestinian Delusion, however, is far more immediately critical to the survival of Israel than it is to the US, and one would hope for a Hebrew translation soon.
So back to the question: What is to be done? The only party to this mess interested in peace is Israel. The only way peace will be arrived at is if it were imposed. The only party capable of imposing peace is Israel. So Israel, if it wants peace, has no choice but to impose it. Imposing peace, of course, means by military force, but that does not necessarily mean oppression. To attain and maintain peace means keeping the Muslim Arab propensities for jihad in check, and having a severe deterrent at the ready for the rest of the world’s Muslims.
How? By saturating Gaza, Judea and Samaria with Jewish communities, armed, of course. In Gaza this would have to be preceded by militarily retaking the territory in strips working towards the Egyptian border and the coast, based on a calculus of rockets and mortars fired and kites launched into Israel. To think that surgically taking out a terrorist leader asleep in his bed, as Israel has recently done, is going to stop the common jihad terrorist is another delusion. Jihad terror is not committed because this leader or that leader masterminds this or that jihad operation, but because jihad is incumbent on every Muslim. They do it not because the mastermind orders it, but because Allah commands it.
The jihad against Israel might not be a war over land, but it is a war by means of land. Muslim Arabs do not want the land so they can establish Palestine; they want the land so they can disestablish Israel, nay, not to merely disestablish it and take its considerable assets for themselves, but to destroy it, obliterate all evidence of it, as they did with the greenhouses of Gaza. Everything about Israel and the Jews is an affront to the Qur’an. It is a glittering stain that must be expunged. To that end do they need the land that they do not want.
Concomitantly, the more land they lose of the land they do not want, the more of Israel they are left with to disestablish and the greater the reversal of their jihad. Shrinking Gaza is not only about greater security for Israel’s southern communities, it is about resetting the Muslim Arabs’ problem to its original state before all the concessions where swindled and bullied out of Israel: Jews ruling over all the land assigned it in the division of Mandate Palestine, viz., from the river to the sea. Such would be real losses for jihad, losses that hurt, losses that offend, losses that enrage. If for every rocket fired, Gaza has had to pay in lost land, the rocket problem might well have been solved by now, if not the Gaza problem altogether. No need to worry about Palestinian boat people; Erdogan will send luxury liners to Gaza.
Here, I think, lies the greatest lesson from The Palestinian Delusion: whoever you are, and especially if you are the Israeli Government and security establishment, whatever assumptions you are making about Muslim Arabs, think again. Are you projecting your own rationale onto the mind of a Muslim Arab? Are you projecting your own value-system onto the ethics of a Muslim Arab? Are you projecting your own aspirations onto the heart of a Muslim Arab? Delusion upon delusion upon delusion characterized the so-called “peace process”, most of them there because Western people projected themselves, their values, their humanity and their aspirations onto the “Palestinians”. Granted, they have been well-prepared for exactly such delusions by the ideology of political correctness and multiculturalism, but not well enough, as The Palestinian Delusion attests. There are still those not enthralled to the dominant orthodoxy of tiptoeing around Muslims or intimidated by fear of social rebuke for “Islamophobia”, and it is with them that hope lies.
And what about the numbers game? Firstly, the so-called “right of return”, as Spencer’s book shows, is irrelevant, as they were never expelled, leave aside the fact that most who altogether — there is no need for Israel to pay any attention to the “hereditary refugee status” conjured especially for “Palestinians”.
Secondly, natural increase is easily dealt with. A people that calls for the extermination of another people is, by definition, the worst of all peoples. The Jews, therefore, have nothing to prove when it comes to “being better than that” — they are not calling for the harming, let alone extermination, of anyone. Jews being themselves the object of such extermination calls by those around them, have a great deal of latitude before they even remotely begin to approach the Palestinians’ moral depravity.
With that preamble, the Israeli state could do a lot worse than deporting to the Arab part of Mandate Palestine to the east of the River Jordan*, anyone who calls for the extermination of Jews, including reading out loud or approvingly quoting any Qur’an verse or hadith that does so. For example, starting on the first of Ramadan, in every mosque, the entire Qur’an is recited over the course of the month during the nightly Taraweeh prayer. Mosques are usually packed for these prayers. “Allah has gathered them all in one place,” to borrow their own words about the convenience of exterminating the Jews in Israel.
The Jewish state cannot balk at the idea of expelling people who would see Jews exterminated, when it has itself expelled Jews from Gaza (part of Mandate Palestine designated for the Jewish National Home), for the benefit of those who have never hidden their intention to annihilate the Jewish state, and have only intensified their efforts to achieve exactly that since taking of Jewish territory — land for peace, indeed.
All madrassas and all mosques are places of exhortation to exterminate the Jews by virtue of the simple fact that the Qur’an and the hadith are taught and propagated within, as they are in the UN schools, where, “every child is indoctrinated that they should kill the Jews.” Expelling all present at such gatherings (and their families) to the Arab part of Mandate Palestine might go some way to keeping their population increase within Gaza, Judea and Samaria in check. It might even decline. As a humanitarian gesture, compare a $100,000 send-off in each family’s bags as they cross the Jordan into their Palestine, to rockets landing on family homes in Israel. Thus can Israel save itself and yet preserve its humanity, the only humanity in a sea of hatred and spite, and the Palestinian delusion finally be laid to rest. That, for a change, would be Israel killing two birds with one stone.
Some might balk at the thought of scrapping decades of hard peace work. The Palestinian Delusion shows us that those were decades of failure. Israel must draw a line under it regardless of what anyone says. Its very existence depends on it. Can the toxic harvest of Gush Katif, where Israel did more damage to itself than it has ever done to the Muslims who wish to destroy it, ever be redeemed? The Palestinian Delusion is a formidable addition to Robert Spencer’s already considerable oeuvre. Even if academic Islam scholarship were not in craven, sycophantic prostration before Islamic intimidation, Spencer’s brave and honest work on exposing Islam and the dangers it poses for the world would still tower above them all. Posterity will recognize Spencer as one of the most important scholars in his field. Should civilization survive the current onslaught of Islamic barbarism, Robert Spencer’s work, not least The Palestinian Delusion, will be amongst those to have enabled that survival. Not all the beneficiaries will have the grace to acknowledge their debt.
* Jordan did, after all, naturalize all the Muslim Arabs in Judea and Samaria when it annexed what it came to call “The West Bank”, although it later revoked their citizenship.
Anjuli Pandavar is the author of The Muslim’s Inner Struggles.