Internationally acclaimed writer, author and political analyst Daniel Krygier recently accorded an exclusive interview to Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor, Blitz. In this interview, he has answered to a number of important questions. Here are the excerpts:
Q: Warmest congratulations to you on becoming a distinguished Fellow at the Haym Salomon Center. We know you are a powerful writer, political analyst at Mida and World News, and Islamist Watch. Your articles are regularly appearing in various newspapers. You also are one of the esteemed contributors of this newspaper. Can you please give us your reaction on the recent terrorist attack at the Jewish synagogue Tree of Hope in Pittsburgh?
A: Thank you so much Shoaib. There are today three main sources of antisemitism: extreme right, extreme left and Islamism. The tragedy in Pittsburgh was committed by the extreme right. However, statistically, most anti-Semitic attacks worldwide today are committed by Islamists and their extreme leftist allies.
Q: With gravest concern, we have been witnessing the rise of antisemitism in a number of countries in the world. There is an argument saying anti-Zionism actually leads to antisemitism and Israel bashing. What is your opinion on it?
A: Anti-Zionism is simply the “respectable” face of antisemitism. In the past, the most dangerous Jew-haters attacked Jews as individuals. Today, the most dangerous Jew-haters attack Jews as a nation o the state of Israel.
Q: Being an expert on the Middle East affairs, would you explain the root cause of Israel-Palestine conflict?
A: The conflict’s core is a systematic rejection of Israel’s right to exist within any borders.
Q: Do you see the conflict between Israel and Palestine as a political one or religious?
A: The rejection of Israel’s existence is rooted in an extreme interpretation of Islam. However, since Islam also has a political framework, the conflict has both a religious and political dimension.
Q: All of us are aware of the mega terrorist outfit Hamas. In your opinion, wherefrom mainly this group has been receiving weapons and how this supply can be stopped?
A: Iran, Iran and Iran. The regime in Tehran is the leading sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and the world.
Q: There are allegations of Palestinian authorities giving jihadist indoctrination to their children. By doing so, aren’t they violating international rules?
A: Yes indeed and it also constitutes a flagrant violation of the peace agreement with Israel that stipulates a peaceful curriculum.
Q: Recently, United States has moved their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There are indications from other nations as well of following this footstep. On the other hand, Palestinians are still claiming Jerusalem as their capital. In your opinion, how Israel will resolve this issue if there is a two-state solution?
A: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3000 years. It has never been a capital of any other nation. However, most of the Arab population in the Jerusalem are not Israeli citizens and area live in Arab towns and villages that have very little to do with Jerusalem or Israel. In a future peace agreement, these Arab towns and villages could become part of an Arab political entity.
Q: Many Islamic scholars say Koran does not recognize the existence of Palestinians in that part of the world. There also is no mention of Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinians. But still the Palestinians are claiming statehood with Jerusalem as their capital. By doing so, aren’t they violating Koran?
A: You could say so. There is wide gap between what the Koran says and how it is practiced in the Middle East. Jerusalem is indeed not mentioned in the Koran.
Q: In most of the Arab nations, women do not enjoy liberty. Even there are allegations of physical and sexual assaults on the women. Under such realities, what exactly are the situations of Palestinian women?
A: With the exception of the Western-style democracy Israel, women are secondary citizens throughout the Middle East. In general, oppression against women increases under religious Islamic regimes. As a result women are treated worse in Hamas-ruled Gaza than in Fatah-ruled Ramallah. However, oppression of women is widespread throughout the Arab world.
Q: There are allegations of Hamas selling Palestinian girls and women into slavery and prostitution. Would you say if such allegations are substantive?
A: I don’t have specific information but it would not surprise me if it was true. Hamas and Hezbollah have been involved in drug trafficking as well.
Q: There are media reports about existence of brothels in Palestine and those being run by Hamas and Palestinian terror outfits. Can you describe the realities?
A: I can’t comment on that.
Q: Terror outfits like Al Qaeda, ISIS etc establish footprints mostly in the politically troubled or places affected by war and terrorism. As ISIS are being gradually driven out of the Middle East, is there any risk of a new ISIS base in the Palestine?
A: ISIS-affiliated groups are active in Sinai and in Gaza. If the Abbas [Mahmoud Abbas] regime falls and Israel gives up its security control, ISIS groups could establish themselves in Judea and Samaria as well.
Q: What are your personal views about BDS and J Street? Do these groups pose any threat to Israel and the Jewish population?
A: BDS has had a marginal effect on Israel’s booming high-tech economy. In fact, Israel’s economy today is much stronger than when BDS was established in 2005. The danger from BDS is mainly emotional and moral since it seeks to slander Israel’s name and terrorize Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western university campuses.
Q: A section of Jews are also seen opposing to Israel. They even demand elimination of the Jewish State. Does such tendency cause any harm to Israel?
A: There has always been a small but vocal number of Jews who conspired against their own people. While Israel can deal with this challenge, these self-hating Jews serve as fig leafs for various anti-Semites worldwide.
Q: There are a section of people who though support the State of Israel but oppose Zionism. In your opinion, how much important is Zionism for the existence of the State of Israel?
A: There is widespread confusion and ignorance surrounding this. Israel’s policies can be criticized as those of any other nation. Zionism is the Jewish national liberation movement which led to the reestablishment of a Jewish nation-state. Anti-Zionism is not criticism but a rejection of Israel’s right to exist. It is anti-Semitic since it denies the Jewish people the same right to national self-determination as other nations worldwide. It is impossible to be anti-Zionist while claiming to support Israel.
Q: I am a Zionist. But I am not a Jew. Many people argue a non-Jewish individual can never be a Zionist. What is your opinion?
A: A Zionist is a person who supports the existence of a Jewish homeland. However, Zionism is not limited by ethnicity or culture so I believe that both Jews and non-Jews can be Zionists.
Q: Both of us know how the poisonous seeds of radical Islam being spreading in the West. Conquest or invasion of the “non Muslim world” is deep-rooted in the minds of Muslims. Western societies are not yet feeling this phenomenon as a potential threat. Gradually, Western societies are being Islamized while Muslims in the West are becoming radicalised. Isn’t it a grave threat to the West?
A: This is especially true in post-Christian Europe with its large and growing Muslim populations where the younger generation is often more radicalized than that of their parents and grandparents.
Q: The very first step on Islamic invasion begins with ‘dawah’ or calling upon the non Muslims to “embrace” Islam. The next step is jihad once they deny or ignore “dawah”. While we are keeping close watch on the jihadists or radical Islamic terror outfits around the world; unfortunately some people fail understanding the potential threats posed by Tablighi Jamaat. I call Tablighi Jamaat an wolf in sheep’s clothing. What is your opinion?
A: I agree with you.
Q: In today’s world, media plays an important role. Israel has always been facing an adverse or biased media. Even international news outlets are evidently seen inclined towards anti-Israel bias. Under such circumstances, as a writer and columnist, how will you assess the importance of a newspaper like Blitz, which has been consistently defending Israel and promoting Zionism for past 15 years?
A: I believe that publications like Blitz are doing a very important work in countering widespread lies about Israel and Jews by presenting facts and the truth.
Q: Would you please tell us about Mida and its role in combating antisemitism?
A: Mida is a conservative website that combats antisemitism and Israel hatred worldwide through analytical and factual articles.