Bat Ye'or - An Interview
Bat Ye'or is well-known to all who fear the Islamization of Europe. She is the author of Eurabia, a major work exposing the long-standing decisions by political leaders of European countries, including France, to form an alliance with the Arab world, for the purpose of eliminating Israel and stemming the power of the United States. Eurabia was first published in English; the French edition came out a little over a year ago.
The central theme of her writings is that the Islamization process has been planned and premeditated and will necessarily result in the condition she calls dhimmitude, a state of subservience that has been endured by Jews and Christians who have lived under Islamic law.
She recently granted an interview to André Darmon for Israel Magazine in which, among other things, she expressed her opinion (very positive) of Nicolas Sarkozy. The interview, which took place in Jerusalem, began with a summary of her own background.
Bat Ye'or - I was born in Egypt, in Cairo, into a family of the Jewish bourgeoisie, of an Italian father and a French mother.
My grandfather, to whom Egyptian nationality was accorded by exception, was crowned Bey by the Ottoman sultan. My father decided to renounce Italian nationality as a result of Mussolini's racist laws, but when Nasser came to power, my mother's goods were confiscated because she was French and my father's because he was Jewish. We were forced to stay home, we were chased out of public places and at that moment we decided to flee Egypt. Many fled secretly from fear of being imprisoned.
We were forced, like all Egyptian Jews, to sign papers according to which we renounced all our goods, our passport and our nationality, for those who had it, since the Jews had been for the most part Ottoman subjects and not Egyptian. The Jews promised in writing not to demand anything of the Egyptian State. The only right we had was to take one suitcase, which was searched and thrown to the ground and 20 Egyptian pounds that were taken from us anyway by the customs officials, not to mention the insults and acts of terror in front of my parents, both of whom were invalids.
André Darmon - Can the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, who is a nationalist even though he is pro- Europe, put a stop to what you have been describing, namely the Arabization of Europe?
Bat Ye'or - I am very pleased with the election of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency of the Republic. I admire this man who is honest and strong, things that are rare in politics, and who affirmed loud and clear his friendship for Israel. Now, in a France that is becoming Islamized in a premeditated and planned manner, Nicolas Sarkozy will encounter enormous obstacles. Regarding Europe, this supra-national body, everyone should be aware that all decisions are made within networks, in committees, and in a not very democratic way. And today because of the media coverage, they no longer announce the agreements made between the European Commission and the higher Arabic courts ("instances"), therefore no news gets out. The French people should know that certain residents of European countries, who do not possess the nationality of the country, can possess European nationality!
On the international level, the French president will have to endure terrible economic pressures from large industrial groups. For example, the affair of the Mohammed cartoons resulted in a boycott of Danish products, a boycott that amounted to billions in losses for the Danish economy.
He will have to confront the threat of terrorism. Let us remember that the attacks in London and Madrid were nothing less than a way for the Islamists to force Blair and Spain to abandon George Bush. The Europeans are incapable of solving this problem because they did not understand its true nature. There is a veritable synergy between the communist vision and the Nazi vision of History, a vision in which Palestine would replace Israel, a vision that would destroy democracies, religions and cultures in order to dissolve nationalisms into a universalist vision.
The Arab world is very united contrary to the Western world. Yes, I am pessimistic, despite the obvious qualities of Nicolas Sarkozy.
André Darmon - Is not the juridical conflict between shari'a law and European laws a slow-ticking bomb?
Bat Ye'or - It is true that we use the same words: justice, peace... But in shari'a, the law of Muslims, peace means submission, above all. Therefore Arab countries will not be able to envisage peace until Israel is subjugated. The concept of women's rights, of simply Human Rights, is different. There is a real antagonism between the two cultures for which I see no solution. Everything in the non-Muslim world is founded on separation of powers and democracy while in shari'a it is first and foremost the primacy of religious law. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a drop in the bucket in the aims of the of the organization of the Islamic Conference that seeks universal Islamization and the establishment of a planetary caliphate. The subversion of the universities, of the media, of the churches, the politics of compromise, of concessions will eventually result in the United States following the lead of Europe in the submission to Islam.
André Darmon - Do you think it would be justified for Israel to demand, as representative of the Jewish people, compensation for the real expulsions and the forced departures of the Jews from Arab lands?
Bat Ye'or - Completely! The Jews of Arab lands and the Jews of East Jerusalem, to take a local example, were chased out by the Arabs. You mustn't forget that during all the Israeli-Arab wars, the Palestinians always took the side of the Arab coalitions while the Jews in Arab countries always showed allegiance to their adopted country and did not join the enemies of the Arab countries.
André Darmon - Do you think you have completed your work on dhimmitude, both historical and present-day, and do you have another intellectual project on the books?
Bat Ye'or - First of all, I owed it to myself to relate the end, the death of a community, that of the Egyptian Jews, which I saw first hand. Dhimmitude is indeed my life's work but today it is still alive in the world when we look at, for example, the enslavement of Christians in Africa. But above all, I would have liked to be a novelist, because my experiences allowed me to meet exceptional people, situations of a an astonishing psychological depth, testimonials of great beauty, that would be material for a novel. That will be my next project, an historical novel.
André Darmon - Bat Ye'or, we saw in the report on your husband David Littman (see Israel Magazine Nº75) your importance in the Jewish community and in the rescue of the Jews of Morocco. Today, what is your role, other than your writings, in the Jewish community and in the destiny of Israel?
Bat Ye'or - I belong to no group, no community apparatus. My only contribution is my work. But I believe that my work has opened an enormous field for reflection, not only for the Jewish world but for the Christian world as well that has suffered much more than the Jews from dhimmitude.
I have described the process of Islamization of the Christian communities and of certain Christian countries through demography, immigration, enslavement, forced conversions, but also through genocide such as that which is being perpetrated against the Christians of Sudan. But beyond all that, I am Jewish. My identity is Judaism. Just as, when I was young I was subversive, didn't feel Jewish and would have perhaps fallen in with communism, since I was opposed to that Jewish bourgeoisie that I couldn't identify with - the country of Egypt was in total poverty and I did not accept the chasm between the populations - so, today, I feel Jewish and in debt to the Jewish people. I have a debt to them because when I left Egypt, it was the Jews who helped me!
Note: I cannot account for her high opinion of Sarkozy, other than his support for Israel. She is ignoring or is not aware of his oft-repeated praise for "la France métissée", his weak record on crime and his generosity towards immigrants, despite an occasional spurt of something that passed for toughness. She points to the pressures bearing down on him, but isn't the true test of his worth in his ability to overcome the pressures? It will be interesting to hear her judgment of him at the end of 5 years.
I was struck by her comment on granting "European nationality". I wasn't aware there was such an official designation.
For those interested, there was another interview with her at Front Page Magazine not long ago. Click here.
Thanks to the reader who sent me the article via e-mail.