American Enterprise Institute fellow and intellectually challenged anti semite Hirsi Ali -'ultra orthodox Jews pose demographic threat to Israel'
August 6, 2006
Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Israel
MIM: In addition to making the anti semitic claim that religious Jews in Israel constitute a fundamentalist threat and calling them "fanatics", Ali has created previously non existent sects of Judaism which she calls "secular orthodox" and "regular orthodox".
"From my superficial impression, the country also has a problem with fundamentalists," she says. The ultra-Orthodox will cause a demographic problem because these fanatics have more children than the secular and the regular Orthodox."
Her preoccupation with security is felt throughout our conversation. Before Ayaan Hirsi Ali arrives in the hotel where we meet, one of her state-provided guards tells me she can only sit at one specific table in the lobby. Elsewhere she may be shot at through the windows. When she arrives, surrounded by tall bodyguards, two young Danish men in the room come over to express their admiration for her.
When we start to talk, she is worried about somebody who remains seated too close to us for her taste. I explain that he is probably a foreigner who has no idea who she is. Finally the hotel manager, who is very honored by her visit, suggests that we continue our conversation in his office.
"I understood that a crucial element of success is the unifying factor among immigrants to Israel. Whether one arrives from Ethiopia or Russia, or one's grandparents immigrated from Europe, what binds them is being Jewish. Such a bond is lacking in the Netherlands. Our immigrants' background is diverse and also differs greatly from that of the Netherlands, including religion."
Not all of Hirsi Ali's reactions to what she saw in Israel were positive, however.
"From my superficial impression, the country also has a problem with fundamentalists," she says. "The ultra-Orthodox will cause a demographic problem because these fanatics have more children than the secular and the regular Orthodox."
"When I start to speak in the Netherlands about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the role of Arafat in the tragedy of Palestine, I do not get a large audience. Often one is talking to a wall. Many people reply that Israel first has to withdraw from the territories, and then all will be well with Palestine."
On Double Moral Standards
"The standards for judging the Palestinians, however, are very low. Most outsiders remain silent on all the problems in their territories. That helps the Palestinians become even more corrupt than they already are. Those who live in the territories are not allowed to say anything about this because they risk being murdered by their own people."
"If one wants to meet contemporary Muslims, one has to go to the Ahmadiyya movement. The Muslim mainstream, however, considers them heretics. I have been educated as a Muslim and I want to change some of Islam's tenets. This makes me a heretic and thus radicals want to eliminate me."
Hirsi Ali explains why she is a danger to radical Muslims.
"They realize that I know too much about Islam. I am also a woman. If a woman no longer believes, she frees herself. They are deathly afraid that if one drops out, others may follow; that is how herds function."
The writer is Chairman of the Board of Fellows at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. This interview was part of a major project of about 100 interviews with prominent Dutch people on the Dutch attitude toward Jews and Israel, which was funded by the Israel Maror Foundation.