Director Q&A: Farewell Israel

Film: Farewell Israel

By Director | November 20, 2007

Conversation with Director Joel Gilbert

What are the main concepts you wish to convey in your film?
First, an understanding of the Islamic world view, from the point of view of Muslims. In the West, there is a huge gap in understanding Islam on every level, from the man on the street, to Jewish and Christian religious leaders, to our elected officials. Only by gaining an understanding and appreciation of Islam’s world view, through its historic trials and its theology, can the West begin to deal with the real issues and challenges.

Second, misunderstanding leads to war. Israel’s lack of understanding of Islam, its values and goals, have led it to a policy of surrender of territory, based on the belief that it will achieve “Peace” in Western terms. In reality, “Western Peace” between Israel and Islam is unattainable. Peace can only be achieved in Islamic terms – “Peace with Justice” – which requires the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Muslims have 1,400 years of experience and holy scriptures to refer to that deal with Jews. Because Judaism predates Islam, Jews have no such foundation in dealing with Muslims, hence the Israeli misunderstanding, and the Islamic advantage.

What do you mean by “The Revolt of Islam”?
The terms “Radical Islam” and “Islamo-fascism” are simplistic and inaccurate Western misperceptions. Islamism is not a war against the West, it is an internal struggle for the revival of Islamic society – a “revolt” against their failed secular governments. The attacks of 9/11 are completely misunderstood by the West. In fact, 9/11 was only a provocation by a small group of Islamists, hoping to use the West’s response to inspire the masses in Islam’s internal struggle. The 9/11 attacks were successful only because George Bush played into the hands of the Al-Qaeda by adopting Al-Qaeda’s agenda for government reform across the Middle East – helping to pave the way for Islamist parties to come to power.

Why are Israel and the West lacking understanding of the Islamic world view?
Unfortunately, it is a natural tendency to dismiss ideas and values that are not understood or shared – thus one judges other societies through one’s own world view. Because the West considers its own historic development of concepts of “nationalism,” “freedom,” and “secularism” as the natural advancement of humanity, it has a hard time accepting that its values don’t apply to others. This is why Western media doesn’t even know what questions to ask. For instance, “Why can’t Islam accept Jewish statehood? Why don’t Western concepts of secularism and nationalism fit into Islamic society? Why do Muslims consider America to be “The Great Satan”? You’ll find the answers to these questions in my film. Contrary to popular media concepts, the Middle East is very understandable and predictable looking through the eyes of the Muslim world, rather than our own Western world view.

What is Iran’s agenda in the Middle East?
Iran is acquiring strategic weapons in order to shift the balance of power with Israel, which it believes will precipitate Israel’s destruction and Islam’s revival. Even without attacking Israel, the mere capability of Iranian missiles to lay waste to Tel-Aviv would create a “strategic umbrella,” preventing Israel from using its superior strategic assets in a conventional war. With Israeli missiles neutralized, Muslim countries could overwhelm Israel with their superior numbers, conventional armor and short range missiles.

Doesn’t Egypt’s Camp David Agreement of 1979 with Israel and the 1993 Oslo Accords demonstrate there are moderates in the Muslim world?
No, those agreements were simply part of what I call “The Diplomatic Strategy Against Israel,” with the same goal as a military Jihad, the transformation of Israel from a Jewish state into a Muslim state. There is complete consensus across all schools of thought in the Islamic world that Israel’s existence is an injustice, and must be eliminated on the path to successful Islamic revival.