[Editorial note: This is a transcription, with minor editing for clarity, of an interview of Timor Aklin. I consider it especially important to publish this in light of the fierce resistance of Israeli Jews of all stripes, at least before the Simchat Torah massacre, to the points he makes. I wrote a book about these very points that two Israeli publishers turned down last year.]
They [Jews] decided that they [Arabs] are peacemakers, who merely want to exist here with you, that they want their own identity and it bothers them, the fact that they have no national identity. But that is simply not true. They just don't want you to live here. And they forget that we live in a jungle here, desert-jungle, if you like. We live in a place where the laws are — you just can't compare them to any other place in the world
Tell me something. When I say your name, Tam'r Aklin, what does it awaken within?
Now, a feeling of discomfort, reminds me a bit of the past, and I wish I could detach myself from it. So, Timor-David works also.
So, Timor-David Aklin. That is the new name. You actually grew up as a Muslim in Jaffa, continuous family contact with the family in Gaza. Every holiday you travel from Jaffa to Gaza, when it was possible, long before the disengagement from Gaza. But Gaza you know well, Islam you know well. Before we even begin to digest your insights, what makes you want not to be Muslim?
This desire actually stemmed from curiosity, wanting to know what my religion says, what my culture says, what does it stand for, per se. And the more I researched, the more I realised I wasn't part of the true religion. I realised that Islam is a lie. I researched the characters more and more: the centrality of Islam from the prophet to the sahaba [companions], which is his gang, and all the influential characters in Islam. The more I researched, the less I liked.
All of those over there, they're not researching?
Listen, when you don't want to know, you will not know. He who has established truth in the palm of his hands, not a single lie can penetrate it. He who holds a lie in his hand, will be dismantled in a thousand ways.
And at what age did you decide you want to convert to Judaism?
It was the age of twenty, or maybe twenty-five. Twenty-four is more like it.
It's a one-moment decision? You say, I am a Muslim today and I want to be a Jew tomorrow? Or was it a process?
It was a spiritual process of peeling away so many stereotypes, so many misconceptions, things I grew up with and also learnt at the orthodox school in Jaffa, where we would sing that Palestinian national anthem each morning. If you listen to the words, you actually understand what the song is about. My homeland, my homeland. It means the land is mine, mine. There are also passages in there that talk about the pen and the sword, as you will use both, use the pen like a sword, like a metaphor that you are your education.
Your education is also for the benefit of the sword.
Precisely, for he benefit of the sword.
Is that what the Arabs in Jaffa still study today?
I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think it's far from it, though. Maybe the actual syllabus, the curriculum in front of them is not quite the same, but it's still close enough to come from a place that is anti-Jewish. [It is] in the subconscious of every Arab, Muslim, to want to be happy whenever a Jew is hurt. Whether you're abroad or if you live here, it doesn't matter where you are, as soon as a Jew dies, it's a reason to party. When they go out handing out candy and sweets, knaffa and baklava—by the way, it's not just Palestinians in the territories that do it.
But we were always told not everyone there is like that. They are the minority. He is extreme. He is violent. You hear him. Most want a simple life. Simple. Is that true?
I disagree with that. The reason I disagree is because I think that the vast majority, above 90 percent, maybe 99 percent, share the same perception: that the state of Israel is an occupying state; an occupier who conquers from the river to the sea; that has no right to exist; that the only way in which it can exist is if she allows the establishment of a Palestinian state. But, the majority of Arabs who want a state don't want a Jewish state living by its side. So, frankly, it's really not an extreme minority. It is indeed a minority, the one that goes out and acts, but it doesn't mean that the rest don't wish for it—
The ones who believe—
They believe in it, they support it, they love it, but they will not engage because it requires courage. It's not easy to take a life. You can't just get up and destroy the lives of your children, your wife, your sister, your mother—
If we are an occupying country, what existed here? Before 1948, what was then? Before 1948 there was terrorism and riots against Jews by Muslims here in Israel. So what was it even then? Back then, the Jews were occupiers also?
No. The very fact that Jews wanted to come here had already sparked their anger and helped them incite and strengthen the divisive discourse—actually not divisive; inciting, unifying while instigating, actually—to get people to go out and kill Jews.
Ibn Khaldun [said,] "The Arabs are a savage, barbaric nation. They are the furthest people from logic and science and all these things." He is so right. He says that we Arabs have a tribal, desert culture. We came from these places and you're forcing us to live in buildings and in the cities, and now we need to adapt to laws that we don't even agree with. We must pretend that we are fine with them, but we're not.
The seventh October, not the war, the brutality of the murder and the beheading, desecrating women, is that something that surprised you, becuase the Jews here were totally shocked. We had no clue that it could reach such levels. That's what they keep on saying.
It didn't surprise me at all. What did surprise me is that it took us so long to respond.
When you say 'us', you mean the people—
The Jewish people you're now part of.
Yes. That's the only thing that surprised me that day. That cruelty: I think they can be even more cruel.
So is there a difference between Hamas and the PA? They say maybe we can talk to them.
The difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is that the Palestinian Authority likes a lifestyle that is a little bit more secular. They want a life that is more pan-Arab than pan-Islam. Let there be another Arab country, not necessarily an Islamic country, but they don't want Jews here either. So the route is different, but the destination is the same.
The vision of both of them is identical. What insights do you hear, you as someone who up until a few years ago was in Islam, and when you hear from your ear the Israelis speak, you say, "You just don't know what you are talking about. This is not reality we live in."
Whether it's Israelis, or whether it's students who studied with me at university. When I went to Reichman [University, formerly the IDC Herzliya], there is this thing that—I don't even know how to describe this group of people. They just know. They know Muslims better than Muslims do.
Israeli Jews who think they know better than Muslims what is best for the Muslims? That's what you're saying?
Yes. Israeli Jews who are from the Diaspora Jews, they decide that they [the Arabs] are peace-loving, that they want to exist here with you [Jews], and that they want their own identity, and that's what's bothering them, the fact that they have no national identity. That's not true. They just don't want you to live here.
Do you think that these people [Arab Muslims] are waiting for the moment of truth? They will choose their side and reveal themselves, or never?
All Arabs, including me when I was a Muslim Arab, are waiting for the promised day. The promised day is the day that you [Jews] hide behind the Gharqad tree. Have you heard of Gharqad?
Gharqad is actually the only tree that is faithful to the Jews, and this is the one tree that will not snitch on the Jews. After all, it is written in the Hadith [Sahih Muslim 6985, the genocide hadith] that a day will come and the Jews will hide behind every tree and the tree will say, 'Oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me; [come and kill him]', except the Gharqad tree.
All Muslim extremsist? All? He's just waiting for that day to come?
Normative, non-extremist Muslims.
The normative will not try to rush and bring this day forward. The extremist says, "Bring on this day already!" Two years ago, during the [IDF Operation] Guardian of the Walls, [the Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh delivered a rather interesting speech. He finished the speech in a really charismatic fashion. He recited like some Adolf. He stood there in Qatar with that Palestinian scarf and said: "Those who can fight the legal battle for us, act! Those who can fight for us through the media, act! Those who can fight for us through social media, act! Those who can donate money, act! Those who want to do much more than that...
...become a martyr?
Act! That's what he said, act!
All citizens of the state of Israel, Mossad, Homeland Security, they do not know the intentions of these people?
I think they know this very well, very, very well, but they're trying to play the Western game. They forget we live in a jungle, a desert-jungle. we live in a place where the laws of nature are—you just cannot compare them to any other place in the world.
Final question: you are today in the world of Judaism for many years. Do you feel like you've found serenity, your place? A place that is good for you?
I always say I found inner peace and mental stability and so much power in Judaism that helps me not only to live better every day, it really halps me focus on the important things in life, and not to deal with grief and emptiness and—
Your whole life you were Muslim until a few years ago, what difference do you recognise between Judaism and Islam?
No big difference other than that Islam is a creed that sanctifies death, and Judaism puts all commandments on hold and cherishes life instead.
Screen grab, "Gazans Who did not leave the North of Gaza," Hidden In Plain Sight, YouTube, 29 December 2023 https://youtu.be/Nd9poAnmYSo
Screen grab, "Arab-Israelis and October the 7th," Hidden In Plain Sight, YouTube, 17 Nov 2023 https://youtu.be/-4QFljHT5X4
On 29 December 2023 at 20:26, Jalal Tagreeb wrote:
Well done on your latest article: "Those who live to kill you will never thank you for sparing their lives".
Excellent! I liked the comment: "They are all Sinwar!" and hope the IDF will capture him soon.
Happy New Year in advance,
On 31 December 2023 at 12:33, Ben Dor A wrote:
Thank you for this interview.
For many Israelis this is not new but there's still a hard core Left which remains convinced that you can reach a peace agreement with the so called Palestinians in spite of their century old animosity towards the Jews.
In fact they are convinced, even today after 7th Oct.23, that Israel is at fault for the burst of monstrous attack by the heinous psychopathic terrorists.
Our leadership made several strategic mistakes over the last decades and the public is paying the price for their folly in blood and lost of NIS trillions.
Yes, some people here still live in lala land and do not realize that this is a very dangerous jungle.
But I guess that most humanity has a certain malfunction in the DNA, especially the Jewish people.
We never learn from our past mistakes.
God protect us from our friends. We know how to protect ourselves from our enemies.
Ben Dor A.