1 readers online now  |  69 million page views
Join Daniel Pipes' trip to Dubai & Abu Dhabi, Nov. 4-11. Click HERE for details.

Latest Video and Audio

Reframing the Arab-Israeli Conflict
July 17, L'Informale (Italy)

Erdogan is Capable and Willing to Destabilize the Balkans
June 29, Factor.bg

Qatar: A Powder Keg Waiting to Explode?
June 22, Sputnik News

Iran nuclear deal is internationally popular: Middle East Forum president
June 13, Tehran Times

Trump Gives Special Prominence to his Family and Friends
May 27, Tehran Times

Iran, Israel and Trump
May 22, Press TV

Hot Topics

Noteworthy

Follow

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Join Mailing List

Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes   RSS 2.0 Feed

Another Turkish Ambassador Confronts Me

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 18, 2017  •  Gatestone Institute

In February, Turkey's ambassador to Israel told this author to stay away from his country; at least he did so diplomatically. In June, Turkey's ambassador to Bulgaria treated me in a remarkably rude and undiplomatic manner.

The occasion was a talk I gave, "On Turkey and Erdoğan – a partner or a threat," for the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies think tank in Sofia. After mentioning my connections to and affection for Turkey, I explained that strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's inability to reconcile three competing priorities — Islam, Turkey, and Erdoğan — and the resulting contradictions are likely to doom his regime. By the end of the event, Amb. Süleyman Gökçe confirmed that prediction.

He came early, sat in the front row, and jumped up when the question period began. Ominously saying of me, "we know him very well in Turkey," he went on to accuse me of cherry-picking facts and being an essentialist and an Orientalist. My record of "distortion, deflection, and delusion" prompted him to say, "I do not agree with any of the points you have raised."

Continue Reading

Foreword: Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 18, 2017  •  The Challenge of Modernizing Islam: Reformers Speak Out and The Obstacles They Face

My library contains a wall of books about modern Islam. But hardly a one of them covers the topic of this important study by Christine Douglass-Williams. With all the attention paid to Islamists, who has the time or energy to devote to modernizing Muslims?

Indeed, the paucity of books on anti-Islamist Muslims symbolizes their larger predicament: they are threatened, marginalized, and dismissed as frauds.

Threats come from the Islamists, the advocates of applying Islamic law in its entirety and severity as a means to regain the medieval glory of Islam. Islamists attack modernizers with words and weapons, rightly sensing that these liberal Muslims pose a profound challenge to the current Islamist hegemony. However much they dominate today, Islamist reactionaries fully understand modernity's great appeal, not to speak of its victories over two other modern radical utopian movements, fascism and communism. They know their movement is doomed because Muslims will opt for the benefits of modern life, so they fight modernizers tooth and nail.

Continue Reading

Israelis Want Victory

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 12, 2017  •  Jerusalem Post

What does the Jewish Israeli public think about convincing Palestinians that they lost their century-long war with Zionism, that the gig is up? In other words, what do Israelis think about winning?

To find out, the Middle East Forum commissioned the Smith Institute to survey 700 adult Israeli Jews. Carried out on June 27-28, the poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

It reveals a widespread belief that a Palestinian recognition of defeat will eventually lead to an acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state, thereby ending the conflict.

Palestinian defeat: "A peace agreement with the Palestinians will only be possible once the Palestinian leadership recognizes the fact that it has been defeated in its struggle against Israel." Overall, 58 percent of respondents agree, with opinion deeply polarized by political outlook: 69 percent on the Right concur but only 16 percent on the Left do so.

Continue Reading

End the False Israeli-Palestinian Parity

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 5, 2017  •  Israel Hayom

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.

The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords' signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.

It's now clear that Rabin's vanity got the better of him at that supremely high-profile event on the White House lawn. As the elected head of a democratic and sovereign government, he never should have consented to Arafat, the henchman of an unofficial, dictatorial, and murderous organization, enjoying equal status with himself.

Rather, he should have stayed aloof. Appearing together as equals created a dysfunctional illusion of equivalence that over subsequent decades became assumed, ingrained, and unquestioned. In fact, this false equivalence became even more inaccurate with time, as Israel went from one success to another and the Palestinian Authority brought on a reign of ever-deeper anarchy, dependency, and repression.

Continue Reading

From "Not a Crook" to "Not a Liar": A Potted History of Political Denials

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 9, 2017

It's a handy rule-of-thumb that when a politician – usually in a press conference, where he's annoyed repeatedly with the same question about his judgment – announces that he is or is not something, well, he is that thing.

Richard Nixon set the gold standard in 1973 when he announced, "I'm not a crook," which the Watergate scandal then established he exactly was. Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, referring to Donald Trump, kept this tradition alive when she yesterday refuted James Comey's Senate testimony by stating, "I can definitively say the president is not a liar."

In the 44 years from not a crook to not a liar, a number of other politicians have inadvertently acknowledged their faults by using the same or similar words. Here's a sampling of their denials, in chronological order:

Continue Reading

The Six-Day War: Personal Recollections

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 5, 2017

For my interpretation of some consequences of the fighting in June 1967, see today's article, "What If: Fifty Years After the Six-Day War."

On a personal note, I have three memories of those six days, which I experienced at the age of 17 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

First, I watched television late into the evening the day the war broke out, June 5, and went to sleep thinking that Egyptian aircraft had bombed Tel Aviv and that the Jewish state was in grave peril. That's because, in the words of the authoritative Middle East Record1967, "In view of the dearth of information given by Israeli spokesmen during the first day of the war, there was a preponderance of news from Arab sources in the Western press on 6 June." Only the next day did I learn how the Egyptian air force had been destroyed in place. It was a unique moment of shock and exhilaration.

Second, my graduation from Commonwealth School took place on June 8, in the midst of the war.

Continue Reading

What If: Fifty Years After the Six-Day War

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 5, 2017  •  Washington Times

Israel's military triumph over three enemy states in June 1967 is the most outstandingly successful war of all recorded history. The Six-Day War was also deeply consequential for the Middle East, establishing the permanence of the Jewish state, dealing a death-blow to pan-Arab nationalism, and (ironically) worsening Israel's place in the world because of its occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Focusing on this last point: how did a spectacular battlefield victory translate into problems that still torment Israel today? Because it stuck Israelis in an unwanted role they cannot escape.

Continue Reading

The Paradoxical Peril of Warm U.S.-Israel Relations

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 2, 2017  •  Wall Street Journal

Despite not moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, ​President Trump's evident affection for Israel during his recent visit understandably cheered Israelis after eight years of cool relations with President Obama. Alas, nothing is simple in the Arab-Israeli conflict: A look at historic patterns suggests that, paradoxically, Israel does best with an Obama-style level of tension with Washington.

The explanation of this paradox starts with the fact that all American administrations since 1973, regardless of which party holds the presidency, are convinced the Arabs are ready for peace with Israel. This problem has been especially acute since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. American presidents consistently ignore the authority's revolutionary nature. In this spirit, after a meeting with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Trump deemed him a "strategic partner" for Israel and "ready for peace."

Continue Reading

Florida Museum Celebrates the Loss of Hagia Sophia

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 29, 2017  •  National Review Online

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief seeing a wall plaque at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida, explaining an artifact in its "Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston" exhibit.

The plaque that caught my eye praises the Ottoman Empire for having turned the Hagia Sophia church into a mosque. Its words:

In addition to their renowned patronage of architecture, which yielded the conversion of the Church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a congregational mosque, Ottoman sultans and elites supported flourishing textile and ceramics industries.

(What does "yielded the conversion" even mean? A search engine finds seven uses of this phrase in the English language, all connected to science.)

Continue Reading

Trump's Saudi Speech: Pretty Good

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 21, 2017  •  National Review Online

In Riyadh, on the first stop of his tri-monotheism tour that will take him to Jerusalem and Rome (sorry, Mecca was not available), Donald Trump gave a major speech on a wide range of topics – the Middle East, jihadi violence, Iran, an "Arab NATO," and Islam. It's a mixed performance, but overall positive.

First, what's wrong with the 34-minute speech: It's incoherent, jumping from topic to topic and then back again. It's neither eloquent nor insightful (as in, "Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death"). In places, it consists of Obama-like euphemisms, such as the statement that history's great test stands before us, one goal that transcends every other consideration: "to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism."

And it's farcical to announce the opening in Riyadh, the headquarters of Wahhabism, of a "Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology." I bristled at Trump calling Saudi Arabia "sacred land." I gagged on the warm praise for King Salman, someone implicated in contributing tens of millions of U.S. dollars during the 1990s to finance jihadi violence in Bosnia and Pakistan.

Continue Reading

Palestinian Statehood Is Acceptable … Eventually

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 21, 2017  •  Israel National News

Martin Sherman, executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, has devoted a new column, "Why Palestinian Statehood Obviates Israeli Victory," to hashing out his and my differences over something we fundamentally agree on, the goal of Israel victory.

This is the idea that the "peace process" has turned into a "war process" and that the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation lies not in more painful concessions by Israel but, to the contrary, in Israel imposing its will on its enemy and crushing the Palestinian dream to eliminate the Jewish state. Washington should encourage its Israeli ally in this. Ironically, losing is the best thing that could happen to the Palestinians, for it liberates from a destructive obsession and allows them to begin constructing their own polity, economy, society, and culture.

To advance this idea, the Middle East Forum, the organization I head, has worked with members of the U.S. House of Representatives to launch a Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC) to lobby the president. Sherman hails CIVC as "an initiative of critical importance with genuine paradigmatic game-changing potential."

Continue Reading

Achieving Israel Victory with Martin Sherman

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 14, 2017  •  Israel National News

My call for Israel victory has prompted Martin Sherman, executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, to write a trilogy of serious and constructive critiques (here, here, and here) for Israel National News. This is how an idea is improved, so I thank him.

In response, I shall first recapitulate my thesis, then answer his reservations.

My argument: Nearly thirty years of "peace process" has left Palestinian-Israeli relations worse than when they started; therefore, further attempts (such as those Donald Trump is now initiating) are a fool's errand. Compromise and "painful concessions" do not end conflicts; rather, history shows, one side giving up does so.

Continue Reading

Bibliography – My Writings on Israel Victory

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 26, 2017

As the Oslo process unraveled, starting in 1997 I developed an alternative approach: Not more counterproductive negotiations but a return to the classic scenario of defeat and victory. I wrote often on this topic over two decades. I collect them here, a day ahead of the launch of the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus devoted to promoting these ideas:

Continue Reading

[Symposium] What Conservative Historians Are Saying about Trump's First 100 Days

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 23, 2017

History News Network introduction:

Donald Trump's first 100 days have seen the appointment and termination of decorated general Michael Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency, the eclipse of former Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon, a steady decline in the relationship with Russia, the bombing of Syria, a failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, and two failed attempts to impose a ban on certain groups of immigrants. This wasn't exactly what Trump promised.  On the plus side he succeeded in appointing a religious conservative to the Supreme Court, fulfilling his commitment to evangelicals, while issuing executive orders that many conservatives approved.

We wondered what conservative historians make of Trump's debut.  Here's what they [Larry Schweikart, Daniel Pipes, Victor Davis Hanson, Paul Gottfried, Brad Birzer, and Robert Merry] told us.

Continue Reading

The Erdoğan Enigma

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 22, 2017  •  Australian

I nominate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey, as the most inconsistent, mysterious, and therefore most unpredictable major politician on the world stage. His victory in a referendum last Sunday formally bestows him with near-dictatorial powers that leave Turkey, the Middle East, and beyond in a greater state of uncertainty than ever.

Here are some of the puzzles:

Mystery #1: Holding the referendum. The Turkish electorate voted on April 16 in a remarkable national plebiscite that dealt not with the usual topic – floating a bond or recalling a politician – but with fundamental constitutional changes affecting the very nature of their government: Should the country continue with the flawed democracy of the past 65 years or centralize political power in the presidency? Under the new dispensation, the prime minister vaporizes and the president holds vast power over parliament, the cabinet, the judiciary, the budget, and the military.

Continue Reading

Continue to Archives: Articles / Blog

eXTReMe Tracker

Français | French

Italiano | Italian

Español | Spanish

Svensk | Swedish

Deutsch | German

简体中文 | Chinese (S)

Dansk | Danish

日本語 | Japanese

हिंदी | Hindi

Português | Portuguese

Slovenčina | Slovak

Bahasa Indonesia | Indonesian

Pyccĸий | Russian

Polski | Polish

العربية | Arabic

Tϋrkçe | Turkish

עברית | Hebrew

Românâ | Romanian

Nederlands | Dutch

اردو | Urdu

Shqip | Albanian

فارسی | Persian

Suomi | Finnish

Latina | Latin

پنجابی | Punjabi

Ελληνικά | Greek

Čeština | Czech

தமிழ் | Tamil

Eesti | Estonian

Norsk | Norwegian

Български | Bulgarian

Српски | Serbian

繁體中文 | Chinese (T)

كوردی | Kurdish

Hrvatski | Croatian

Magyar | Hungarian

Esperanto | Esperanto

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2017 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes