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Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes   RSS 2.0 Feed

Making Sense of Palestinian Logic

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 4, 2019

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Palestinians do weird things: A few days ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules most of the West Bank, refused to accept the tax revenues it is owed by the Israeli government. Today, Hamas, which rules all of Gaza, launched more than 200 rockets against Israel.

Both of these are, on the surface, self-defeating steps that make no sense. Not taking the money means the PA could collapse; firing rockets means Hamas is getting battered militarily by the far superior Israeli forces.

So, why do the leaders of these quasi-governmental entities take such apparently self-defeating steps? Because they bring results. Follow the logic:

  • Israel is thriving in nearly every domain, from demographics to economics, from democracy to cultural creativity.

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The Cowardice of Middle East Studies

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 1, 2019

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It's been ten years exactly since Ryan Gingeras published an extraordinary preface to his book, Sorrowful Shores: Violence, Ethnicity, and the End of the Ottoman Empire 1912-1923 (Oxford University Press). I therefore quote it at length:

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Going Out on a Trump-Plan Limb

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 26, 2019

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The Trump plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has prompted enormous speculation – when revealed, what specifics, who gains? – speculation that I confess to having contributed to in a series of articles:

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Academic Malfeasance: Do Moderate Muslims Exist?

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 22, 2019  •  Gatestone Institute

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Did you know that the War on Terror actually "is a war for natural resources – and that terrorism has little to do with it"?

So argues John Maszka in his book, Washington's Dark Secret: The Real Truth About Terrorism and Islamic Extremism (Potomac, 2018), as summarized in the publisher's blurb. If you were curious how this "Terrorism Scholar" (his capitals) and professor of international relations at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, would pull off so implausible a thesis, you might want to dip into the book.

A sentence, however, on p. 54, might give you pause: "Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim."

Okay, you might ignore the predictable "Islamophobe" silliness; but where did that statement come? Wherever did I "insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim"?

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Anticipating Trump's "Deal of the Century"

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 9, 2019  •  Washington Times

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President Trump's peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict surfaced two years ago and to this day – remarkably – only he and a handful of aides know its precise details. A stream of leaks, however, contains enough internal consistency that their collation, supplemented by conversations with administration officials, provides a plausible outline of the plan's contents.

These suggest the plan boils down to a grand exchange: The Arab states recognize Israel and Israel recognizes Palestine, both with capital cities in Jerusalem. This approach builds on elements forwarded by Egypt's President Sisi in 2016, the Obama administration in 2009, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and even my 1990 symmetry plan.

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Harvard's Communist Uprising, 50 Years Later
That takeover and bust culminated my political education

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 9, 2019  •  National Review Online

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Today marks 50 years of my political education. The events of April 9, 1969, helped make me who I am today and the university what it is.

I was a sophomore in college when my fellow students at Harvard University decided that politics, especially the war in Vietnam and the presence of a military training program on campus, compelled them to take over the main administrative building, called University Hall.

Although opposed to this action, I joined the Communists in University Hall to witness the uprising first hand and take pictures. My photographs reveal about 250 students packed into the august President's and Fellows' Room, harangued as they disrespectfully stood and sat among its statues and under its portraits reaching high to the ceiling.

The mood was triumphalist: Finally, students had taken matters into their own hands and showed those deans that they mean business! Flexing their muscles, the students escorted establishment lackeys out of the building, rifled through their files, and announced to humanity the dawning of a revolution.

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Repairing America's Broken Universities

by Daniel Pipes  •  March 20, 2019  •  Washington Times

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When the FBI informs us that parents are ready to spend up to $6.5 million in bribes to get their children into prestige colleges, it seemingly implies that all is very, very well in the American university. But Warren Treadgold tells us that's an illusion.

He's a distinguished professor of Byzantine history at St. Louis University who has also taught at Berkeley, FIU, Hillsdale, Stanford, and UCLA. Having entered college in 1967, he draws on long experience to both indict and offer a remedy of the most thoroughly left-wing major institution in America. His book, The University We Need (Encounter, 2018) presents its case with insight and a light touch.

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Europe's Anti-Immigration Left

by Daniel Pipes  •  March 8, 2019  •  Washington Times

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With very few exceptions, liberals in the United States favor high levels of immigration; and the American Left goes further, calling to "Abolish ICE" (a reference to Immigration Customs and Enforcement, America's border security agency). But developments in Europe suggest this near-unanimity could one day shatter.

Since the end of World War II, Europe's Left has overwhelmingly seen the free movement of labor and immigration as the best ways to challenge corporate interests; in the words of progressive writer David Adler (on whose article, "Meet Europe's Left Nationalists," I have relied here), these "hastened the pace of history and heightened capitalism's contradictions."

Accordingly, the Left helped build the European Union and then pass the 1985 Schengen Agreement (that virtually eliminated internal borders among 26 European countries with a population of more than 400 million). It also enthusiastically welcomed non-Europeans, an approach that culminated in 2015-16 with Angela Merkel (a leftist in conservative disguise) taking in a million-plus migrants, mostly from the Middle East, who were met in Germany by a Willkommenskultur, or welcoming culture.

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Examining Qatar's Influence

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 29, 2019  •  Qatar: U.S. Ally or Global Menace?

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Already in the mid-1990s, a playful riddle circulated among foreign-policy types: In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, which are the world's two great powers? Answer: The United States and Qatar. In other words, the outsized ambitions of a country with a native population then numbering about 150,000, have long been apparent.

These days, Qatar's influence is no longer a riddle. It is felt from Claridge's Hotel to Paul Gauguin's Quand te maries-tu?, from Al Jazeera to the 2022 World Cup, from hacking efforts to bribery scandals. The government has flamboyantly balanced its external connections, symbolized by the giant Al-Udeid Air Base used mostly by American forces vs. the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command.

In part, this remarkable record is made possible by the unique riches showered on the country's tiny population (which now stands at a bit over 300,000, or about 1 percent of the population of Shanghai). The vast North Dome gas field earns the country's subjects (as opposed to the many more numerous foreigners) a per capita income of about US$500,000, or some five times higher than the second richest state, Luxembourg.

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Europe's Jews vs. Israel

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 27, 2019  •  Israel Hayom

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Note the contrast: when Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister recently visited Jerusalem, which he hailed as the capital of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him a "great friend of Israel." Back home, however, Italy's liberal Jews denounced Salvini for, among other things, his Gypsy policy and his alleged "racism against foreigners and migrants."

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Trump's Mideast 'Deal of the Century' May Be a Raw One for Israel
His plan is a closely held secret, but the signals look worrying for supporters of the Jewish state.

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 24, 2019  •  Wall Street Journal

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President Trump has spoken repeatedly about his desire to find the "deal of the century" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the president's specific plan remains a tightly held secret, he and several aides occasionally drop hints about it. From what one can tell, it doesn't sound good.

The first theme of Mr. Trump's comments is neutrality toward Israel and the Palestinians. He had already expressed that in December 2015, when he insisted both sides "are going to have to make sacrifices" to achieve peace, and he has made many similar comments since. Mr. Trump seems not to recall that Israel has repeatedly made concessions since 1993, including turning over land and permitting a Palestinian police corps, only to be met with heightened Palestinian intransigence and violence.

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The Middle East Forum at 25
Failure and Success

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 24, 2019  •  Jerusalem Post

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Today marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Middle East Forum. I'll take this opportunity candidly to review our ability to influence U.S. policy over the quarter century and assess where we stand today.

Opening our doors in early 1994 with the Middle East Quarterly as our main activity, it was difficult to win attention or financial support for a new organization with the slogan "promoting American interests." Things seemed to be going so well for the United States – success in the Kuwait War, the Soviet collapse, and the Oslo Accords – convincing the Clinton administration that the Middle East remained a cauldron of dangers proved an uphill battle, a hill generally too steep for MEF to climb. Accordingly, we struggled in those early years. Opening MEForum.org in 2000, however, positioned us for the turbulence ahead.

9/11 and the Iraq war woke Americans abruptly to Islamist and Middle Eastern threats, catapulting our topics to the center of American and world attention, giving us the opportunity to get out our message and secure more stable funding.

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My Biggest Hits of 2018 - and Why

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 31, 2018

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Looking at statistics at DanielPipes.org finds that these ten are my most read writings of 2018, in ascending order:

10. Melbourne's Petite, Shy, Honors-Student Jihadi
9. German and Austrian Media Outrage Me
8. Conservatism's Hidden History
7. Venezuela's Tyranny of Bad Ideas
6. Why Israelis Shy from Victory
5. The US-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last
4. Poland's Muslim Ban
3. The Rise of Western Civilizationism
2. Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes toward Israel
1. Hungary: Not "Submitting to Islam"

These articles and blogs divide into three broad topics:

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Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes toward Israel

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 27, 2018  •  Washington Times

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As Arabs and Muslims warm to Israel, the Left grows colder. These shifts imply one great imperative for the Jewish state.

On the first shift: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently pointed out "a great change" in the Arab world which has a growing connection to Israeli companies because it needs Israeli "technology and innovation, ... water, electricity, medical care, and high-tech." Explaining this normalization as a result of Arab states "looking for links with the strong," Netanyahu was too tactful of American liberals to add another factor: Barack Obama's policy of appeasing Tehran jolted the Arab states to get serious about the real threats facing them.

It is striking to note that full-scale Arab state warfare versus Israel lasted a mere 25 years (1948-73) and ended 45 long years ago; and that Turkey and Iran have since picked up the anti-Zionist torch.

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If Trump Wants to Divide Jerusalem into Three

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 24, 2018

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Ben Caspit in Al-Monitor has leaked details of the Trump administration's "ultimate deal" to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Citing an anonymous "senior diplomatic source," he writes that the still-secret Trump plan

includes a clear partition of Jerusalem into three sections, and "it is not about a Palestinian capital in Abu-Dis (a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem governance area) but in significant sections of East Jerusalem." According to the source, there will be two capitals in Jerusalem: the Israeli capital in West Jerusalem including control over the Western Wall and Jewish neighborhoods in the city's eastern sections, and the capital of Palestine in the eastern section. In addition will be a third region, within the Holy Basin, to be under international control.

Well, "interesting if true" should be one's first response, as prior leaks that have proved to be inaccurate. But let's suppose that this anonymous senior diplomatic source knows of what he speaks. Then what?

– Any area "under international control" idea curiously harks back to the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine's ill-fated but enduring notion of Jerusalem as a Corpus separatum. In other words, it's anachronistic.

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