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The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem: What's Next?
March 15, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

There Is an "Alliance between the Left and Islamists"
March 6, Sky News Australia

Netanyahu and Trump's Relationship "Could Fracture"
March 5, Sky News Australia

UNRWA: Perpetuating the Psychology of Victimhood of the Palestinians
February 7, Endowment for Middle East Truth

Assessing Trump's Middle East Policies
February 3, L'Informale (Italy)

How the UN inflates "Palestine refugee" figures
January 23, Rebel Media

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Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes   RSS 2.0 Feed

NATO's Turkey Challenge

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 19, 2018  •  Ally No More

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In an inarticulate but important statement, then-National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said in a December 2017 closed-door session that the Islamist threat has been "myopically" treated in the past: "We didn't pay enough attention how [Islamist ideology] is being advanced through charities, madrassas and other social organizations." Alluding to prior Saudi support for such institutions, he noted that it "is now done more by Qatar and by Turkey."

Dwelling on Turkey, he added that "A lot of Islamist groups have learned from" its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, or AKP). The Turks, he went on, offer a model of "operating through civil society, then the education sector, then the police and judiciary, and then the military to consolidate power in the hands of a particular party, which is something we'd prefer not to see and is sadly contributing to the drift of Turkey away from the West."

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The Rise of Western Civilizationism

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 14, 2018  •  Australian

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Victor Orbán's landslide electoral victory on Sunday, gaining 134 seats out of 199 in Hungary's parliament, increases his governing supermajority and endorses his tough policy of excluding illegal immigrants, especially from the Middle East. His success dramatizes a new reality across Europe and in Australia: a novel kind of party has emerged, disturbing the political scene and arousing impassioned debate.

Examples of this phenomenon include the other three members of the Visegrád group (Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia) as well as Austria's four-month old government. Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, sees western Europe following the Visegrád group: "In the Eastern part of Europe, anti-Islamification and anti-mass migration parties see a surge in popular support. Resistance is growing in the West, as well."

In France, the National Front emerged as the second strongest party in last year's presidential elections, in Italy, a muddled situation could lead to an Orbán-like government, while Cory Bernardi's Conservatives and Pauline Hanson's One Nation have made their mark on the Australian scene. Indeed, like-minded parties have quickly become a significant force in some twenty countries.

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A Historic Step in Austria?

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 5, 2018  •  Washington Times

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VIENNA – Something unprecedented took place in Austria in December 2017 – and hardly anyone outside the country noticed: For the first time in Western Europe, a government took power that advocates anti-immigration and anti-Islamization policies.

The government comprises two very different parties which together won 58 percent of the vote: the arch-establishment, very-mildly conservative Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, ÖVP) and the populist, firebrand Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) whose roots lie in the far-right swamp of German (not Austrian) nationalism.

The two parties' coalition agreement is a counterjihadi's dream. Distinguishing between Islamism (which it calls political Islam) and the religion of Islam, it boldly stakes out new ground:

Austria guarantees freedom of belief and religion but fights political Islam. By political Islam we mean groups and organizations whose ideological foundation is Islam, and which seek to change the basic political and social order by rejecting our constitution and Islamizing society. Political Islam, which can lead to radicalization, antisemitism, violence and terrorism, has no place in our society.

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Why Palestinians Need an Israel Victory

by Daniel Pipes  •  March 24, 2018  •  Australian

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[Australian title: "Israeli victory essential for Middle East peace"]

The moment is right for fresh thinking in order to dispatch the old and stale Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

With Arabs focused on other issues – the Iranian nuclear weapon build-up, civil wars in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, Turkey going rogue, the Islamist surge, and the water drought – hoary anti-Zionist taboos have lost much of their pungency. A prosperous and strong Israel has lost hope in decades' worth of "peace process." The cowboy in the White House likes breaking with precedent. And the global Left's turn toward antisemitism, exemplified by Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party, adds further reason for urgency; when it eventually holds power, the implications for Israel will be dire.

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Anatomy of a Media Error

by Daniel Pipes  •  March 2, 2018

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Which is worse, academic sloppiness or fake news? Hard to say, for both present a challenge to a functioning democracy. I've so often documented the outlandish errors that leftist and Islamist academics make about me, I even have a bibliography on the topic. So, here's one about the press.

Step One occurred in August 2017 when PressProgress, a website that calls itself "Canada's most shared source for progressive news and information" and takes pride in its fact-checking prowess, went after Ezra Levant of (the conservative) Rebel Media. Its article, "Rebel Media's Ezra Levant Received Foreign Funding from 'Anti-Muslim' Think Tank," refers to the Middle East Forum as anti-Muslim and other inaccuracies. But never mind that, just note the key passage that vaguely connects MEF to the Koch brothers:

According to the Center for American Progress' report, MEF has previously received millions in funding from foundations bankrolled by wealthy conservatives and GOP donors.

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review of Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler

by Daniel Pipes  •  Spring 2018  •  Middle East Quarterly

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The when campaign to do what, you ask? You're excused if the subtitle does not ring a bell, for Richman, a lawyer, talented author, and formidable researcher, has resurrected the failed and now-obscure effort to mobilize American Jews to create a fighting force against Nazi Germany.

On the surface, he relates a story about three grandees of Zionism – Chaim Weizmann, Zeev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion – who traveled to the United States in the single year 1940 to arouse the world's largest, richest, and freest Jewish population to concern itself with the horrors underway in Europe and to respond by supporting a Jewish army. Each of the three met with frustration because of a prevailing American mood of isolationism and a Jewish leadership fearful of getting out too far in front of general opinion.

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The US-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last

by Daniel Pipes  •  February 6, 2018  •  Washington Times

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President Trump has taken two unprecedented steps highly favorable to Israel: recognizing Jerusalem as its capital and cutting funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization ultimately devoted to eliminating the Jewish state. These long-overdue actions break antique log-jams dating back nearly 70 years and offer fresh opportunities to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Bravo to Trump for enduring the slings and arrows of conventional thinking to take these courageous steps and then stick with them.

That said, there's a problem. Both moves were undertaken for what appear to be the wrong reasons. This is not an abstract worry but implies that today's celebration could turn into tomorrow's fiasco.

First problem for Israel: Trump says he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital to settle the Jerusalem issue. Listen to him ruminate on this: "The hardest subject [that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators] had to talk about was Jerusalem. We took Jerusalem off the table, so we don't have to talk about it anymore. They never got past Jerusalem."

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Islamic London: "Run, Hide, Tell"

by Daniel Pipes  •  February 5, 2018  •  Gatestone Institute

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To understand the development of Islam in Western countries, I make a habit of visiting Muslim-majority areas such as in Lakemba in Australia, Lodi in California, and Lunel in France. But London, England, is unique in the extent of its Islamic impress.

Muslim-majority areas typically consist of poor, unattractive housing projects remote from the city center that long ago were abandoned by their original indigenous, working-class populations. They often feature men sitting around cafes and women cooped up at home. They suffer from a range of social pathologies, including unemployment, criminal gangs, and drug-trafficking.

London too has such areas, and they are very large; but what makes the English capital unique is the intense Muslim presence in the very most central and expensive parts of the city, where Muslims do not constitute a majority. This presence takes two main forms.

First, there's the posh Muslim element. According to a CBRE study, Middle Easterners invested over $4.2 billion in London commercial real estate in 2015 (the most recent full year with statistics); this money tends to go into high-profile properties such as the Shard, the city's tallest building; Harrods, its most glamorous department store; Claridge's, its most luxurious hotel; and purchasing the former U.S. embassy building.

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"Arabs and Muslims Will Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State"

by Daniel Pipes  •  February 2, 2018

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Mordechai Kedar, a distinguished specialist of the Middle East, recently published an article arguing that Israel can never win its neighbors' acceptance. This conclusion flies directly in the face of the Israel Victory Project I have proposed, which is about gaining precisely that acceptance. So, Kedar's analysis calls for a reply.

He makes two arguments, religious and nationalist, to support his conclusion. "The religious reason is rooted in Islam's conception of itself as a faith whose mission is to bring both Judaism and Christianity to an end and inherit all that was once Jewish or Christian: land, places of worship, and people. ... That] Jews now attempt to pray on the Temple Mount, suggest[s] that Judaism has returned to being an active, living, and even dynamic religion. This brings the very raison d'être of Islam into question. ... Muslims loyal to their religion and aware of this danger cannot possibly accept the existence of a Jewish state, not even a tiny one on the Tel Aviv coast."

The nationalist motive concerns the Palestinian national movement being "wholly based on the negation of the Jewish people's right to its land and state." Therefore, it seeks "an Arab state on Israel's ruins, not alongside it."

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No News in Republican and Democratic Views of Israel

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 31, 2018

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A recent Pew opinion survey showing 79 percent sympathy for Israel over the Palestinians among Republicans versus a mere 27 percent among Democrats has aroused a furor in pro-Israel circles. But this sort of ratio has been around through the twenty-first century with little change.

By way of proof, note the 13 opinion surveys I collected between 2002 and 2018 at a blog titled "Republicans and Democrats Look at the Arab-Israeli Conflict." Arraying the surveys together (carefully done by my researcher, Delaney Yonchek), one finds that attitudes remaining consistent within specific bands. Favorable Republican attitudes to Israel range between 59 and 84 percent, averaging 73 percent. Favorable Democrats attitudes range between 24 and 64 percent, averaging 44 percent.

Yes, the 2018 Pew poll does show a wider gap than ever (52 percent) but Republican pro-Israel sentiments have been higher and Democratic pro-Israel views have been lower, so it's well within the 16-year range.

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99 Percent of "Palestine Refugees" Are Fake

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 10, 2018  •  Washington Times

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In the words of a veteran Washington hand, the problem of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN agency dealing with Palestinians, is always important but never urgent.

Well, it just became urgent.

That's because President Trump tweeted "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" Then, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley added that the U.S. government is prepared to cut off funds to UNRWA. And, Axios reported, a U.S. payment of $125 million was not delivered (though that was later denied).

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Dhimmis No More
Christians' Trauma in the Middle East

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 2018  •  The Future of Religious Minorities in the Middle East

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A new strain of thought has developed in Sunni Muslim thinking: ethnic cleansing. It's not genocide, but it involves expelling non-Sunni populations. Its spread means that non-Muslim minorities have a grim future in Muslim-majority countries; and some may have no future there at all.

I shall trace the origins of ethnic cleansing in the Middle East, note its impact especially on Christians, and consider responses to it.

To begin, let us look at the standing of non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries before 1800.

Muslims viewed non-Muslim in two categories: monotheists recognized by Islam as adhering to a valid faith (this being mostly Jews and Christians) and polytheists (especially Hindus) lacking that recognition. The former category, our topic here, are known as People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab).

Muslims were relatively tolerant of People of the Book - but only if they accepted becoming dhimmi (protected persons) who acknowledged the rule of Muslims and the superiority of Islam; in other words, if they accepted an inferior status. They had to pay special taxes (called jizya) could not serve in the military or the police or, more generally, exercise authority over Muslims. Sumptuary laws abounded; a Christian or Jew should walk or go by mule but not on a horse and should defer to a Muslim on the street. (Of course, actual practice differed from one country to another and from one era to another.)

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2017's Top Hits at DanielPipes.org

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 31, 2017

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Looking over the past year's statistics, my ten most-read articles of 2017 (ignoring articles from prior years) were:

10. Merkel's Historic Folly
9. Historians Run Amok
8. Erdoğan to Me: Stay Out of Turkey
7. No to Bombing Syria
6. Florida Museum Celebrates the Loss of Hagia Sophia
5. Italy's Apocalypse
4. Will Trump Turn Against Israel?
3. Linda Sarsour, The Left's Latest Star
2. The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat
1. Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting

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Beauty and Nausea in Venice

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 28, 2017  •  American Thinker

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"On or about December 1910, human character changed," wrote British novelist Virginia Woolf in 1924. "I am not saying that one went out, as one might into a garden, and there saw that a rose had flowered, or that a hen had laid an egg. The change was not sudden and definite like that. But a change there was, nevertheless."

Woolf's famous quote refers specifically to an exhibition of naturalist paintings. More broadly, 1910 marked the approximate date of a huge shift in the world of art: out went the traditional goal of creating beauty, replaced by the modernist goal of promoting ideals and imparting a political message, especially one that would épater la bourgeoisie (shock the middle class). Toward this end, rudeness and ugliness is inherent to the progressive goal of irritating, disturbing, and teaching.

Italy, home of the Renaissance, widely considered to be the apogee of artistic achievement, offers a striking place to observe this contrast, as my recent travel to twelve Italian towns brought home.

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Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital – What Does It Mean?

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 11, 2017

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Question: On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump made a statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declaring that his administration will immediately begin the process of building an embassy in Jerusalem. What does Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital mean?

Respondents: Elliott Abrams, Daniel Pipes, Max Singer, Eytan Gilboa, Jonathan Rynhold, Hillel Frisch. Click here for the other responses. Slight changes made to the BESA Center original.

The move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem brings on a flood of thoughts. Briefly:

This completes the UN creation of Israel on Nov. 29, 1947.

Coincidentally, it came 70 years and 7 days after the UN vote. Also of note, it came 3 days shy of the centenary of British conquest of Jerusalem from the Ottomans.

It effectively recognizes pre-1967 west Jerusalem, not the whole of Jerusalem, as Israel's capital. It also leaves the ugly old consular and passport practices in place.

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