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Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes   RSS 2.0 Feed

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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Pushing for an Israeli Victory Is the Only Way to End the Conflict with the Palestinians

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 2, 2018  •  Ha'aretz

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From a practical political point of view, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, and their idea to take a tougher stand toward Hamas just went down to defeat, if not humiliation. That's because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again showed his political skills; the first is now ex-defense minister, the second failed to become defense minister.

From a longer-term point of view, however, the duo raised an issue that for decades had not been part of the Israeli political discourse but, due to their efforts, promises to be an important factor in the future: that would be the concept of victory, of an Israeli victory over Hamas and, by extension, over the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians in general.

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Melbourne's Petite, Shy, Honors-Student Jihadi

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 2018  •  Quadrant (Sydney)

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Melbourne

A petite, pretty 24-year-old Bangladeshi named Momena Shoma arrived in Melbourne on Feb. 1, 2018, to study linguistics on an excellence scholarship at La Trobe University. Describing herself as "an introvert and very shy in nature," she spoke of an ambition to become a university instructor. Coming from an affluent and secular Dhaka family which considered her "brilliant," Momena had been an A student at some of the capital's elite English-language educational institutions: Loreto School, Mastermind School, and North South University. She graduated NSU with an honors degree in English language and literature in 2016, then enrolled for a master's degree at NSU before switching to La Trobe.

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In Defense of Europe's "Far-Right" Parties

by Daniel Pipes  •  November 2, 2018  •  Washington Times

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The European political parties called far-right by Establishment politicians and media (but civilizationist by me) are justly criticized for their mistakes and extremism.

For example, the Sweden Democrats party in its first years, 1988-95, did have some members with Nazi backgrounds and some who supported racist and white nationalist ideas. Even today, the party does foolish things – like call for a ban on circumcising boys.

Civilizationists also have a problem with antisemitism. Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Rally in France, has repeatedly been fined for dismissing the Nazi gas chambers as a "detail" of history. When Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache in 2010 visited Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem memorial to the Holocaust, he wore the distinctive beer-cap of the Vandalia fraternity, an organization associated with antisemitism.

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Europe's Civilizationist Parties
Don't shun the populists of Europe; work with and learn from them

by Daniel Pipes  •  November 2018  •  Commentary

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IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that "in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm." He sees this trend creating a surge in "xenophobic populism." Writing in Politico, Katy O'Donnell agrees: "Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century." Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense "a very real threat from populist movements across Europe."

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Why Do You American Conservatives Keep Losing?

by Daniel Pipes  •  October 18, 2018  •  Washington Times

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I had no answer when Mária Schmidt, a historian and advisor to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, recently asked me, "Why do you American conservatives keep losing to liberals?"

By conservatives, she and I both understand individuals who respect tradition while intelligently adapting it to new circumstances; those following in the legacy of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Liberals are those who believe in each person's unlimited capacity on his own to figure things out rationally, the heirs of Tony Blair and Barack Obama. This permanent political conflict pits building on tradition vs. thinking things anew. It's recognizing 2 genders vs. 71.

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Harvard University Memorial Service for Richard Pipes

by Daniel Pipes  •  September 21, 2018

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Unfortunately, the requested recording by Harvard Event technicians was not made. I thank Robert Chung for recording nearly the entire service on his smartphone, with the exception of the musical prelude and the first talk, by Prof. Evelyn Higgenbotham. The recording begins with the welcome by Prof. Rawi Abdelal.

For the memorial service program, click here.

For a booklet with the tributes by the nine speakers, click here.

Tributes in Memoriam

RICHARD EDGAR PIPES

Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of History, Emeritus

11 July 1923 – 17 May 2018

Memorial Church

Harvard University

Friday, 21 September 2018
Three to Five o'clock in the afternoon

Evelyn Higginbotham
History Department

As the chair of the History Department at Harvard, I bring greetings and speak for my colleagues when I express sincere sympathies to Mrs. Pipes and the entire family of Professor Richard Pipes and when I say that we are grateful to be able to celebrate his life with you today. His was a life long-lived and well-remembered.

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German and Austrian Media Outrage Me

by Daniel Pipes  •  September 19, 2018  •  Washington Times

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Europe's mainstream media has reached a point of distorted frenzy about what it calls the "far-right" and "neo-Nazis." I know. I have just experienced this first hand. Allow me, please, to tell my tale.

Ezra Levant of Canada is a brilliant conservative and an eloquent critic of the Left. He's indefatigable and successful; Rebel Media, which he founded in February 2015, has over one million YouTube subscribers. Of his many concerns, such as "ethical oil," Levant most worries about the threat of Islamism.

Our common outlook means we often cooperate, and he recently invited me to join a Rebel Media cruise on the Danube River in June 2019, which I accepted. It makes roughly equidistant daily trips, beginning with two towns in Germany (Regensburg, Passau), then four in Austria (Linz, Melk, Dürnstein, Vienna), one in Slovakia (Bratislava), and one in Hungary (Budapest).

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Why Israelis Shy from Victory

by Daniel Pipes  •  Fall 2018  •  Middle East Quarterly

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One day, imagine, a U.S. president tells an Israeli prime minister: "Palestinian extremism damages American security. We need you to end it by achieving victory over the Palestinians. Do what it takes within legal, moral, and practical boundaries." The president continues: "Impose your will on them, induce a sense of defeat so they give up their 70-year-old dream of eliminating Israel. Win your war."

How might the prime minister respond? Would he seize the moment and punish the incitement and violence sponsored by the Palestinian Authority (PA)? Would he inform Hamas that every aggression would temporarily stop all shipments of water, food, medicine, and electricity?

Or would he decline the offer?

My prediction: After intense consultations with Israel's security services and heated cabinet meetings, the prime minister would reply to the president with, "No thanks, we prefer things as they are."

Really? That's not what one expects, given how the PA and Hamas seek to eliminate the Jewish state, the persistent violence against Israelis, and how Palestinian propaganda hurts Israel's international standing. Yes. And for four reasons: a widespread Israeli belief that prosperity undermines ideology, awe of Palestinian resolve, Jewish guilt, and timid security services. Each of these views can be readily refuted.

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Venezuela's Tyranny of Bad Ideas
Socialism was a proven failure, but Hugo Chávez got his countrymen to try it

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 27, 2018  •  Wall Street Journal

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Ideas run the world: good ones create freedom and wealth; bad ones, oppression and poverty. Sure, money is important, but money is but a means to an end. Ideas are the end. You are not what you eat; you are what you think.

Politicians in particular fall under the sway of ideas. As John Maynard Keynes put it, "Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. ... it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil."

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Hungary: Not "Submitting to Islam"

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 14, 2018  •  Washington Times

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BUDAPEST – No European head of government talks remotely like Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. For example, he recently spoke of building in Hungary a "constitutional order based on national and Christian foundations," thereby avoiding a future in which "the whole of Europe has ... submitted to Islam."

That, in brief, is the disruption caused by Orbán, 55, and his Fidesz party. He outlines explicitly conservative (or in his terminology, "illiberal") goals that defend "the ways of life springing from Christian culture" and reject Muslim influence. By doing so, Orbán has undermined a continent-wide consensus and encouraged voters in Poland, Austria, Italy, and Germany to resist further uncontrolled migration.

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Who Are Europe's Most Important Politicians?

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 2, 2018  •  Washington Times

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"Who is the most important European alive today?" I asked in early 2010. Dutch politician Geert Wilders, came my answer, because "he is best placed to deal with the Islamic challenge facing the continent." I even raised the prospect of his emerging "as a world-historical figure."

In other words, I focused not on run-of-the-mill political leaders – the UK prime minister, French president, German chancellor, or even the Roman Catholic pope – but on the disruptive politician leading Europe's revolt against immigration and Islamization. Conventional politicians optimistically assume that the continent will muddle through, that some form of convivencia (Spanish for "coexistence," a term deriving from medieval Andalusia) will emerge, that multiculturalism somehow will tame the beast of Islamic supremacism.

But as Europe, population 741 million, heads toward cultural crisis, as indigenous birthrates plunge, as Islamist aggression increases, and as the elite made up of the 6Ps (police, politicians, press, priests, professors and prosecutors) myopically insists there is nothing to worry about, this happy talk has little basis in reality.

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Conservatism's Hidden History

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 31, 2018  •  Philadelphia Inquirer

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What is conservatism?

Before reading an article with this title by Ofir Haivry and Yoram Hazony in a recent issue of American Affairs, I would have replied individual liberty, small government, and a robust foreign policy. Their article taught me a completely different and much deeper understanding.

With clarity and brilliance, Haivry and Hazony reveal a little-known intellectual history of English conservatism going back to the fifteenth century and Sir John Fortescue's In Praise of the Laws of England (c. 1470), followed by such outstanding thinkers as John Selden, Jonathan Swift, and Edmund Burke.

They advocated an outlook that respects tradition while intelligently adapting it to new circumstances; Haivry and Hazony call this historical empiricism. Conservatives esteem what preceding generations have worked out – especially, the English Constitution and the Hebrew Bible. They see England's unique development of freedom as the happy result of such singular breakthroughs as the Magna Carta (1215) and the Petition of Right (1628).

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