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The Rushdie Affair Revisited
August 17, Powerline

Expect a New Iran Nuclear Deal
August 17, Global Review (Germany)

Israel Victory Can Solve the Palestinian Issue
August 9, Neokohn (Budapest)

Turkey's Expulsion from NATO Remains Unlikely
July 4, L'Informale (Italy)

Turkey's Stance on NATO Expansion Is "Blackmail"
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"Almost All Western Governments Finance Lawful Islamism"
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Did a Conspiracy Theory Just Collapse?
Sandy Hook and Alex Jones

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 17, 2022  •  Washington Times

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Conspiracy theories tend to live forever; think of those surrounding the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. Therefore, what recently took place in an Austin, Texas, courtroom is remarkable and to be celebrated: the rare likely collapse of a conspiracy theory.

Alex Jones, a motormouth endorsed by Donald Trump ("amazing") and Joe Rogan ("hilarious"), refused to accept that Adam Lanza killed 26 and injured 2 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. It was not the deadliest school massacre in American history; rather, "no one died." The gunman, victims, and parents were all "crisis actors" who followed the Obama administration's carefully rehearsed script to win public support for stricter gun-control laws.

Over nearly a decade, Jones won a large audience and made a fortune by hawking his inversion of reality. He also caused great pain, especially to parents of the 20 slaughtered children. Jones-inspired conspiracy theorists mocked the parents, threatened them, harassed them, and even shot up their homes. In response to what they called a "living hell," Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of a murdered 6-year-old, brought a defamation law suit against Jones.

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Spelling Out an Israel Victory

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 9, 2022  •  MEForum.org

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When formulating the Israel Victory idea in the late 1990s (and first writing about it in April 2001), it seemed as distant as the moon. But now, the combination of a more realistic Israeli body politic and Arab states focused on the Iranian threat, bring it within reach. Therefore, its implications need to be worked out in some detail. That is the goal of the book in your hands.

Israel Victory means Israel imposes its will on West Bank and Gaza Palestinians so majorities there eventually cease to try to eliminate it and instead accept the permanent existence of the Jewish state.

Israel Victory means Israel imposes its will on West Bank and Gaza Palestinians so majorities there eventually cease to try to eliminate it and instead accept the permanent existence of the Jewish state. Victory aims to defeat Palestinians so they will no longer be an enemy, not on the military, diplomatic, economic, or any other battlefield. Ironically, liberating Palestinians from their obsession with Israel benefits them even more than Israelis, for it finally opens a path for them to build their own polity, economy, society, and culture. Thus do all sides gain from Israel victory and Palestinian defeat.

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Open Mecca to the World

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 4, 2022  •  Wall Street Journal

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Imagine that, on conquering Jerusalem in 1967, Israel's government blocked non-Jews from visiting the Temple Mount. Then imagine that a Saudi Muslim sneaked onto the mount, claiming to be a Jewish American, and broadcast his visit on Saudi television. He would surely find global support for defying Israel's "apartheid" regime.

That's roughly what happened in reverse on July 18 when Gil Tamary—a Jewish Israeli television journalist who holds a U.S. passport—broadcast himself on Israeli television cruising around Mecca, the most sacred city of Islam, which is forbidden to non-Muslims. The 10-minute program featured Mr. Tamary's driving by the Great Mosque, passing through Mina, a site on the annual pilgrimage, and climbing Mount Arafat.

[For the remainder of this article, go to wsj.com.]

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Will Americans Learn What Israelis Already Know?
Letter to the Editor

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 22, 2022  •  Wall Street Journal

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To the Editor:

Instead of lecturing Israelis, Saudis and others, know-it-all U.S. policy makers should start learning from them.

Walter Russell Mead's scathing op-ed "Can Biden Correct Obama's Mideast Errors?" (July 16) makes an oft-neglected point that U.S. politicians and advisers must absorb: Their liberal bromides, brewed up by human-rights and anti-Israel activists, are increasingly despised in the region itself. "Arabs and Israelis alike remember the serial failures of the Obama administration," writes Mr. Mead. They wondered, as the Biden administration dug in, "if the days of condescension and arrogance had returned."

Mr. Mead is right. It is time for know-it-all U.S. policy makers to recognize the Democrats' terrible record from Libya and Egypt to Syria and Iran and culminating in Afghanistan. Instead of lecturing Israelis, Saudis and others, they should start learning from them and their bitter experiences. Maybe then the U.S. can again develop worthy policies.

Daniel Pipes
President, Middle East Forum

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How Muslims Can Catch Up

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 21, 2022  •  Washington Times

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A barrage of statistics makes clear that contemporary Muslims have fallen behind other peoples, whether the topic be health, corruption, longevity, literacy, human rights, personal security, income, or power. But why? Four competing explanations exist, each fraught with implications.

First, the global Left and Islamists blame Western imperialism. For them, today's tribulations follow inevitably on the two centuries after 1760 when nearly all Muslims fell under the control of 16 majority-Christian states (the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Russia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and the United States).

But this accusation ignores two key facts. First, Muslims lagged behind much of the rest of the world in those indices long before 1760 – which helps explain why they came under Western control in the first place. Second, Western control ended about seven decades ago, affording plenty of time to blossom and succeed, as so many non-Muslim peoples have; compare Singapore/Malaysia, India/Pakistan, Israel/Palestinians, or North/South Cyprus.

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The Campaign to Treat All Illegal Migrants Like Ukrainian Refugees

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 18, 2022

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In a recent article, "How Ukrainian Refugees Could Inadvertently Erase the West," I predicted that

Advocates of multiculturalism and open borders have widely seized on the Ukrainian example to argue that any less generous response to migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia constitutes racism, xenophobia, or "Islamophobia." While little-noted at this moment of intense focus on Ukrainians, after the current crisis ends and non-Western migrants return to the spotlight, that line of reasoning will certainly prominently emerge and become a force.

The predicted campaign has now begun. "We are all Ukrainians!" is the battlecry of a pro-illegal migrant activist group in Paris that denounces France's "apartheid practices" in the treatment of migrants. (July 18, 2022)

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How Ukrainian Refugees Could Inadvertently Erase the West

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 8, 2022  •  American Spectator

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After the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland reacted with delight and even shock to the warmth of their reception. "We have everything, really everything, even too much stuff. The people here are amazing, so generous, we didn't expect so much sympathy." "It is unbelievable how much they help. They give us everything they have." Poles were also pleasantly impressed by themselves: "I never thought we had this in us. Nobody knew we could be mobilized like this." "In this critical situation, we gathered together and, really, I don't know anyone who is not helping."

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Israel Is the Least-Stolen Land
Letter to the Editor

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 19, 2022  •  Wall Street Journal

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To the Editor:

Only one country was purchased rather than conquered. That country is Israel.

In "'Native Land Acknowledgments' Are the Latest Woke Ritual" (op-ed, June 11), Eugene Kontorovich elegantly ridicules the budding leftist requirement that public statements be prefaced by a ceremonial nod to the peoples who once inhabited roughly our territories, thereby honoring their supposed moral superiority.

He notes in passing that "conquest and migration have shaped the entire world." So far as I know, only one country was purchased rather than conquered. Ironically, that country is also the one most accused of having "stolen" the land it now controls. That country is Israel.

The making of the Jewish state represents perhaps history's most peaceable in-migration and state creation. Zionist efforts long had a near-exclusively mercantile, not military, quality. Jews lacked the power to fight the Ottoman or British empires, so they purchased land, acre by acre, in voluntary transactions.

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review of Sa'udi Policies towards Migrants and Refugees

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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As the subtitle non-too-subtly suggests, Kéchichian and Alsharif have an apologetic mission to fulfill in this study published under the auspices of a Saudi monarchical institution. Contra the kingdom's reputation for closed borders and parsimony, they argue, it has welcomed and spent lavishly on refugees. The authors make clear that they wrote Sa'udi Policies to counter what they consider to be unfair criticisms, quoting many critics in a hurt tone. As one of those critics, one who has written repeatedly on this topic since 2013, this reviewer takes keen interest in seeing the counter-argument. It goes like this:

As a non-signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 follow-up Optional Protocol, Riyadh does not label refugees as such but rather as "brothers and sisters." Due to this semantic difference, the outside world is blinded to the country's generous and far-sighted immigration and integration policies. For example, rather than cram refugees into isolated camps to fester, the Saudi authorities sprinkle them around the country, give them education and work opportunities, naturalize them, and turn them into productive Saudi subjects. Kéchichian and Alsharif, both non-academic specialists on Saudi Arabia, assert very substantial numbers of such refugees coming from many countries, such as 500,000 Rohingyas and 2.5 million Syrians.

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review of The Ottoman World: A Cultural History Reader, 1450–1700

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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The editors, both on the faculty at the University of Chicago, have selected 46 texts from a 2½-century period to provide a sourcebook on Ottoman culture, self-consciously getting away from what they call the usual "state-centric" approach to the empire. The abundance of information about political topics has, they note, made it "too easy to represent Ottoman history as one limited to battles, imperial campaigns, conquests, complex institutions, careers of notables, luxurious palaces, and the like." They hope the present volume, with its translations primarily from Turkish but also from Armenian, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and Persian, offers an enticing sample of the "alternative riches" the Ottomans have to offer.

Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of the materials derive from law courts, for where else does one find more everyday stories written down for posterity? The sections on a heretic, on children and youth, on prostitutes and pimps, on nocturnal activities, on non-Muslims, and on public health mostly derive from Islamic court records, while those on Jewish converts to Islam and marriage and divorce among Jews derive from Jewish court records.

Those inclined to see Ottoman culture as dull will no doubt find confirmation in this anthology.

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review of Narrative Traditions in International Politics

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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Struck by the contrast between the stale Turkey she had read about before reaching the country and the fresh one she found on arrival, Vuorelma turned this discrepancy into a book, where she minutely takes up this purported problem of media, political analysis, and public opinion. A more intelligible version of her title might read, "A Century of Foreigners Stereotyping Turkey."

The author, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, gives her point of view away already on p. 3 by citing Edward Said and then never, ever deviating from his party line. For example, the texts she relies about Turkey on "are read not only as descriptions of the international but also as descriptions of the Western self." She takes far more interest in "the loose epistemic community of journalists, scholars, diplomats, and politicians" than in Atatürk and Erdoğan.

Vuorelma has an ax to grind and, like too many academics, does not let petty facts get between her and the grinding stone.

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review of Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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Arguing against conventional thinking, Greble asserts that "Southeastern Europe was central to the European experience of encountering Islam." In so doing, she focuses on a small and peripheral population over about seventy years. Even granting the validity of this thesis, the grandiose title misleadingly conjures up fourteen centuries of Muslim-Christian interaction. A title like "Balkan Muslims, 1878-1949: A History of Small-Scale Complexity" would far more accurately capture the topic of her book.

But is the thesis convincing? Were the Muslims of southeastern Europe really more central to the European experience of Islam than the impact of Indians on Great Britain, Algerians on France, and Turks on Germany? In larger historical terms, did they have a greater effect than the Church over fourteen centuries? Or is this the special pleading of a young scholar, an associate professor of history and Russian and East European studies at Vanderbilt University, for her specific area of research?

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review of Legacy of Empire: Britain, Zionism and the Creation of Israel

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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A haughty and persistent sneer dominates Thompson's book, starting with the very title, which turns Zionists into bit actors in their own drama. Thompson's approach turns a serious and deep topic into a puerile copybook exercise. This self-described historian of British colonialism reduces Middle Eastern passions to London-based drawing-room dilettantism.

Illustrations of this unfortunate approach abound; consider some quotes from the author's introduction:

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review of Israel's Moment

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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In an era when book after book by credentialed frauds flush with jargon and making spurious claims cross this reviewer's transom, Herf's study is a relief: true scholarship, with extensive research, clear prose, and sensible, convincing arguments.

A distinguished university professor in history at the University of Maryland, Herf has studied in archival detail the context in which the State of Israel was born, focusing especially on the "moment" of May 1947 to early 1949. He offers four core conclusions about this extended process, three of them simple and one complex: (1) The Soviet Union had far more importance than the United States. (2) U.S. officialdom opposed Israel with a fervency and extent not hitherto realized. (3) The Left supported the creation of Israel far more than the Right. In support of this last point, himself a liberal supporter of Israel, and therefore somewhat besieged in the university environment, Herf's delight nearly sings in chapter 3, "American Liberals and Leftists Support Zionist Aspirations, 1945-1947."

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review of The End of Two Illusions: Islam after the West

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2022  •  Middle East Quarterly

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Your reviewer approached this book with some wariness, having previously been referred to by the author as "an infamous charlatan." Sure enough, deploying his eccentrically florid version of English, the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University has this to say about me in The End of Two Illusions:

With Bernard Lewis, Orientalism has officially exited the realm of colonial reason and entered the twilight zone of its unreality—it is now positively delusional, just like 'the West' it defends and its habitual hobby horse of 'civilization,' which it takes out of the closet for yet another fantasy ride. In this hallucinatory project, Bernard Lewis is aided by an even sorrier gang of minions like Daniel Pipes on one side and self- loathing native informants like Fouad Ajami on the other.

Lewis, Ajami, and I are riding a habitual, hallucinatory hobby horse? What is he talking about?

if you wish to read trash, read Said's original and skip the work of his sorry minion Dabashi.

But, getting serious. Dabashi devotes his volume to answering a question: "Whence this hatred, wherefore this bizarre fixation with making Muslims, just for the accident of being Muslims, the enemy of reason, sanity, and civilization?"

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