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Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes   RSS 2.0 Feed

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser
Congress' Potentially Most Important New Member

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 3, 2024  •  Washington Times

As everyone knows, the growth of a Muslim population in the United States, roughly three-quarters immigrant and one-quarter convert, has led to an unfortunate growth of extremism and violence.

A murderous spree of jihad going back to 1977 provides one indication of this neglected problem; the recent anti-Israel encampments on college campuses provides another. Possibly even more alarming, all four Muslims thus far elected to Congress – Keith Ellison, André Carson, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib – represent the far-left, friendly-to-Islamism, Israel-hating wing of the Democratic party.

Happily, however, the U.S. population of born-Muslims is not homogeneous but includes substantial numbers of moderate, patriotic, and anti-jihad Americans. Some practice Islam, others have left the faith; all of them deeply understand the problem. Prominent names include the basketball player Enes Kanter Freedom, Ayaan Hirsi Ali of the Hoover Institution, Husain Haqqani of the Hudson Institute, and former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani.

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A Muslim Aliyah Paralleled the Jewish Aliyah
Part I, to 1948

by Daniel Pipes  •  Summer 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

"So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country
[Palestine] and multiplied till their population has increased."
— Winston Churchill in 1938

"[T]he Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly exceeded
the total Jewish immigration during this whole period."
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939

Famously, Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, called aliyah, is centuries old and took on an organized form in 1882. Described as "the central goal of the State of Israel" (in the words of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon), it provides the demographic basis on which the entire Zionist enterprise rests. Both very public and highly controversial, it has inspired millions of Jews to move to territories now under Israeli control.

Much less famously, a large and diverse non-Jewish immigration to Palestine (meaning here, roughly Gaza, the West Bank, and the northern half of the State of Israel), mostly Muslim, has also taken place. These immigrants included Arabs, Muslims, and many others. They and their descendants probably make up a majority of the population now called Palestinian. Palestinians, in other words, are not an aboriginal, autochthonous, first, indigenous, or native people; most of them are as recently arrived as Zionists. They are also as ethnically diverse.

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My Six-Step Plan for a Two-State Solution

by Daniel Pipes  •  April 4, 2024  •  Boston Globe

Has the time come to implement the two-state solution – that is, to recognize the semi-sovereign Palestinian Authority (PA) as a state, as "Palestine," alongside Israel?

President Biden says yes – "the only real solution is a two-state solution" – and 19 Democratic senators call for "two states for two peoples." Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says no – "Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state" – and Republicans, in the words of The Washington Post, "hug Netanyahu tighter." This high-profile clash threatens to damage both countries' interests. Fortunately, common ground exists that offers a way to move the topic forward. It has two components.

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review of Hijab: Word of God or Word of Man?

by Daniel Pipes  •  Spring 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

"The subject of sitr or covering is far more nuanced than we have been led to believe. The spectrum of opinion is far more vast, tolerant, and permissive than most have imagined in their wildest dreams." With this, Morrow (or Ilyas 'Abd al-'Alim Islam), a prolific Canadian convert to Islam, opens the small but also vast topic of Islamic strictures on the need for women to cover up. His definition of hijab makes his own view evident: "the religious prison created for women by men inflicted with numerous psychological and theological diseases, including ignorance, arrogance, and polytheism."

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Building a Decent Gaza

by Daniel Pipes  •  Spring 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

"A significant portion of Palestinian people do not share the views of Hamas."
— U.S. President Joe Biden

Netanyahu's Plan

On Feb. 22, 2024, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his Security Cabinet with a short document, "The Day After Hamas." His office calls it "principles reflecting a broad public consensus on the goals of the war, and the civil alternative to the terrorist organization's rule in the Gaza Strip." Its key passage states that the Government of Israel plans to work primarily with Gazans to rebuild their territory, secondly with friendly Arab states.

Civil affairs and responsibility for public order will be based on local actors with "management experience" and not identified with countries or organizations supporting terrorism or receive payments from them; a de-radicalization program will be promoted in all religious, educational, and welfare institutions in the [Gaza] strip with as much as possible the involvement and assistance of Arab countries that have experience in promoting de-radicalization.

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review of Charles Huber: France's Greatest Arabian Explorer

by Daniel Pipes  •  Spring 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

Huber (1847–84) tends to be overlooked in the pantheon of great European explorers of Arabia. Several reasons help account for this obscurity: he wrote in French, a minor language of this topic; indiscretions in his youth; a lone-wolf character; being murdered aged 36 limited his output; and because his dry style of cataloging meant, in the words of Christian Julien Robin, that he "sought recognition above all else as a leading geographer and explorer among his fellow-professionals, and had no ambitions for literary success or public admiration." Nonetheless, as his biographer, the historian Facey, shows, Huber deserves to be remembered for the documentary contributions made during his two Arabian journeys between 1880 and 1884.

Huber's primary interest, Facey explains, lay in "mapping a region of which Europe had almost no geographical conception." Although he had uneven relations with the French government and fellow explorers, his "explorations and the scientific data he collected were recognized immediately by the French geographical establishment as a major contribution to knowledge." He managed this despite hostile relations with his main European partner, the German Julius Euting, for Huber "was possessed to an extreme degree by classic 'explorer's syndrome': the ambition of the pioneer in unknown lands to claim 'firsts' for himself."

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Netanyahu's Bold, Realistic Plan for "the Day After Hamas"

by Daniel Pipes  •  March 3, 2024  •  Wall Street Journal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month presented Israel's security cabinet with a short document: "The Day After Hamas." Its key passage states that Jerusalem plans to work primarily with Gazans to rebuild their territory. "Civil affairs and responsibility for public order will be based on local actors with 'management experience,' " it says, and not identified with nor receiving payments from countries or organizations supporting terrorism.

In a step toward this program of self-rule, the Israeli military has begun an informal pilot program of what it calls "humanitarian pockets" in parts of north Gaza cleared of Hamas. These local governing bodies consist of community leaders, whose duties will include distributing humanitarian aid and revising school curricula.

The concept of Israelis working with Gazans is brave, bold and contested. It faces two main criticisms. First, the U.S. and other governments want to hand Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, which rules most of the West Bank and seeks Israel's destruction. Second, many Israelis and Palestinians alike insist that Jerusalem won't find those "local actors" to work with.

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2023's Biggest Hits at DanielPipes.org

by Daniel Pipes  •  January 16, 2024

I spent most of my writing hours in 2023 working on a book, so the articles declined in number from recent years. Traffic statistics at DanielPipes.org indicate that the following ten articles are my most read writings published in 2023, in ascending order. (Gary Gambill of the Middle East Forum kindly provided the tabulations and assisted with the summaries.)

10. How Can Israel Win the Palestinian Conflict? (January 7)

In a Jerusalem Post interview, I argue that resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict "requires the Palestinians to lose hope." This reasoning "precisely contradicts the premise of the Oslo Accords," which held that economic benefits "would vest the Palestinians in prosperity, deradicalize them, and make them true partners for peace." But 30 years later, "Palestinians retain the fantasy of eliminating the Jewish state," a goal that "must be fought by making them abandon it, not by fueling it with hope."

9. Violence Is Not the Biggest Palestinian Threat to Israel (February 2)

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The Government Cannot Fix Universities
Letter to the Editor

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 22, 2023  •  Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

What Sen. Dan Sullivan found - anti-Israel signs and symbols in the reading room of Harvard's premier library - is indeed shocking ("An Antisemitic Occupation of Harvard's Widener Library"). Bravo to him for pointing this out and condemning the university's "craven, morally bankrupt" leadership for allowing such antics.

Mr. Sullivan, however, offers the wrong solution to this problem when he contends that "It is time for Congress to save these important and once-respected [universities] from themselves and their weak leaders." Harvard is a private institution. Government must not attempt to "save" it. That way lies state control over everything and ultimately totalitarianism.

True, the taxpayer funds students, research, and more at universities, but these monies must not be weaponized to force them to do the government's bidding. That way lies perdition.

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More on Israel's Rapid Return to Disastrous Policy

by Daniel Pipes  •  December 1, 2023

In "The Rapid Return of Israel's Disastrous Policy," I document how - despite repeated calls for victory - the Government of Israel has in many ways returned to its failed pre-Oct. 7 ways. This weblog entry continues that documentation.

Dec. 1, 2023 addenda: (1) The Alma Research & Education Center published a report arguing that "Hezbollah's Radwan unit is capable of carrying out an invasion of the Galilee at any given moment."

Comments: (1) When added to Hamas' invasion on Oct. 7 and the Regavim report cited above, this means that three of Israel's borders were or are in imminent danger of invasion. (2) Ironically, the borders with police states - Egypt, Jordan, Syria - are relatively safe.

(2) A New York Times investigation adds information to the paragraph beginning "When Hamas drilled in plain sight." Its opening:

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The Rapid Return of Israel's Disastrous Policy

by Daniel Pipes  •  Winter 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

Judging by the way Netanyahu has managed Gaza in the last 13 years,
it is not certain that there will be a clear policy going forward.
— Tal Schneider, Times of Israel

By Daniel Pipes

"Everything changed" in Israel on Oct. 7. But did it? Understanding the mistakes that led up to the Hamas massacre provides a basis to evaluate Israel's long-term response to that day. Contrary to general opinion, I shall argue that the presumptions behind those mistakes remain in place and will not change unless Israelis adopt a radically different attitude toward the Palestinians.

The Road to Oct. 7

Israeli military planners coined a Hebrew term, conceptzia, "the concept," in the late 1960s. It held that Egypt's Anwar el-Sadat would not go to war until 1974, when his military had acquired advanced Soviet fighter jets that permitted it to take on the Jewish state's air force. Israel's Agranat Commission, which investigated how the Egyptians and Syrians surprised Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, largely blamed the conceptzia for a blindness to the preparations taking place before its very eyes.

The future commission inevitably analyzing Israel's unpreparedness on Oct. 7, 2023, will surely blame that surprise on a second erroneous conceptzia. It held that, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy explains,

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review of Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace

by Daniel Pipes  •  Winter 2024  •  Middle East Quarterly

Hosler, one of a dying breed of military historians (he teaches at the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas), looks at the much-studied city of Jerusalem through an original lens: by giving as much weight to the times between wars as to the wars. He finds a hopeful message from long-ago times. "Real accord between bitter religious enemies was reached in the Middle Ages, and not just once but multiple times across centuries, in diverse contexts and in the midst of near-constant warfare."

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Israel Has Quickly Reverted to Its Bad Old Policies

by Daniel Pipes  •  November 17, 2023  •  Washington Times

"Everything changed" in Israel on Oct. 7. Except it did not. Despite much talk of victory by the prime minister and survey research showing the public endorses a tough new approach, Israeli officialdom and its security establishment show signs of reverting to their old failed policies, even before the bodies have all been buried.

Those failed policies mean primarily one thing: wrongly assuming that enrichment – more work permits in Israel, a larger fishing zone, outside funding – gives Palestinians something to lose, taming them and making them less inclined to aggress.

Symptoms of that sad reversion include the following:

The security establishment approved the entry of 8,000 West Bank workers to Israel, mostly to engage in agricultural work. It did so in response to Israel's agriculture minister assuring his colleagues that the workers had been vetted and posed no danger. That thousands of workers from Gaza had spied on Israel and made themselves complicit in the Oct. 7 massacre seemed blithely to be forgotten.

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Why Should Gazans Leave the Middle East?
Letter to the Editor

by Daniel Pipes  •  November 16, 2023  •  Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Danny Danon and Ram Ben-Barak, two Israeli parliamentarians, contend that "The West Should Welcome Gaza Refugees" (Nov. 14). I propose amending their argument to "The Middle East Should Welcome Gaza Refugees."

Hundreds of millions of people globally wish to improve their lives through emigration; that is a positive impulse in itself. But if "the West" means North America and Western Europe, it includes about a billion people. The world's total human population is about eight billion. All those, Gazans and others, wishing to emigrate cannot pile into the West. Also, cultural and religious practices often clash.

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Hamas vs. Gazans

by Daniel Pipes  •  November 8, 2023  •  Washington Times

During the Rif War of 1920–26, Moroccan rebels inflicted a devastating defeat on Spain at the Battle of Annual. Interrupted while playing a round of golf and informed of this disaster, Spain's King Alfonso XIII reportedly shrugged his shoulders, muttered "The meat of chicken is cheap," and resumed his game.

The king's response typifies dictators through history, who see troops as expendable. The lives of human drones matter little, more can always be conscripted. Russia's use of Wagner prison recruits in the Battle of Bakhmut typified this casual use of cheap manpower. It hardly mattered to Vladimir Putin how many of his cannon fodder perished, so long as the front line moved forward. Battlefield gains justify any loss of life.

Then there is Hamas, the jihadi organization that has ruled Gaza since 2007 and which became the focus on global attention after massacring around 1,400 Israelis on Oct. 7. For fifteen years, it has implemented an opposite and historically unique purpose in tormenting its subject population. Rather than sacrifice soldiers for battlefield gains, it sacrifices civilians for public relations purposes.

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