Daniel Pipes: Conservative pundit argues for 'victory' over Palestinians

Historians in the News

Daniel Pipes loves Arab cuisine, Arab literature and the Arabic language. When working in his Philadelphia office, he often plays Arab music in the background.

That's about as far as he goes.

Otherwise, the soft-spoken Harvard Ph.D. and Middle East pundit is hard-pressed to speak well of the Arab world, at least when it comes to politics. Israel, he says, is at war with Arab enemies and "when a war takes place, you should try to win. Wars are resolved not through negotiations, but with one side giving up."

As director of the think tank Middle East Forum, Pipes has been a reliably hawkish voice when it comes to geopolitics. He intends to make his case when he addresses the Northern California chapter of the Zionist Organization of America on Nov. 11. The title of his lecture is "The Threat to Israel's Existence: Why It's Back, What It Means."

In Pipes' view, that existential threat is definitely back after a post-Oslo lull. And he doesn't even have to include in the equation an Iranian nuke with Israel's name on it.

"There are many threats that are long-term and insidious," he points out, "including the anti-Zionist population within Israel –– including Muslims and anti-Zionist Jews. The [threat] I focus in on is almost solely determined by attitudes toward Israel."

He cites not only the anti-Israel sentiment across Europe and throughout the Muslim world, but especially that voiced in Palestinian media, textbooks and mosques. Pipes says that message is one of "victory" over Israel and Zionism, not of peace and reconciliation. Therefore, he says, the time has come to return to Israel's former policy of deterrence.

"In 1993, with [the Oslo accords], Israel's policy was, ‘We'll give you some of what you want, just leave us alone,'" Pipes says. "Appeasement has been the dominant thread of Israeli policy. It doesn't work, not with mortal enemies. I advocate we return to deterrence."...

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