Daniel Pipes Dennis Mitzner Israeli/Palestinian Conflict


Dennis Mitzner sends the Tundra Tabloids the following interview he conducted with Middle East analyst, Daniel Pipes. KGS

As recent decades have been plagued by Islamic terrorism and wars in the Middle East, Islam has moved to the center of Western political discourse. And Daniel Pipes has been at the center of this debate, providing tens of millions with his insightful analysis. This analysis has made Dr. Pipes an authority on matters related to Islam and Middle Eastern affairs. In addition to providing analysis through his personal website and the Middle East Forum, which he founded, Pipes travels around the world, speaking at universities, think tanks, and other venues. His appearances often provoke disruptions and angry protests, while simultaneously arousing fervent support.

We sat down with him to talk about Israel, Iran, Barack Obama’s presidency, and other timely issues. He also reminisced about a debate — which he calls a highlight of his career — in London in 2006 in which he and a British neo-conservative, Douglas Murray, defeated their opponents, London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Salma Yaqoob, a local Respect-Party politician from Birmingham.

Pipes has tough words for the Israeli political leadership. According to him, Israel is simply trying to cope as crises occur; its leadership lacks a strategic vision or a plan to deal with basic security issues. In Pipes’ view, Israel has become a dramatic opposite of what the young country was in the 1950s and after, when it was led by a talented leadership with a vision of Israel’s long term interests.

The interview took place in Herzliya, Israel.

Israel needs a policy.

Q: Has Israel given up on the idea of victory?

Daniel Pipes: I would say that it isn’t trying to win; it has no idea what it is doing.

Q: Wouldn’t you agree that the international community is preventing Israel from winning?

Daniel Pipes: No. It’s an internal problem. From 1948 until 1993 Israel had a policy of deterrence that implied a goal of victory. In 1993 the leaders adopted a policy of appeasement, i.e., give something to your enemy in the hopes it will leave you alone. Appeasement was abandoned in 2000 in favor of unilateral withdrawals which then ended in 2006. Now there is no policy at all. There is no place where the government of Israel is trying to go; it is simply trying to put out brush fires. What is it trying to do in Gaza, for example? Is it trying to get rid of Hamas? Trying to get Egypt to take over the place? Or trying to get Gilad Shalit released? I discern this to the lack of policy objectives. This is not an issue of outside pressure.

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One Response

  1. I think Israel finally has a strategy: build a Jewish homeland.

    To build a Jewish homeland, Israel must build homes for Jews. By standing up to pressure from the United States (and finally getting the US Administration to relent), Israel has finally brought itself back to it’s primary raison d’etre. Mahmoud Abbas et al don’t know it, but they finally have someone to negotiate with because an Israel that does not build homes for Jews is not a Jewish State.

    Moreover, with an end to all this talk about “settlement freeze”, the Palestinian Arabs finally have a way they can lose their War Against Israel. The sooner they make a deal and define mutually agreed upon borders with Israel, the sooner THEY can determine who builds a house in their country. Until then, they’ve pretty much given Israel a free hand to build wherever there’s land to build on.

    I don’t agree with Daniel Pipes’ thesis that Israel has no policy. He should know better. President Bush often times praised Israeli patience. If Dr. Pipes similarly recognized Israel’s patience, then he’d realize that there IS a policy; a strategy.

    After all, the Israelis know that the Palestinians are going to blow virtually every opportunity to cut a fruitful peace deal that leaves the Jewish State intact. I doubt the Europeans are going to boycott Israel, but if they do, what is Israel supposed to do to stop it; commit suicide? Besides, the Europeans are heavily invested in Israel. I’m sure you’ve seen the “If you’re going to boycott Israel, do it right” video.

    So I disagree with Dr. Pipes. As long as Israel grows suburban communities over the green adjacent to existing communities, they have a policy for victory. Everybody knows it! That’s whey anti-Semites complain so much.

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