Dr. Daniel Pipes on "The Threat to Israel's Existence"
November 12, 2007
Daniel Pipes On, "The Threat To Israel's Existence"
November 12, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On Sunday, Middle East Forum director, Dr. Daniel Pipes delivered a sobering assessment regarding the Middle East "peace process" as it pertains to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to a packed house at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center.
The event was organized by Dr. Michael Franzblau, a long-time member of the Zionist Organization of America.
Pipes' wide ranging 30 minute presentation emphasized that the challenge to Israel will never end until the Jewish state's enemies are defeated, a theme to which he repeatedly returned.
Dr. Pipes sees the threat to Israel's continued existence as taking two forms, the "polite" and the "crude."
The "crude" is self evident, embodied by direct threats made for example by Iran's leadership, with the "polite," though appearing to be less outwardly confrontational, still posing the same ultimate goal, the destruction of Israel.
The polite components appear more reasonable and are more media friendly because of it.
They take many forms, demographic - the so-called "Palestinian right of return" which would destroy Israel's Jewish character; political - advocating a bi-national, but non-Jewish state; cartographic - the Arab tendency to not depict Israel on its maps of the Middle East; historical - denial of Israel's legitimacy and bemoaning its creation in 1948; and civil rights - claiming that Israel should be the "sum of its citizens" again a direct assault on Israel's Jewishness.
Dr. Pipes drew a contrast between the two policies that Israel has employed regarding the Arab world, since its inception. The first was a clear and unapologetic pursuit of victory, and had been operative for nearly 50 years, from 1948 to 1993. This strategy brought the country nearly to the point of defeating its enemies in the protracted conflict because they had become convinced that military victory was unattainable.
The second was a policy of appeasement which has been disastrous, "a huge mistake."
Frustrated by the painfully slow process of deterrence, they sought active process which was "more satisfying, finally adopting the notion, "Let's get out of the conflict."
By 1993 Israel's leaders had grown "tired of fighting an atavistic...tribal warfare," and embarked instead on a more activist, less war-like agenda.
Unfortunately, what had begun so publicly and optimistically, with the shaking of hands between Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in September 1993, ended with a display of bloody hands in Ramallah, testament to the fact that two Israeli reservists had been lynched by Palestinian mobs there in October 2000.
Such developments poorly served Israel's national interest. Instead it stoked a rising wave of virulently anti-Semitic Islamism. Perhaps even more harmfully, it allowed the Palestinians to frame the media side of the political debate in terms favorable to their cause.
The upshot of this process has caused a historic shift in allegiance; seen to a widespread degree in Europe and increasingly among significant constituencies in America where opinion is turning away from its traditional support for Israel and towards the Palestinian cause.
In the United States, Pipes noted, where it "used to be the Democrats who were friendly to Israel, in the 50s and 60s, now it's the Republicans."
Dr. Pipes' prescription for preserving Israel as a flourishing, Jewish state is straight-forward.
Appeasement doesn't work because the Palestinian leaders can't be bought off as tribal leaders successfully were by Britain throughout the 19th century. Since the Palestinian leadership seeks the destruction of Israel, there is no room for compromise.
In such a light Pipes observed, "you don't make peace with your friends, you don't make peace with your enemies you make peace with your former enemies...you must defeat them, force them to give up."
It's foolish to "believe in negotiation…because it's all premised on a falsehood. You can only have that useful negotiation when the war is over."
What's needed, "is to win, the Israeli goal should be to win," which, "comes as news to most Israelis," [since there is] no one in Israel in a position of authority who calls for winning," noting that distinctly the opposite has happened, with Israel giving up its strategic interest, withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000 followed by its flight from Gaza in 2005.
Pipes feels that American foreign policy should seek to encourage the Israelis to re-claim the path to victory, with the long-term goal hopefully being to change the heart of the Palestinian people, a daunting task.
The benefits of such a peace, provided by the stability resulting from clear knowledge that they have forever lost, will largely accrue to the Palestinians, who will then have an opportunity to share in some of the economic success that Israel has experienced, after they, "no longer engage in foul irredentist attacks against their neighbors."
With the 2008 presidential election in full-gear and with the recent appointment of Dr. Pipes as a foreign policy advisor to the Giuliani campaign, a reformulation of American policy towards Israel along the lines suggested by Pipes would markedly strengthen the West's hand in its conflict with radical Islam.
In the short-term it would draw a line in the sand, literally, stating that a Zionist Israel is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. Taking a longer view, such an unambiguous vote of support would go a long way in demonstrating the type of resolve necessary to convince the Islamists that our will can't be shaken, that if they continue down the road they have embarked upon, that they will be utterly defeated.
The American public could hardly be better served by such sage advice.