Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Daniel Pipes - 1

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 27/06/06

Many years ago I had a driver with excellent qualities. If asked, he would work in the evening or over the weekend. He would take the dog for a walk in the afternoon and wash the family cars regularly. He would remove leaves from the gutters of the conservatory and work in the garden. He had all qualities except one: he was a bad driver.

Daniel Pipes reminds me of that driver. He is highly qualified. He writes for newspapers such as the New York Sun, Jerusalem Post, and for a host of other publications including Atlantic Monthly, Commentary, New Republic, Weekly Standard, Foreign Affairs and Harper’s. More than 100 newspapers have published his op-eds, among them the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

He is a columnist, and the author or co-author of 18 books. His most recent book is “Miniatures: Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics” which appeared in late 2003. Other titles include “Militant Islam Reaches America” (2002), “Conspiracy” (1997) and “The Hidden Hand” (1996).

Pipes went to Harvard University and studied the Middle East. He obtained a BA in history in 1971, and his PhD at Harvard is in medieval Islamic history. He spent six years studying abroad, including three years in Egypt. He speaks French and reads Arabic and German. The institutions at which he has taught include Harvard, the University of Chicago and the US Naval War College.

He has held various positions in US government including two presidentially appointed positions; vice chairman of the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships and membership of the board of the US Institute of Peace. He was the director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute from 1986 to 1993.

As the reader can see Pipes has all the qualities but one. He is bereft of the milk of the human kindness. Just as my driver could not drive to save his life, Daniel Pipes has not a drop of a human kindness in his veins.

I referred to Pipes in my column over the years but my interest increased after I discovered a link between him and Danish right-wingers following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons. Six months ago I started collecting material about his work, and found that the problem in researching Pipes is the abundance, rather than dearth, of material. I was half way through my work this month when I came across two more of his toxic articles: Muslim Zionism, and “Almost Like an Invasion”. In Muslim Zionism he asks: Might Muslim Zionism be stronger than Jewish Zionism? His answer: Although the question may sound preposterous, is it not.

And his proof?
Emotional significance: Ehud Olmert, today the prime minister of Israel, said in 1997 that Jerusalem represents “the purest expression of all that Jews prayed for, dreamed of, cried for, and died for in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple.” The Palestinian Authority’s Yasir Arafat echoed his words in 2000, declaring that Jerusalem “is in the innermost of our feeling, the feeling of our people and the feeling of all Arabs, Muslims, and Christians.”
Eternal capital: Israel’s President Ezer Weizman reminded Pope John Paul II en route to his visiting Jerusalem in March 2000 that Jerusalem remains Israel’s “eternal” capital. A day later, Arafat welcomed the pontiff to “Palestine and its eternal capital, Jerusalem.” Jewish and Muslim religious leaders meeting with the pope likewise spoke of Jerusalem in as their eternal capital.
To use Pipes’ own word this is absolutely preposterous. There are no archeological finds of importance to support the claim that today’s Jerusalem is the old capital of the only short-lived Jewish kingdom. Even Israeli archeologists, like Israel Finkelstein, said that if the old Jerusalem existed it would have been a small settlement and not in the same place. At the time of Yitzhak Rabin’s first government the Israelis dug under the Holy Haram only to find an Ummayad palace. No temple, first, second or third.

“Almost Like an Invasion” is an attack on African immigration to Europe, a subject I will deal with in more detail in later columns. I would only say now that Europe needs immigrants as its population growth is stagnant, and in places like Denmark, is negative.

One of Pipes’ favourite ways of operating is to smear others and raise doubts about them. He has conducted campaigns of vilification against a number of individuals, and with the creation of his latest project – Islamist Watch –further individuals will be threatened by his approach. His approach is the very opposite of those who try to build bridges and increase understanding between opposing viewpoints. His tone is highly self-righteous.

He has already had, through Middle East Forum and Campus Watch, and other activities, an influence that many would regard as destructive. He is highly organised, efficient, and proactive and he and his like-minded colleagues have a reach far into the administration, into institutions and into the media.
He has aspirations for influence far beyond the borders of the US and the Middle East. Europe is a target, as shown by his targeting of Denmark and the suspicions of his possible background role in the cartoons furore. He has several foreign language versions of his main website with translations of his articles; one recent article was available, in addition to English, in 11 languages including Danish and other European languages, Hebrew, Hindi and Russian. He is toxic in all of them.


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