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Make them Lose Hope

موضوع العدد

Make them Lose Hope

أسامة المهتار

“My argument is that a just resolution of the conflict requires the Palestinians to lose hope. Only when they give up their war goal of eliminating Israel will the conflict come to an end. Israel must win, and the Palestinians must lose.” Daniel Pipes, in interview with Jerusalem Post.

Lose hope and capitulate! This, in essence, is Daniel Pipes’ argument for a “just” resolution of the Palestinian struggle, which he presented in a long interview published in the Jerusalem Post on Saturday, January 7, 2023.

For those who do not know Daniel Pipes, he is an ardent Zionist with extreme right-wing views that prompted some academicians to label his views on Islam as racist and Islamophobic. He is the author of a few books including “Greater Syria, The History of an Ambition”. He is also the founder of Campus Watch, which, according to its website, “reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them.” However, its critics say that it is “a pro-Israel lobbyist organization involved in harassing, blacklisting, or intimidating scholars critical of Israel.”  (Wikipedia).

Daniel Pipes is visiting Israel to gain insights for a new book he is writing on how to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The summary of his argument is: “The Palestinians must lose, and Israel must win.”

Pipes doesn’t know what Israel must do to win. When specifically asked, he offers the following:  “I prefer to posit Israel victory as a policy goal, without going into detailed strategy and tactics. Yet, he offers two “creative examples”. The first, “give the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Ben Salman to add to his collection of Islamic Sanctuaries”. The second, “Israel announces that a single missile attack from Gaza means a one-day border closure: no water, food, medicine, or fuel crosses from it to Gaza. Two missiles means two days, and so forth. I guarantee this would rapidly improve Hamas’s behavior.”

Pipes’ arguments throughout the interview are not less baffling than those two “examples of creativity.” Here are some of those arguments.

Rejecting Oslo

Oslo Accords “promoted not victory, (for the Israelis) but hope for the Palestinians… It theorized that nice apartments, late-model cars, fine schools and excellent medical care would vest the Palestinians in prosperity, de-radicalize them, and make them true partners for peace.” It is obvious that Pipes here is confusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) lackies with the Palestinian people. Under Oslo, the Palestinians lost 78% of Palestine, in exchange for VIP treatment to its official if they provide Israel with intelligence and keep the Palestinian street quiet. Thirty years later the Palestinians don’t have their promised state. On the contrary, the remaining 22% of Palestine has diminished considerably since Oslo was signed.

Having said all that, Pipes maintains that “the two-state solution is the best long term bad deal for Israel”!

Military Victory

While Pipes extols the 1967 six-day war victory, he conveniently skips over the October 1973 war which posed an existential threat prompting American intervention. He also skips over Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon without condition in 2000, Israel’s defeat in its 2006 attack on Lebanon, and its futile attacks and incursions on Gaza. Interestingly, Pipes does acknowledge that even the 1967 victory did not break the Palestinians, on the contrary, it emboldened them, and they proved to be “more determined and persistent.”


Pipes contends that “the Palestinians refusal to accept any aspect of Judaism, Jews, Zionism, or Israel in Eretz Israel (land of Israel) is at the core of Palestinian rejectionism which, according to him, began with Haj Amin Husseini a century ago. The Palestinians never rejected “any aspect of Judaism or Jews.” Most Muslims and Christians revere the Old Testament. For the Christians, it is a foundational document to their faith; for the Muslims, the Jews are “Ahlu-Kitab”, people of a Book. Jews lived and thrived not only in Palestine, but in all Natural Syria’s main centers such as Beirut, Damascus, Aleppo, and Bagdad. They lived there for millennia. For them, Jerusalem was a spiritual center. Even though they might have prayed “next year in Jerusalem,” there was never a serious attempt from Jews in those centers to migrate to Palestine, until the Zionist movement.

Did the Palestinians reject Zionism? Yes. But so did many Jews. Here are a few: Lord Edwin Montagu, British cabinet minister and fierce opponent of the Balfour Declaration, who accused the British government of antisemitism for its intent to issue the declaration; Alfred Lilienthal, Israel’s Flag is Not Mine, 1949; Moshe Menuhin, The Decadence of Judaism in our Times, 1969; Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection; Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; and many other courageous Jewish voices who opposed Zionism. (Please visit this this site for more.)

This is not the first time Pipes promotes his idea of Palestinian surrender. Back in 2019, he floated what he called, “The Israel Victory Project”. There is nothing in the new proposal that was not in the old one. However, in the new interview, he makes of list of things that have been tried but failed to subdue the Palestinians. He says:

“Prior ideas included expelling the Palestinians either by force or voluntarily, the Jordan-is-Palestine scheme, erecting more fences, finding a new Palestinian leadership, demanding good governance, implementing the Road Map, funding a Marshall Plan, imposing a trusteeship, establishing joint security forces, splitting the Temple Mount, leasing the land, withdrawing unilaterally, and so on. None worked; none will work.”

In the face of such failure what should Israel do to win? “Defeat and victory remain imperative”, answers Pipes. How? Pipes goes back a full circle to, “not time to discuss “Strategy and Tactic”!

In summary, this so-called historian is calling for Israel to win conclusively, while listing every cruelty that has been imposed upon the Palestinians, for over a century, to no avail. There is no doubt that he is missing something. What could it be? It is the trans-generational love of Palestine, as demonstrated by the two pictures below, that the Israelis and their worldwide supporters have not been able to crush.

Andrew Bisharat, son of the fourth generation of Palestinian refugees, standing of in front of his family’s villa that was built by his great grandfather in 1926. He came to Palestine, with the memories of his family and their right, and with determination no less than his predecessors, carrying the same picture because “THE YOUNG WILL NEVER FORGET.”

In the 2019 Interview, Mr. Pipes says that for the conflict to end, one of the two sides must be totally defeated. He is probably right. But the Palestinians refuse to be the defeated party.

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