Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipesdanielpipes.org

Michael Medved interviews Prof. Daniel Pipes.

Michael Medved: The title of the book, which is highly provocative, is Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated. Now, I haven't seen the book yet; it's not out until June 18, but do you believe, Daniel, that by the time your book appears, Israel will have achieved something that is recognizable as victory in the war in Gaza?

Daniel Pipes: Thank you for the question, Michael, and good to chat with you again. Benjamin Netanyahu has been extraordinarily focused on the notion of victory. Since October 7, I've been counting, logging his mentions. I'm using English [sources] and I don't follow him everywhere he goes, and I have 50 examples – once every three days. He's determined, and of course President Biden is discouraging that idea. And then the question that arises is, "What is victory in this context?" Prime Minister Netanyahu has referred to "resounding victory," "total victory," and the like.

I think what that means in this case is there is no Hamas that is functional in Gaza. So, your question, I would think, means "Will Hamas still be functional in Gaza?"

I think not. I think it will be just a remnant of itself. I don't think it will be 100% gone, but I think it will be basically gone. So yes, I do think the Israelis are going for victory in Gaza. But let me add that that's not what I'm talking about, that's not what my book is about. It's not about a tactical victory on the ground. It's about getting the Palestinian Arabs to accept Israel.

Medved: And when you say that "Zionists win acceptance and Palestinians get liberated," what would Palestinian [Arabs] be liberated from? ... What would their "liberation" entail?

Palestinian [Arab] rejectionism is "unique in the world. There is no other ideology comparable to it."

Pipes: It's my argument that the Palestinian [Arab] response to Zionism from its very inception 140 years ago – when they weren't even called "Palestinians" yet – has always been of one nature. Namely, "no, no – no to you, no to your religion, your ideology, no to your economy." I call it rejectionism. Rejectionism is the ideology. It developed over the decades, and I believe it's unique in the world. There is no other ideology comparable to it, nor a genocidal ideology comparable to it.

There are genocides, to be sure. But they end – for example, the Turkish genocide of Armenians was a century ago, and it ended. You don't see young Turks going to camps to learn how to murder Armenians. It's over.

This one continues. It continues and continues. And so, I see "liberation" as the end of this horrible ideology, which of course harms Israelis but also harms Palestinian [Arabs]. ...

Medved: Rejectionism has done nothing but damage to the Palestinian cause for more than a hundred years. The other [side's] mentality – which is also not a solution, it's part of the problem, Daniel Pipes says – is conciliation, or the attempt by Israelis, by Zionists, to win Palestinian acceptance, not by defeating their enemy, but by placating their enemy. What's an example of that kind of destructive conciliation?

Pipes: Well, it's not destructive as such, it just doesn't work. In other words, from the beginning, the Zionists thought that if you bring clean water, and trains, and ports, and exports, and the like, the Palestinians will say, "Great, this is what we want." My best example is Theodore Herzl, the great founder of Zionism. He wrote a novel in 1902 called The Old New Land – it was his vision of the Jewish homeland. And there's one Muslim who appears in it, one Palestinian Arab. He's a merchant, and he couldn't be more delighted with the Zionists. He said, "This is wonderful. I'm making so much more money. This is great. Please, more of you come."

So that was Herzl's idea. And I would argue that David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, and all of the great figures of Israeli history have all followed on that. Even today, Netanyahu somewhat follows in this legacy. And even today in Gaza, there is this sense that the only way that Israel will be accepted is through the enrichment of the Gazans, by Gazans doing well economically. The Palestinian [Arab]s will forget their politics if they get wealthy.

Well, that doesn't happen. A nice thought, but it just doesn't work that way. As people get richer – look at China – they get more aggressive usually, not less so. We're not about to enrich Vladimir Putin in order to get him to leave Ukraine. It's as absurd as that.

Posted with permission from the Middle East Forum. For the complete interview, click here.