Sarah: Good afternoon, and welcome to yet another extremely topical and extremely timely Amit webinar. Exactly 30 years ago on a beautiful balmy autumn day amidst uplifting music from the Marine Corps band and lofty speeches of Peace In our Time, the Declaration of Principles known to many as the Oslo Accords were signed on the White House Lawn. Of course, many of you are aware of Shimon Perez in his book, the New Middle East, who said on page 173 and 174, “At the threshold of the 21st century, soft borders mean that armies do not have to be stationed right next to the border. We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith. At that White House lawns signing ceremony, President Bill Clinton then said, “Together, let us imagine what could be accomplished if all the energy and ability the Israelis and the Palestinians have invested into their struggle can now be channeled into cultivating the land and freshening the waters, and to ending the boycotts and creating new industry and to be building a land as bountiful and peaceful as it is holy.”
After 30 years, we’re here to assess exactly how this all turned out. We’re most profoundly honored to have with us today, rather one of the nations and perhaps the world’s most preeminent scholars of the Middle East. Daniel Pipes. Daniel is the President of the Middle East Forum. He is a historian, and I’m proud to say he has been a member of a Mets board of advisors since our inception. He has led the Middle East Forum since its founding in 1994. Daniel has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard, Pepperdine, and the US Naval War College. He has served in five various US administrations, received two presidential appointments, and has testified before many, many congressional committees.
The column for- oh, I’m sorry. He is also the author of 16 books on the Middle East Islam and many other topics. Daniel writes a column for the Washington Times and The Spectator. His work has been translated into 39 languages. danielpipes.org contains an archive of his brilliant writings and media appearances, he tweets it @danielpipes. He received both his BA and his PhD from Harvard University. The Washington Post deems Daniel, “Perhaps the most prominent US scholar on radical Islam.” Daniel will be speaking briefly on his assessment of the Oslo Accords and what it has done to Israel’s image throughout the world and then we are in for a treat where we will all hear a sneak preview of Daniel’s upcoming book that will be released next year called Israel Victory. Daniel, in your December 2022 article and commentary you wrote, “Although lacking the resources of the Arab states and lacking a respectable economy or military, the Palestinians accomplish more than the Arab states ever did.” Can you elicit on this Daniel?
Daniel Pipes: Sure, and thank you Sarah for the invitation. It’s striking to note that the 75 years of Israel’s history are divided into two eras. The first 25 years until 1973 were the era of the Arab State’s hostility towards Israel, and the second 50 years of the era of the Palestinian hostility to Israel. Note that the last Arab State War in Israel took place in 1973 with the smallest of exceptions with Syria and Iraq. There have been no further attacks, lots of talk, but no further attacks. Now, the Arab state’s powerful, planes, jets, tanks. They tried to play the victim against Israel and it didn’t work. They were bad at militarily, and they were bad in terms of PR. The Palestinians are bad militarily, they have no air force, they have no economy to speak of, but they’re brilliant at public relations, and they presented themselves as the victims and indeed, they are weaker than Israel by any gauge, and so they have used this weakness as a source of strength.
I sometimes observed that. Who would’ve thought a century ago the Jews would be the great warriors, and Arabs would be the great publicists but that’s in fact what’s happened. So I made the division in 1973. Pre that year was the Arab States Post. They was the Palestinians and Palestinians are far more successful, both in terms of eroding Israeli will and in terms of turning the world against Israel than the Arab states ever would.
Sarah: Despite the fact that the Declaration of Principles set aside all the hot-button issues and wanted these to be permanent status issues that would be resolved after a five-year period of so-called calm such as border relations and cooperation with other neighbors, the status of Jerusalem refugees, settlements, security arrangements. It managed to maintain the image that Israel is- or the Palestinians have managed to maintain the image that Israel is somehow the guilty party and the image of Israel has consistently eroded, even though they never had this period of calm and never really had a chance to get to these major issues. Could you elucidate on that a little bit further?
Daniel: Well, again, it is Palestinian weakness, real and perceived and that is the key. The Palestinians from the get-go made it clear that they had no intention of fulfilling the promises that you just read out. That very evening after that glorious summer, by the way, was summer still, just as it’s summer today, not fall. That glorious summer morning on the 13th of September, 1993 that very evening, Yasar Ahan went onto Jordanian radio and basically said, “Don’t pay any attention to what I’m talking about. We’re just going to get some territory from which we can attack Israel.” Had the Israelis been smart, they would’ve said, “Whoops, let’s stop it right here. This is not what we signed up for. You better change what you’re saying.” But they didn’t, they allowed this and far worse to proceed, and so the Israelis fudged ahead trying to keep their promises, hoping the Palestinians if given enough incentives, would fulfill their part of the bargain.
But of course, that never happened. In fact, I’ll get to this later when I talk about my book. It is a theme of Israeli policy going back over a century to approach the Palestinians and say, “Here, take this. Take clean water, take food supplies, take electricity and be content, and stop fighting us.” It’s what I call enrichment. “We’ll make life better for you and stop attacking us. Stop trying to destroy us.” It’s never worked. It still won’t work. But it is a theme of Israeli history, of Zionist history that is very longstanding.
Sarah: So many of us have been made aware of the speech Raffa made on Jordanian television of his famous May 10th, 1994 speech in Johannesburg liking the Oslo Accords to what the prophet Muhammad had signed with the tribe of Koresh which was a stronger tribe, the Habad Accords and then they vanquished them 10 years later and multiple statements. Yet somehow the establishment, the State Department has never ever seemed to be aware of these things, or they’ve just blanketed them out. It’s never been picked up on the major media. Why do you think that is?
Daniel: I wouldn’t blame the State Department. I wouldn’t blame the major media. Yeah, they were wrong, but it was the Israelis who are responsible, and the Israelis were the ones who ignored, for example, that May speech, May, 1994 speech in Johannesburg about the peace of Habab. The Israelis paid no attention, and therefore, why should the State Department or the media? The Israelis had a kind of mystical belief in enrichment, that all you have to do is get the Palestinians stronger economically, but better off, not stronger better off economically, and find schools, great hospitals, and then will calm them down. It’s a crazy theory. It’s a uniquely Zionist theory, I might add. I’ve never seen this any place else in the world, at least not over a sustained period. You can see it here and there. The JCPOA with Iran is an example of it, but it’s short-term.
It’s not a general policy of the United States, but it is a general policy of first Zionist and then of Israel here. Owen Richie [?], you’ll be better off, you’ll calm down, we’ll get along. Therefore, the Israelis in 1994, and I’d say up to 2008 for about 15 years, 1993, 2008, just didn’t pay attention. They were quote after quote, you mentioned [inaudible] Perez, he at one point when he was foreign ministers, said, “Those are just words, what’s the matter? That is an ongoing theme in Israeli approach to the Palestinians. Don’t really pay attention to what they’re saying. Don’t even pay attention to what they’re doing, because we have the key, which is getting them to be more prosperous.”
Sarah: Okay. Certainly, after we’ve had the experience of the Gaza withdrawal in 2005, and all of the Kassam missiles that have been launched from Gaza, more than 2000 innocent Israeli civilians have been killed more than 40 in 2023 alone. If I were a scientist, I’d say, “Hey, we’ve arrived at the null hypothesis, let’s go back to the drawing board.” Do you think, first of all, the Israelis are concluding this and what about the rest of the world?
Daniel: No, the Israelis are not concluding. The Israelis have the Israeli security establishment. The politicians and the military and the intelligence services and so forth have concluded that wretched as they are, both the PA and Hamas are better there than not there. They’re fully aware, more so than you and I, because this is what they do for their day jobs. They’re fully aware of the problems inherent in the PA, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas [inaudible] and yet they conclude that overall Israel’s better off with the PA and Hamas than without them. They provide various services, very administrative tasks, they provide certain controls, and that is better than not having it. So the Israeli government is a protector, not just in the PA but even of Hamas. We have a vivid illustration of that today because news is coming out of Israel that the Israeli government has approved the transfer of military vehicles going to the PA.
They’re not weapons or such, but they’re military vehicles and this is seen on the Israeli side as enhancing their quasi-ally [?] in their view to fight their total enemy, their quasi enemy to fight their total enemy and they see this as a good idea. I disagree, and I think you disagree, but that’s their assessment. I think the key actors here are not the leftists in Israel, but the security establishment. Security establishment has a very cautious approach. Doesn’t want change, just wants to keep doing it. You see this also in the news coming the last few days about visits to security prisons. Security prisons mean not the usual criminals, but criminals acting on behalf of political goals, namely Palestinian murders. The rules say that they can get one visit every two months. Well, over the years, it became one visit every one month.
The new security minister Ben Gleer, said once every two months as the rules stipulate, and the entire security establishment said, “No, no, no, no, don’t go there. This is a bad idea. The Jewish holidays are coming up who knows what else is coming up. You don’t want trouble. They’ve got their once a month don’t go back to the rules, make it once a month.” Very cautious. Very, very cautious. I call this cation [?]. Don’t want to do anything to upset the Palestinians. You want to just go quietly, trade softly, you don’t want to get the EU upset, want to get the Americans upset, you don’t want to get the Arab states upset, just go very, very, very carefully. I see these are the two themes, enrichment going way back to the 19th-century cation going back to Oslo. So Oslo added the second theme publication to Richmond.
Sarah: I find this baffling. Do they not read the shaki polls showing how little respect the Palestinian authority has? We know that Abba Mazens is not going to last forever. I think 85% of people have no respect for him that are living within the territories and you’re saying that Hamas is something also that this government wants to enrich. I find that absolutely baffling. Hamas is getting money from not only Aran but also Qatar. Could you unravel that knot? Why?
Daniel: Well, there are hundreds of trucks going daily from Israel into Gaza. Israel provides fuel, water, food, medicine. It wants gazen to flourish. If there’s misbehavior, if there are rockets coming over, then they’ll pound Gaza but in general, when the rockets are not coming over, Gazans should flourish. This is the fundamental principle. It’s not to defeat, it’s not to instill a sense of defeat among the West, bankers, and Gazans, it is to instill a sense of well-being, of complacency, of being focused on your children’s school grades, your business opportunities, on your internet games to be well off to live a good life. That has been ever since the very beginning of Zionism in the 1880s. That has been the goal to enrich the Palestinians. Not cold Palestinians back then, but the people who we now call Palestinians. Has been to bring them good things and to get them to calm down and to ease off the hostility.
It has spectacularly now worked. What began in the 1880s as conflicts over sheep and cows and land, then about 1900 turned into a more national type of confrontation. Then with the advent of Amina Husseini in the 1920s turned into a genocidal hostility and then the Nazis became truly potentially genocidal. There’s reason to think that Amino Husseini influenced Hitler to grow towards the final solution rather than expulsion. And while it’s not so, so bad now, that is the legacy from which both Mahamud Abbas and Ishmael Hania derive their ideas, and it’s still there. This is what I call genocidal Palestinian rejectionism. No, not to everything Jewish, Judaic, Zionist, Israeli, everything is unacceptable. A few Sephardi Jews, Haredi Judaism who lived there in the old days would be acceptable, but nothing else. Everything else has to go and this is a profound commitment on the part of [inaudible], not all by any means, but a great many Palestinians, this is their worldview. This is what they’re surrounded by. They are surrounded by the media and the schools and the posters and their sermons, the political speeches and the books, the magazines, the internet, everything. Just surrounded with this genocidal rejectionism. So Israeli, Zionist slash Israeli policy has not worked. Time for something new.
Sarah: Right and that brings us to the next chapter of this broadcast, and that is about your new book about Israel’s victory. Can you tell us the major thesis of this book, Daniel?
Daniel: Well, the book is in two parts. I’m a historian. The first part is history, and the second part is policy. This part is understanding where we are and the second is making plans for the future. As I’ve indicated a few times already, I see a continuity on both the Palestinian and Israeli although those terms are agonistic, I’ll use them, the Palestinian and Israeli sides going back almost 150 years. They made a certain sense back then because the Zionists were weak and conciliatory. The Palestinians were strong and said, “No, we don’t want you here. Get out.” Although these physicians are widely inappropriate today, where the Israelis are strong, the Palestinians are weak, they remain in place. You can trace them. Amina Husan I mentioned before, was the leader of the Palestinians in the interwar years and retained significant influence after and was the uncle of Arafat. He created this rejectionist ideology. No, no, no, and you see it. As I said, with Hamas, it’s in the leadership. I’m not saying it’s there everywhere, no, but it’s the official position on the Israeli side, which you see is conciliation.
If you look at Herzl’s book about his vision of the future, of what would be the Jewish homeland, he has one Muslim in it who is delighted with the Jewish immigration because it’s made him rich, and he is the prototype of what Israelis have hoped for. David Urian, the very influential leader over decades of Zionism, and then the early Israel life, he started with this same approach. He wanted to enrich the Palestinians, didn’t work. Very strikingly Mosha Deion who became effectively the ruler of the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967, 60 War, he had the same approach. He help them get better crops, and better water, and better electricity, and if they do anything violent, yeah, he would punish them. But otherwise, you don’t pay attention to what they’re saying or thinking, you just try and get them rich. Of course, what is the Oslo Accord about? Who quoted Schumann Paris’ New Middle East. It’s about earning the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan into the Middle Eastern version of Benelux. Everybody gets along, they trade. It’s all about getting richer. I would argue that not only are these striking in their continuities, but they are unique in the world. I would say there is no population that is genocidal in the way the Palestinians are vis-a-vis [?] in the Israelis. Now, there have been genocides even not so far away. The Turkish genocide in their meetings.
But you don’t today see young Turks going to camp and learning how to use fake rifles in order to prepare for being sent off to murder Armenians, it doesn’t happen. It’s over. I mean, there are tensions but it’s a normal conflict in the sense there were horrible things that happened, but they happened in a short period, and they’re over. The Turks and Greeks in Cyprus, they have tensions, and all sorts of problems and you don’t see murders taking place, you don’t see cafes blowing up. Muslims and Christians in Lebanon, you don’t see it. It’s unique. And on the other side, the Israeli response is unique. It’s conciliation here. Take what we can offer you, come down, and also then since 1993, cation. Nice doggy, nice doggy, don’t do anything violent, we will not upset you. So between them, this is unique.
So that’s the history, the background. Now, moving forward, I would say that this uniqueness makes it difficult for observers to try and understand this conflict because they put it into conventional terms. My Exhibit A here is George Mitchell. George Mitchell was successful in 1998 with the Good Friday Accord in Ireland. And he was sent out by two presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the Middle East negotiator building on his Irish experience, his experience in Ireland. He was a complete failure. He didn’t understand at all what was taking place. He thought it was a conventional conflict, like in Ireland. It’s not.
Now, the greatest danger of Rejectionism to Israel is not the violence. The violence is bad, but it is a few dozen people a year in a country of just about 10 million. It’s something the Israelis can do, absorb. The real danger to Israel is the narrative that the Palestinians have spread. We discussed this a bit earlier, the sense that Israel is the most horrible place in the world, and the Palestinians have suffered, what? 50 Holocausts at the hands of Israelis. This has legs. This has reached all sorts of places. I like to point to Gabrielle Borich. It’s my quiz. Do you know Sarah, who Gabrielle Borich is?
Daniel: He is the elected president of Chile. He is a far-left vehement anti-Zionist, who wouldn’t even accept the credentials presented by the Israeli ambassador. He despises it as well. He’s not particularly influential in the larger picture, but he is very symptomatic. You know who Humza Yousaf is? He’s the first minister of Scotland. He seems to be sympathetic to Hamas. You of course, know who Rashida Talia is, and Han Omar, but there are many, many more. So this anti-Zionist narrative is reaching places it has never reached before because the Palestinians present themselves as the weak victims of Israel, and this is working. The Arab states could never pull it off. It really dates back to the Durban Conference of 2001 and it’s growing and growing, and this, I think, is a true danger to Israel. Beyond the danger of violence. For the Israelis to deal with this, I believe they must break their pattern of conciliation, of enrichment implication.
It’s just inappropriate. It doesn’t make sense today and one can see signs of it. Well, I’m not a big fan of [inaudible]. I think they make many mistakes but they represent something that argues this point. We’re not going to take it anymore. Now, my key conclusion from looking at this conflict over many decades is that violence is counterproductive. It is counterproductive on both sides. When the Palestinians hammer Israelis, the Israelis turn against the Palestinians. The idea, the dreams that existed 30 years ago today are gone. Very, very, very few Israelis still have the hopes of back then. Why? Because Israelis were subject to murders over and over again. So, Palestinian use of violence is counterproductive. They do it, but it doesn’t help their cause. I also believe that the Israeli use of violence against Palestinians is counterproductive in the sense that it creates more anger, more victims, and more brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles, and more friends and it just creates more of a hostile enmity.
It creates more enemies. Instead, I would approach it very differently. I would argue to you that while this Rejectionist approach remains dominant in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, there are many Palestinians who don’t accept it and there are many proofs of this. On the one hand, I’ll mention four things. Who have Palestinians who’ve given up, just said, “I used to try and fight Israel, I’ve given up. It’s hopeless. They’re too strong.” Secondly, you have polls that show that a significant number of Palestinians just want to have it over with and move quietly side by side with Israel. Thirdly, you have a range of anecdotal statements by people, large, important, and unimportant who say, “Enough, we want to live our lives. This isn’t going anywhere. And finally, perhaps the most convincing one, you have a whole range of Palestinians who want to move to Israel. They just want out.
Perhaps the most dramatic instance of this is in Jerusalem itself, where the bulk of the Muslim Jerusalemites who were the next Israel in 1967, do not have citizenship, but do have the other benefits of being residents of Israel and they are very keen to remain in Israel. They don’t want to be part of so-called Palestine. So there’s a wide appreciation of Israel. So with this as my premise, that there are plenty of Palestinians and Israeli Muslim citizens, Muslim Arabic speakers who don’t want Rejectionism, who reject Rejectionism as it were. I would argue that Israeli government should focus its apsara [?] efforts not on the outside world, which is huge and subsidiary, it should rather focus its efforts to convince to show that Israel’s good place on the Palestinians, on the West Bankers, Gaza, the Eastern Jerusalem non-citizens, and also the Israeli Muslims.
But Israeli Muslims know Islam. They should focus on the West Bankers and Gazans, especially, I think they’ll find true [inaudible]. Secondly, and more dramatically and more controversially, I would argue that the Israeli government should push the PA and Hamas to collapse. Now, in the case of the PA, that’s easy to stop giving it the money it shouldn’t have anyway. In the case of Hamas, it might well mean some kind of military operation. It’ll be anarchy, it’ll be a mess but I think it’s also an opportunity for Israel to start over again, to make it 1967 all over again, this time with a much better understanding of the problem and this time with the population that overall I would argue is less hostile and more amenable to work with Israel. Now, should this happen, and should it succeed, everybody gains.
The Israelis obviously gain, and they don’t have this determined rejectionist enemy spreading callies about it around the world, including Chile and Scotland. The Palestinians are liberated from their rejectionism, suicidal depraved rejectionism, and can finally begin to live ordinary lives and Israeli Muslim citizens who are very equivocal about being Israeli citizens, could have an opportunity to move to the West Bank of Gaza. These became decent places to live under their own people’s rule. But that’s the least important. The really important though, Israel is accepted by its neighbor. It’s most intimate and important neighbor and the Palestinians are liberated from their perverse, longstanding rejectionist ideology.
Sarah: One could argue Daniel, however, that in 1967, that was only 45 years after World War II, and the world was still smarting from the lessons of the Holocaust, and Israel for a while, was the darling of the world. But since Oslo, we have had 30 years where the message that Israel is the guilty party has been, as you said, it’s been proclaimed throughout the world, especially on college campuses. How do we undo the erosion of Israel’s image throughout the world?
Daniel: What I’m arguing for is Israel going to the roots of the problem, rather than the branches and the [inaudible]. I see American College students on TikTok as a very remote leaf out there. It’s a symptom of the problem. I see the security prisoners in Israeli jails as the root of the problem. I see that these are finishing schools, or literally graduate schools. They get graduate degrees in Israeli studies from Sialkot University. This is not what should be happening. They should be listening 24/7 to pro-Israel Palestinian voices. I’m being a little facetious, but yeah, the Israelis should be working them over to understand what Israel is, and to change who they are. I think it could happen but then the Israelis don’t try. The Israelis tend to see the Palestinians as irredeemable enemies. All you can do is placate them, enrich them, hope they’ll be satisfied, and take a siesta and leave you alone. I’m saying, no, I think they can be convinced. I think there is, at this point a malleability, a vulnerability, and openness among the Palestinian population to an Israeli message. So, no, don’t try and deal with the Chileans and the Scots. That’s too much. I mean, yeah, sure do, but that’s not the focus. The focus should be the much smaller, much more vulnerable, much more impressionable population in the West Bank in Gaza West and Jerusalem.
Sarah: Right so in an article in the Jerusalem Post by Seth Frantzman from January, you wrote, “A just resolution of the conflict requires 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.” So how does that gel with the positive Hasbara message that you’re trying to give?
Daniel: I wish to instill in Palestinians a sense of hopelessness. I see hope as what’s called the center of gravity. This is a kind of technical term from closets. The center of gravity is the key to the enemy’s strength. It could be a city, it could be an army, it could be a leader, it could be an ideology. I’m saying in the Palestinian case, the center of gravity is hope. Hope that they can succeed in destroying the Zionist entity. That’s the center. If you can convince them that that’s not going to happen, look how powerful. It might mean- I’m not a psychologist, I’m like a sociologist. I don’t quite- and I’m not on the ground in Israel, so I don’t know the specifics, but I can imagine that taking these prisoners, these convicted prisoners of murderers, attempted murderers, and rest, take them in their shackles in a bust through Tel Aviv, let them see the high rises. Take them to some military base, let them see the F-35 wings. Let them see what it is they’re confronting. Maybe they’ll be unaffected by it, but maybe they’ll be affected. I don’t know what the specific methods are, that’s not my area of expertise, but I do believe that Palestinians, even the worst of them, the murderers and would-be murderers, are susceptible to changing their minds and understanding that their goals are unattainable. I think they’re susceptible to losing hope.
Sarah: Okay. Ellen Haman has asked some excellent questions. I’m reading the questions that have come in from the audience. One was currently the Israeli Left seems to be trying to go back to the errors of Oslo, will they prevail against the coalition short-term and long-term?
Daniel: Well, I don’t think it left as much of an effect in this arena. Of course, it is very much a factor when it comes to judicial reform. Yeah. But in the Knesset, the combined strength of the Labor Party and Merits in 1992 was 56 seats, if I remember correctly. Today, it’s four. The Left is electorally not really there. It is very powerful in the judiciary and in the media and the educational system and so forth but in the government has no prospect of forming a government. If you could combine all the forces of the right in one government, if they weren’t arguing among themselves, you would have 75 seats, 80 maybe. So I don’t think the Left has much of a role. What I do think is important, the decisive factor here is what I’m calling the security establishment, the military, the intelligence versus the police, and others and they are not so much on the left as they’re very cautious.
Excuse me. They’re timid. They don’t want trouble. They just want quiet. When it comes to Iran, they’re a powerful military force. When it comes to the Palestinians, they’re like a police force, they just want to have it quiet. They’re not looking for victory. They’re looking for quiet and someone like me comes along and they think, you know, “Shut up and go away we just want quiet. What you’re doing is you’re talking about things that could lead to trouble. Go away. Leave us alone. We know we’re doing.” I’m going to say, “Well, I don’t think so.”
Sarah: Right. Another question that she had asked is, if Israel were to implement your idea of Israeli victory, what would be the components? What would be the consequences of stopping all age the Palestinians and focusing on eliminating the PA and Hamas and of course, how do we achieve a paradigm shift away from what you call enrichment? Others might call it appeasement.
Daniel: It would be anarchy and presumably the Israeli security forces, police, and military would’ve to go in and control things in the short term which is the last thing they want to do. The very last thing they want to do. But instead of the 1967 model of allowing the most hostile elements to control the administrative institutions of the West Bank and Gaza, you give these over to the people who will work with you. They don’t have to be Zionists, they don’t have to be pro-Israel but they understand that they can deal with Israel and they want to deal with Israel. So I think it will be chaos. It will be trouble in the short term but what Israel has created, in some sense, specifically in the case of the passing authority, and indirectly in the case of Hamas, is its most virulent enemies and it’s working with those enemies and saying, “This is the best we can do.” And I’m saying, “Well, no, take the chance. Let them collapse or force them to collapse and try to build something that’s more acceptable, that’s not engaged in violence against you. Whether it be car ramming, knife stabbing, rifle shooting, bomb-throwing, kite explosives, rockets, missiles.” There’s a whole range of violence on the one hand, or delegitimization. You heard what Mahamud Abbas the other day, were more or less justifying Hitler’s massacre of Jews. You don’t want this. Why are you accepting this as the best you can do? You should do better. You can do better. The potential there is to do better.
Sarah: Right and one of our listeners wrote in, after years and years of indoctrination, especially to the Palestinian youth, how can this be overcome?
Daniel: The Soviet Union engaged in indoctrination for fully 70-plus years, 1917 onwards but by the end, basically, no one believed it, maybe 10%, 15%, a small minority. It had worn itself out. It just wasn’t plausible. I’m arguing that the rejectionist ideology of Amino Hossein, which is a century old, is wearing itself out and that you’ll find significant pockets of Palestinians who will stand up to it and many others who will be very happy to see it go and to live normal lives. This is a unique phenomenon, generation after generation, engaged in genocidal rejectionism. Where else in the world may, maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s somewhere, but I can’t think of anywhere. It just goes on and on with these murderous suicide factories. The children. I don’t think the bulk of the population really wants to live like this, on and on and on.
It’s not getting anywhere. It’s not working. Israel’s getting stronger. Israel’s now 10 million people. Israel is one of the big economies of the world. Israel is scientific central, Israel is this and that. It wasn’t all that 75 years ago, much less 100 years ago, but it’s today. It’s not going in the Palestinian’s direction. Time to reassess and I’d like to see the Israeli government push the Palestinians to resist. Now, no, I’m not arguing for any specific policy. I’m not arguing for Israel to leave the West Bank right next to the West Bank or anything in between. What I’m saying is that whatever your policy might be, you’re better off with the Palestinian population that you can work with than one that is hostile or led by hostile leaders such as the PA and Hamas.
Sarah: Right. So there are many people that have written in talking about how wonderful figures such as Ruth Wiss have said that the Oslo Accords were an abysmal failure to begin with. So what is your overall view of the Oslo Accords?
Daniel: I believe along with the creation of Israel in the 60 War, the Oslo Accords are one of the great events in Israeli history. I believe also that it is Israel’s nakba. You know, the term nakba, it’s what the Palestinians refer to 1948. Their catastrophe and is Israel’s catastrophe. Things were going so well for Israel and this was an incredible idea. You have this live murderous enemy and you handed all these territories and benefits hoping that those benefits will turn that enemy into a friend. Just like Rabin, who is ultimately the one responsible for it used to say over and over and over again, “You can’t make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies,” which I say, no, you don’t make peace with enemies, you make peace with former enemies. We did not make peace with Hitler and Tojo, we make peace without [inaudible] and the followers, I don’t have a specific name in the Japanese case. After World War II, you make peace with your former enemies. You first defeat them and then you make peace with them, and Robin made peace with an act live enemy. You don’t do that. We made peace with a rock after Saddam Hussein was gone not while he was in power.
Sarah: Alright, so being that there are no more questions from the audience, I would like to alert everyone here that to hear more of Daniel’s cogent and brilliant analysis of the Oslo Accords, please go to the Middle East Forum today at three o’clock. I had sent something out earlier today where you can easily register. I would love for all of you to also tune in because I know that Daniel has not exhausted his massive wisdom about this subject and I would like to ask all of you who are on this call today to please support the work of Amit. Aside from our wonderful scholars and authors that we have on each week, we are on Capitol Hill every week, either in person or on Zoom meeting with members of Congress. Right now our major issue has been this absurd money for hostages deal with Iran and so many others. It’s really, really important that you continue to support the work of Amit. So please go to amitonline.org and thank you so, so much for tuning in today, and especially thank you to my wonderful friend and this wonderful scholar, Daniel Pikes. Thank you, Daniel.
Daniel: Thank you, Sarah. Enjoy your evening.
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