January 27, 2005


Daniel Pipes Lecture (Chabad at Dartmouth, January 27 2005)

Chabad at Dartmouth would like to invite you to a lecture by DR. Daniel Pipes titled

"The Palestinian-Israeli war: Roots and prognostications."

When: Thursday, January 27
Time: 4:15pm
Where: Dartmouth Hall 105

For more information on DR. Pipes please visit his website at

* So it's been awhile--25 years maybe?--since I went to a campus talk, but suffice it to say they've changed. On the way into the hall the ALNUR Muslim Students Association hands you a flyer saying Mr. Pipes is the "nation's leading Islamophobe," then a Dartmouth College employee hands you a flyer with the school's policy on "Freedom of Expression and Dissent."

* Professor Meir Kohn, a friend, is introducing Mr. Pipes and refers to the appearance itself as "a triumph over the deadening effects of politically correct groupthink." Apparently Mr. Kohn has been trying for years to get Dartmouth to let Mr. Pipes come and give a talk but has been told "he's too controversial." Under the auspices of Chabad he's finally made it here.

* The talk was excellent and the question and answer session quite civilized. Mine would have been: If we accept your formulation that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a war, that war requires a defeat, and that it is specifically the most expansive vision of Palestinian nationalism that has to be defeated then is not the physical reality of the wall and the geopolitical/military reality of Israel and America dictating what the borders of Palestine are going to be exactly such a defeat?

Deciphering Mahmoud Abbas (Daniel Pipes, January 11, 2005, FrontPageMagazine.com)

[O]ne moment Abbas demands that Palestinian terrorists stop their attacks on Israel and the next he (literally) embraces them, calling them “heroes fighting for freedom.” Also, he talks of both stopping the violence and of the “right of return” for over 4 million Palestinians to Israel, a well-known way of calling indirectly for the elimination of the Jewish state.

What gives?

Actually, there is no contradiction. By insisting on a “right of return,” Abbas signals that he, like Yasir Arafat and most Palestinians, intends to undo the events of 1948; that he rejects the very legitimacy of a Jewish state and will strive for its disappearance. But he differs from Arafat in being able to imagine more than one way of achieving this goal.

No matter what the circumstances, Arafat persisted from 1965 to 2004 to rely on terrorism. He never took seriously his many agreements with Israel, seeing these rather as a means to enhance his ability to murder Israelis. Arafat’s diplomacy culminated in September 2000 with the unleashing of his terror war against Israel; then, no matter how evident its failure, it went on until his death in November 2004.

In contrast, Abbas publicly recognized in September 2002 that terror had come to harm Palestinians more than Israel. Intended to prompt demoralization and flight from Israel, this tactic in fact brought together a hitherto fractured body politic, while nearly destroying the Palestinian Authority and prostrating its population. Abbas correctly concluded that “it was a mistake to use arms during the Intifada and to carry out attacks inside Israel.”

Abbas shows tactical flexibility. Unlike Arafat, who could never let go of the terrorist tool that had brought him wealth, power, and glory, Abbas sees the situation more cogently. If stopping the violence against Israel best serves his goal of eliminating the sovereign Jewish state, that is his program.

-The Future of Judaism (Daniel Pipes, January 25, 2005, New York Sun)
Until the 18th century, there was basically only one kind of Judaism, that which is now called Orthodox. It meant living by the religion's 613 laws, and doing so suffused Jews' lives with their faith. Then, starting with the thinker Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) and moving briskly during the Haskala, or "enlightenment," from the late 18th century, Jews developed a wide variety of alternate interpretations of their religion, most of which diminished the role of faith in their lives and led to a concomitant reduction in Jewish affiliation.

These alternatives and other developments, in particular the Holocaust, caused the ranks of the Orthodox to be reduced to a small minority. Their percentage of the total world Jewish population reached a nadir in the post-World War II era, when it declined to about 5%.

The subsequent 60 years, however, witnessed a resurgence of the Orthodox element. This was, again, due to many factors, especially a tendency among the non-Orthodox to marry non-Jews and have fewer children. Recent figures on America published by the National Jewish Population Survey also point in this direction. The Orthodox proportion of American synagogue members, for example, went from 11% in 1971 to 16% in 1990 to 21% in 2000-01. (In absolute numbers, it bears noting, the American Jewish population went steadily down during these decades.)

Should this trend continue, it is conceivable that the ratio will return to roughly where it was two centuries ago, with the Orthodox again constituting the great majority of Jews. Were that to happen, the non-Orthodox phenomenon could seem in retrospect merely an episode, an interesting, eventful, consequential, and yet doomed search for alternatives, suggesting that living by the law may be essential for maintaining a Jewish identity over the long term.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2005 4:15 PM

He'll need a bullet proof vest. The Dartmouth Administration has only grudingly accepted a Jewish presence of any kind and they would give a free pass to anyone who would murder anyone to the right of George McGovern.

Tony Blair wouldn't be safe either.

Posted by: Bart at January 25, 2005 6:40 AM

There's a spiffy new Jewish Center.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 10:44 AM

Pipes' last two sentences in the post are interesting. God didn't regard living by the Law as optional but defining. It was the gift associated with His choice of His people. No law, no God, then no people. Prophets reiterated the idea repeatedly. The lived experience of the Jewish people demonstrated the futility of divorce and the glory of their marriage.

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 27, 2005 7:31 PM

There's an interesting disconnect in the speech he gave today--on the one hand he doesn't think Israel should make any concessions to the Palestinians, including allowing them a state; but, on the other, he talks about the demographic problem even within Israel of a rising Arab population. How does a Jewish minority hold down an Arab majority in perpetuity without finding itself isolated even from America, as South Africa was once we won the Cold War.

Posted by: oj at January 27, 2005 7:37 PM

That's precisely the beauty of this conflict. The Palestinians really don't have to agree to anything. Anything at all. Not for the long run at least.

I suppose they could give there word here, make solemn promises there---a hudna now and then, perhaps---so that we can all wag our tails with relief and/or delight.

Til the next round breaks out because of Israel refuses to do this, that or the other (aka, continues to exist).

Posted by: Barry Meislin at January 28, 2005 3:50 AM


To allow them to agree is to empower them.

Posted by: oj at January 28, 2005 7:16 AM

Which is why Sharon is pursuing the only correct policy.

By first lopping off the part of the territories that was not part of Biblical Israel, i.e. Gaza, he rids himself of over 1 mlllion of the so-called 'Palestinians.' He also forces Abbas, or whichever thug is in charge of the Arabs, to actually govern someplace, relieving the burden on the Israeli taxpayer, increasing the burden on Arab taxpayers.

Israel will never surrender the Old City of Jerusalem, or subject it to internationalization because of the way the Jordanians abused the situation in 1948, barring Jews from the Wailing Wall, inter alia. There will be a tradeoff of some Arab parts of Galilee for some of the larger, closer-in settlements like Ariel. Also, the Israelis will allow the Arabs to take a few of the outskirts of Jerusalem for a capital.

The Arabs will have their state. Israel's Muslim population will be down to about 10% or less, and even the Europeans will have to find someone else to pester.

Posted by: Bart at January 28, 2005 2:09 PM

They're doomed demographically anyway, but this buys a few decades.

Posted by: oj at January 28, 2005 2:49 PM