Pro-Israel Speech Finds Both Support and Protest From Students
Visiting professor from Pepperdine Daniel Pipes, a Middle East scholar and counter-terrorism analyst, spoke at UC Irvine on Jan. 31 at an event co-sponsored by the Anteaters for Israel, Hillel and Alpha Epsilon Pi. The event, titled ‘The Threat to Israel’s Existence: Why It’s Back, What It Means’ was held in the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall. Pipes has attracted a great deal of controversy for his ideas which propose that militant Islam is incompatible with democracy and multiculturalism.
Roughly 300 individuals were in attendance, including Muslim Student Union members and the La Rouche Youth group.
‘Either Israel wins or Israel loses,’ Pipes told the audience. ‘I suggest to you there is no compromise. I reach this conclusion reluctantly. … I wish the Oslo Accords in 1993 had succeeded. I wish that in fact the Palestinians recognized Israel, and that the Israelis had commercial and other relations with the Palestinians. But it’s hopeless. It’s not how wars end. They end when one side gives up.’
Pipes acknowledged his pro-Israel position, saying that he would like Israel out of the deceptive status it faces with compromise after compromise that ultimately fail.
‘How can Israel win? Well, they can win by convincing the Palestinians that they give this up. Israel is too strong. It has too many friends abroad, it’s too wealthy, it’s got too much will,’ Pipes said.
Pipes calls for Israel to once more push for deterrence policies with Palestinians. Although he called this policy as a slow one, he reiterated that it has worked in the past where constant compromise has not. ‘Israelis pursued deterrence for a 45-year period. … They got quite far with it. [However,] they got bored with it, they wanted to do something more active.’
Israel began to pursue negotiations with Palestinians in order to persuade Palestinians to recognize the right of Israel to exist. The negotiations, however, were fruitless, according to Pipes, because Palestinians are more focused on eliminating Israel than building their own society and economy.
Pipes suggested the Oslo Accords were counterproductive. ‘What should have brought harmony brought terrorism. What should have concluded the conflict extended it,’ he said, calling these solutions ‘premature’ because when Palestinians are given money and ‘arms prior to accepting Israel, compromises cannot work. Pipes said that there is no alternative and that Palestinians must accept Israel and that Israel cannot relent.
Pipes also discussed the Iranian threat and Saudi Arabian influences in terrorism.
About five minutes into Pipes’ lecture, members of Muslim Student Union began protest. Roughly 100 members and supporters addressed Pipes and began chanting ‘anti-occupation, anti-Israel’ and ‘anti-hate, anti-Israel.’
Outside, the MSU board members discussed the impact of staging a walk-out from the event.
‘We got the message across,’ one member said. ‘What we did by walking out of there, it really accomplished something very, very, very powerful. And I want you to go home and realize everything for them boosts their morale [and] makes them feel that Israel is there to stay.’
‘They keep trying to garner support for the state of Israel and by having a university campus with a bunch of students walk out