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The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”


A Palestinian boy sits on rubble in an area that was destroyed during Israel’s January 2009 Gaza offensive, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip. Hatem Moussa / AP

“We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return … The old will die and the young will forget,said David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, in 1949.

The old are dying, the young are dying, but no one has forgotten.

Despite rabid anti-Arab, anti-Muslim Daniel Pipes’ wishful thinking, the Palestinians are not a “defeated people.” They  continue to demand their rights, and support for their cause is steadily growing worldwide. That trend will continue as it becomes increasingly difficult to obscure Israel’s rejectionist stance and continued illegal settlement building in the Occupied Territories.

The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed in 2002 and re-endorsed in 2007, offered full normalization with the entire Arab world in exchange for the two-state solution with the Palestinians. In 2003, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators proposed the Geneva Accord, which also offered Israel a comprehensive peace agreement, also based on the two-state solution enshrined in international law.

Israel rejected both peace proposals.

Last year, 1,600 confidential Palestinian records of negotiations with Israel from 1999 to 2010 were leaked to al-Jazeera. The Palestine Papers showed Palestinian negotiator’s shameless acquiescence to an unjust “peace” agreement that savaged Palestinian rights in favor of Israel.

Israel nevertheless rejected the settlement.

Last September, Palestinian leaders requested UN membership for a Palestinian state. The proposal is once again based on the two-state solution, but is opposed by both the US and Israel. If the Palestinians achieve recognition, the United States has vowed to veto the decision.

In the meantime, Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be refugees in their own land, stubbornly refusing to appease Daniel Pipes and his ilk by dying off or disappearing.  Mr. Pipes doesn’t seem to grasp that refugees who remain unsettled remain refugees, a status which is inherited by their children, hence his hysterical predictions.

What solution does Pipes have in mind for solving the problem?  Stall the so-called “peace process” indefinitely, and ultimately, “population transfer” (ethnic cleansing) of the unwanted Palestinian population of “Greater Israel.”

The “problem” is the Palestinian peace offensive is gaining support, and that apparently has Pipes fuming and waxing paranoid.

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”

by Franklin Lamb, Foreign Policy Journal

BEIRUT — Daniel Pipes, the anti-Arab Islamophobe, is reportedly spooked these days. “Actually he has become an almost terrified man”; so says a colleague at Pipes’ Islamophobic Middle East Forum (MEF) and the McCarthyesque Campus Watch (CW) organization.

MEF was founded by Pipes in 1986, and the witch hunting anti-Arab McCarthyesque Campus Watch in 2001. CW’s function is to hound and intimidate faculty and students at colleges who are critical of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Pipes and CW create “dossiers” on professors, students and university administrations thought hostile to Israel. Under civic pressure from Americans who opposed his tactics and insisted on having their own names added to his personal “terrorist list,” Pipes withdrew his dossiers from the CW website, but he still circulates them to scores of “select and executive subscribers” and other hate groups in order to get the word out about academics and others who support Palestine or criticize Israel.

Pipes increasingly exposed racist views are carried by journals like the National Review as well as pro-Zionist Islamophobic internet outlets. In 1990, Pipes wrote in the National Review that:

Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…. All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.

Having briefly written anti-Muslim screeds for Rudy Giuliani’s failed White House quest in 2008, Pipes claims he liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney (Pipes has labeled Mormonism “a cult”) or even Rick Santorum (Pipes has referred to Rick as “one of those kook dispensationalist Christians”). Daniel told a copy editor at the Washington Times (who edited his recent article noted below) that he would prefer to work for Newt Gingrich if he gets the nomination since they share the same views of Palestinians as “an invented people”.

The two also agree on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, increasing aid to Israel, and the evitable necessity of transferring most of the remaining Palestinians out of “Eretz Israel” in order to stop once and for all the demographic and existential threat and pressure for a one state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Pipes and Gingrich consider, if not reversed soon will lead to the collapse of Israel.

Pipes makes his fears plain to readers what has unnerved him in his recent 2012 Republican presidential candidates “application for a position as Middle East adviser”, which he launched in the Washington Times on February 21, but which was first presented in occupied Jerusalem at a recent MEF seminar.

Pipes chose the low hanging fruit of the underfunded and over stretched UNRWA to target Palestinian refugees and to promote himself and his thesis. But even from the sarcastic title of his article, “Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees!”, to his bizarre conclusions, Pipes demonstrates a preference for Arab bashing over truth. Pipes maintains that UNRWA has conspiratorially inflated the number of Palestinian refugees by including the children of the original nearly 800,000 (UNWRA uses a lower 750,000 figure) who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 (the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”) and adding Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1967. Both groups absolutely should be included on Palestinian refugee’s lists, since they are also victims of the original and continuing ethnic cleansing.

Pipes writes: “In contrast all other refugee populations have diminished in number as people ‘settle down’ or die.”

By Palestinians “settling down”, one guesses Pipes means sardine-canned into squalid refugee camps, while Jews from Brooklyn or anywhere else can live on their lands, move into new housing financed partly from US taxes, and enjoy swimming pools while nearby Palestinian orchards and crops are destroyed by drought, bulldozers, or psychotic settlers.

Pipes laments to Washington Times readers that the second thing that should have happened is that “almost all of the real 1948 refugees should have died by now” but for sure the last one will be dead in a few years. Instead, Pipes warns that rather than disappearing as they were supposed to, “the Palestine refugee population has dramatically grown over time.” Pipes, claiming to be a historian, calls this apparently unanticipated unwillingness of the Palestinian refugees to forget their country and the Nakba a “bizarre historical phenomenon.”

Considering his “application-article” title about all humans being Palestinian refugees, Pipes is well aware that many human rights organizations, when it comes to the right and responsibility to resist the Zionist occupation of Palestine and to liberate their stolen land and homes, we are indeed all Palestinians.

We are all Palestinians because all people of good will who seek justice and the full right of return for those who were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba identify with those brutally ethnically cleansed over the past 64 years.

Until Palestine is liberated and its refugees return, as Nelson Mandala has repeatedly instructed us, none of us is truly free. We are all Palestinians as we increasingly support international law’s rejection of any settlement or any colonist on any part of occupied Palestine.

What haunts Pipes also is Ben Gurion’s failed boast to fellow Zionist terrorists in Palestine during the Nakba. The Palestinian holocaust that saw the ethnic cleansing of 531 villages in Palestine by more than 62,000 well armed troops, many WWII veterans predictably decimated the approximately 2,500 Palestinian defenders scattered, approximately 25-30 per village across Palestine who were at a hopeless military disadvantage with largely Ottoman-era rusting rifles and very little ammunition.

Given the above noted reality, the Zionist leaders worked arduously so that roughly one-half of the villages and approximately 50% of the population would not be discovered by the west, and Ben Gurion’s words that “in any event, the old will die and the young will forget” were more than wishful thinking. Pipes and his associates in the “Israel-first” culture have realized that not only was Ben Gurion fundamentally mistaken, but also that the 19th Century Zionists fundamentally erred in their calculations and hasbara.

Pipes’ basis for panic appears straight out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Novel, “The Tell Tale Heart”, where Poe’s character committed a savage crime and then was haunted because the evidence of this crime could not be hidden. The victim’s heart kept beating louder and louder and would not stop informing the world of the crime. Try as he might, the evil perpetrator could not get the heart to stop proving the crime and it drove the criminal more deeply into suicidal insanity.

In some aspects, Poe’s telltale heart appears a microcosm of the 19th Century Zionist colonial crimes which continue to this day in Palestine. The current efforts being made by Israel-firsters like Pipes include keeping Palestinian refugees invisible. They were to be erased by now, but instead the global community, and younger generations are increasingly taking up their cause and joining the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and other non-violent campaigns against their Zionist occupiers.

Pipes argues in his Washington Times article, “Were the Palestine refugee status a healthy one this infinite expansion would hardly matter. But the status has destructive implications for Israel which suffers from the ‘depredations’ of a category of persons whose lives are truncated and distorted by an impossible dream of return to their great-grandparents’ houses; and the ‘refugees’ themselves, whose status implies a culture of dependency, grievance, rage, and futility.” Pipes continues: “All other refugees from the World War II era (including my own parents ) have been long settled and the Palestine refugee status has already endured too long and needs to be narrowed down to actual refugees before it does further damage to Israel.”

Pipes and his ilk, who appear to tally on a daily basis the Nakba refugees and their families, are horrified that Palestinian victims have refused to die off or forget the Nakba crimes committed against their families while at the same time the global community is beginning to support the Palestinians right to return.

Even many American taxpayers, long intimidated by Zionist hasbara and fears of being labeled “anti-Semitic” or “self-hating Jews” but who have long opposed Israel’s occupation of the political power centers in Washington DC, are outing themselves. Increasingly they are calling publicly for their government to break with Israel and its intensely promoted and sometimes engineered US wars in the region, and bring our troops home, and  heal and repair America while reclaiming American values.

This last remaining 19th Century colonial enterprise, which brutally implanted Israel in the heart of Palestine, has created more than six million refugees, each of whom has the separate, personal, and inalienable right and responsibility to return home.

One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign “chosen colonial people” imposing an Apartheid regime.

Franklin Lamb, a former Assistant Counsel of the US House Judiciary Committee at the US Congress and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon, earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil, and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics.

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  • Awesome

    @ Palestinian,

    There is this impression that what Palestinians want is a 2-state solution, and some of those who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause are under this impression as well. If that is not the truth, then that needs to clarified, not with those who are already advancing their own ideas (because they won’t listen), but with those who are open and receptive to what Palestinians want.

  • Palestinian

    Ugh. I don’t like people making decisions for us on what we should do, what we should have done, or what we need to do. Nobody asked a Palestinian. So I’m going to tell you. We want ALL OUR LAND BACK, and the right to return to it. We were born there, our roots are from there, and it’s ours, in deed and spirit. Nothing less than this we will accept. I’m not in agreement with “peace at any price”. What right do Westerners who sit in relative comfort and prosperity have in telling us how we should negotiate? You had no business carving it up or being there in the first place. Stop telling us what to do and tend to your own business and let us hash it out with the zionist usurpers in the manner we best deem fit.


  • HGG

    “HGG, that might help. That page has some quotes I recognize as being distortions, the Sharon “grasshoppers” quote, for instance.”

    Yeah, I used the link just because it was the only I could find sourcing the quote. Not because I found it particularly believable or unbiased.

    The quote may be genuine, if we are throwing terrible things said about Palestinian refugees there is no shortage of quotes, from either Israeli or Arab leaders.

  • fox news

    There should be a comparison of how the “international community”, the criminal court, etc treated Sudan and compare it with how they treat Israel.

  • Believing Atheist

    One more thing I want to say is that many people find the term “Israel-first” or Israeli-first to be anti-semitic. While I don’t personally believe it is anti-semitic, since non-Jews can be patriotic towards Israel e.g. Muslim Zionists, I do believe it is a poor choice of words. Tablet Magazine disagrees and claims it is anti-semitic:

    Israel Firsters, dual loyalists, Likudniks, ziocons, neocon warmongers—in the wake of the Holocaust, such anti-Semitic rhetoric would have been unimaginable. Yet it became commonplace little more than half a century later at the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003. Midlevel George W. Bush Administration officials with Jewish-sounding last-names—Wolfowitz, Abrams, Feith, and the rest of their neocon cabal—were accused of dual loyalty, sending American boys to die for the sake of the country that had their true devotion: Israel. According to this theory, administration principals like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, and the president—policymakers with actual decision-making power—were merely instruments in the control of vast Zionist networks that were also manipulating the media and financial industries.

    This was the thesis is the conspiratorial book The Israel Lobby.

    The thesis in the book has been discredited by Noam Chomsky and Joseph Massad

    Keep in mind that both of these people are critics of Israeli policy.

  • @Ilisha

    You’re Welcome

  • Believing Atheist

    I just want to say that there is a reason Israel ignores UN Security Council Resolution 242 from a legal standpoint.

    the “land for peace” resolution passed after the Six Day War. Palestinian Arab advocates consistently maintain that Israel has to pull out of the West Bank based on 242, but UNSCR 242 doesn’t say that. UNSCR 242 actually calls for a dual requirement, Israeli withdrawal coupled with:

    “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;”

    Since there are no “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”, Israel is under no obligation to withdraw. UNSCR 242 is a Chapter VI resolution calling for a negotiated settlement, not immediate action by Israel alone.

    Furthermore I want everyone to know,

    Security Council Resolutions made under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes) are not legally binding.

    Security Council Resolutions are legally binding if they are made under Chapter VII (Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression) of the Charter.

  • HGG, that might help. That page has some quotes I recognize as being distortions, the Sharon “grasshoppers” quote, for instance. But this one might be genuine. Let’s see if I can lay my hands on the book. Isn’t it interesting that it is identified as a diary entry?

  • HGG

    Yitzchak, I found this:

    13. “We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return… The old will die and the young will forget.”
        David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar’s Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.

    I can’t confirm it’s veracity, beyond The Armed Prophet being an actual book. (it’s not searchable in its entirety in Google Books)

  • What is the source for that Ben-Gurion quote? The link seems to be to a Guardian article that does not give a source. The Guardian is more reliable than some of the other places that also seem to have the quote, but it would be very interesting to see where it came from.

  • fox news

    What makes you people think Israel recognises UN decelerations?

  • H. Torrance Griffin

    @Aspie and Atheist

    Convincing the Israeli populace (not the religious ones, not those who were Ottoman subjects, not the ‘non-Zionist’ ones, all) that a return of the Palestinians is not step one in their mass dispossession or extermination should have been a major goal of the Palestinian movements from day one out of simple realpoltik IMHO.


    One thing about the Palestinian refugee situation I still wonder about is the question of who else must have their ancestral lands restored at all costs? There are a lot of Greeks, Turks, Germans, Poles, Punjabis, Bengalis, and so forth who were screwed over as badly or worse.

    @Believing Atheist

    The problem with a separate Palestinian State is that it could and would be considered a write-off of all claims within the Israeli one. If this is what is to be settled for then so be it, but a one-state solution is the only way to get a something close to a comprehensive fix for the refugees.

  • Believing Atheist


    I am not a clown, your assertion about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not legally binding because it was adopted solely by the General Assembly.

    I never said Palestinians did not have human rights, so I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I said they have no right of return via the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    I believe they do have a right of return via self-determination, which is a much stronger claim. If you really wish to help the Palestinians it is best to speak with the power of the law, instead of rhetorical arguments and cheap shots.

  • @Ilisha:

    Responding to what I wrote about Pipes, you asked.
    Do you think he’s more moderate, or just more sophisticated?

    I’m sorry, but I wasn’t sure how exactly to respond, so it took me awhile.

    He maybe a bit more moderate than many in the “Anti Jihad” movement. He at least admits that not all Muslims are fanatics and I think he has said that he thinks Moderate Muslims are the solution on a few occasions. But if he’s a moderate within the “Anti Jihad” movement think about what that says about the people with views only slight more extreme than his. Pipes still believes in all those stupid nonsensical anti Muslim conspiracy theories. He’s basically only a moderate within an extremist movement at best. He’s hardly a moderate outside of anti Muslim circles. I’m so glad I saw the light and stopped supporting people like him, and have come to see their movement for what it really is. I wish I had never been stupid enough to fall for those lies.

  • Believing Atheist

    I still think that the Palestinian Self-determinism is the best vehicle for the right of return from what I’ve researched.

    So I ask all supporters to endorse the right of return via a right of self-determinism.

    Otherwise United Nations General Assembly resolutions such as 194 and 3236 are recommendations only and thus non-binding.

    And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were adopted solely by the United Nations General Assembly, and are legally non-binding.

    The right of self-determinism is legally binding.

    “Self-determination is a human right. Although there are many hortatory
    references to self-determination in General Assembly resolutions and elsewhere, the only legally binding documents in which the right of self-determination is proclaimed are the two international covenants.’ The first paragraph
    of common article 1 states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination.”
    By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely”
    pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

  • Believing Atheist


    I just figured out how Palestinians may be granted the right of return. We were all looking at this through the wrong concepts and lenses. We should not look at this through the right of return but rather the right of self-determinism.


    Moreover, the Principle of Self Determination guarantees, inter alia, the right of ownership and domicile in one’s own country. The UN adopted this principle in 1947. In 1969 and thereafter, it was explicitly applied to the Palestinian People, including “the legality of the Peoples’ struggle for Self-Determination and Liberation”, (GAOR 2535 (xxiv), 2628 (xxv), 2672 (xxv), 2792 (xxvi)). International law demands that neither occupation nor sovereignty diminish the rights of ownership. When the Ottomans surrendered in 1920, Palestinian ownership of the land was maintained. The land and property of the refugees remains their own and they are entitled to return to it.

    I hope this works. I will look for some opposing viewpoints to see if this is a strong case or if it can be countered.

  • Believing Atheist


    You are right my friend.

    I believe Palestinians have a right to return, but I can’t seem to justify this based on international law. If you know how we can justify it please let me know. I want the Palestinians to return home to the land of their birth.

    They were forcefully expelled by the Israelis according to the New Historians and Norman Finkelstein and I am appalled that they are deprived of this right to return home.

    So an atrocity was committed against them, and there needs to be justice.

  • Daniel

    @Believing Atheist,

    What about those Palestinians who are refugees from what is now the State of Israel, who fled during the 1948 war?

    And frankly, if what you are stating is correct, the law is absurd. To me, a return home–whatever flag is flying over it–should be guaranteed as a basic human right. If I was kicked out of my home, the fact that a government or state exists or doesn’t exist should not be relevant. A return home is a return home. The geographical region exists, regardless of the uncertainties of the existence of a state.

  • Aspie and Atheist

    This last paragraph of this article:

    One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign “chosen colonial people” imposing an Apartheid regime.

    I couldn’t agree with it anymore…

  • Aspie and Atheist

    People need to be informed of CW and it’s goals of hindering academic freedom to suit it’s own beliefs.

  • Aspie and Atheist
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