Can Israel ‘Win by Winning’?

A review of Daniel Pipes’ ‘Israel Victory’

Daniel Greenfield | June 21, 2024

A week before the Oct 7 Hamas assault on Israel, Daniel Pipes, a longtime respected foreign policy expert, a former board member of the United States Institute of Peace and the president of the Middle East Forum, had turned in his manuscript for his new book.

What emerged in the final months of 2023 was “Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated.” The foundational thesis of Pipes’ work, that Israel had spent far too much conciliating the Islamic terrorist groups that dominate Gaza and the West Bank, offering them the promise of peace and prosperity, emerged from the rubble more relevant than ever.

“Israeli leaders seek to improve Palestinian economic welfare: I call this the policy of enrichment,” Pipes writes in ‘Israel Victory’, criticizing Israel for not adopting “the universal tactic of depriving an economy of resources, but on the opposite one of helping Palestinians to develop economically.”

The quintessential liberal fallacy also at the root of America’s failures in the War on Terror held that wars were fought against regimes not people. Even when Israel achieved its victories on the battlefield, it still believed that peace would come through mutual prosperity and befriending foes. This vision is alien to the region and rather than bringing peace has only perpetuated generations of war.

In the months before Oct 7, Arab Muslim workers from Gaza were allowed in increasing numbers to work in Israel. And in the months since Oct 7, Israel, under political pressure, has flooded Gaza with aid. The pre-10/7 appeasement failed to prevent the massacres, rapes and kidnappings and the post-10/7 benevolence only convinced Muslims in Gaza they would win.

“Israel Victory” contends that Israel can’t win through conciliation, it can only win by winning and that furthermore, victory is ultimately the best possible outcome for both sides. Israel’s reticence to achieve a conclusive and decisive victory, and then to act like winners infused generations of Arab Muslims living in the West Bank and Gaza with the conviction that they can destroy Israel if they transform their societies into killing machines and turn over political power to terrorists.

It is as if instead of defeating Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, the Allies had left a core regime and population intact and free to plot war for another 50 years. That is what happened in Israel.

The dynamic in which we try to win over the Muslim world, only to have it reject us to which we respond with even more concerted efforts to win it over has become all too familiar to most of us. And it’s the dynamic that “Israel Victory” places at the heart of the conflict. The combination of relentless international pressure and the conviction that peace can only be achieved by winning hearts and minds, rather than by winning wars, has created a doom spiral of ‘rejectionism’ and ‘conciliation’.

“Rejectionism, however, will not collapse on its own. It must be broken. Only one party, Israel, can achieve this. Doing so will require major changes, indeed, a paradigm shift,” Pipes writes. “That means abandoning conciliation and returning to the eternal verities of war. I call this Israel Victory. More negatively but more accurately, it consists of Palestinian defeat.”

Essentially for Israel to win, it has to defeat the enemy side not just enough to achieve a battlefield victory, but to finally convince it that any further fighting can only be futile.

In an era where everyone from Obama and Biden to some of their opponents on the right complain about “endless wars”, the idea of ending them by winning them seems radical.

But endless wars persist, the way that many other problems do, because we have abandoned the common sense solutions that everyone used to understand in favor of new models that don’t work. In “Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated’, Pipes briefly and ably traces the history of the collision between Israeli optimism and Muslim hatred, he shows that, contrary to leftist myth, Israeli governments and leading figures like Moshe Dayan had bent over backward to accommodate and appease the Arab Muslim population.

In one revealing incident, ‘Israel Victory’ relates an incident that took place after the victory of the Six Day War.

The Israelis dispatch combines to help Arab Muslims occupying parts of the West Bank bring in the harvest.

“I was among those who conquered the place,” one of the drivers recalled. “We are incapable of being conquerors. A month before I was risking my life, and now here I was helping them harvest their grain.”

The sentiment is a Rorschach test. It appears noble to many westerners, yet in many societies where an individual’s place in society is determined by hierarchies built on force, it conveys a destabilizing weakness. Westerners think that they are liberating societies when they are actually taking away their verities and replacing them with ambiguities. And these societies, whether in Gaza or Iraq and Afghanistan rapidly embrace those more traditional elements that offer cultural stability and the ultimate promise that what was once true can be made so again

In the Middle East, modern societies have won military victories, but not cultural ones. If we want to stop constantly fighting military campaigns, we will have to win the cultural wars as well.

And it may require Israel, America, the UK and other modern societies to do things that they are uncomfortable with, that appear to violate their values and disturb their sense of moral order.

Many dysfunctional children grow up in homes where the parents try to be their ‘friends’ because they are uncomfortable with being domineering or acting as authority figures.

To end the cycle of appeasement and violence, the Israelis and all of us may have to learn to stop trying to be ‘friends’ with our enemies and get comfortable with being conquerors.

June 22, 2024 | 6 Comments »

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    Napoleon lost Waterloo 2 days before when Ney spent all day and waste several divisions at Quatre Bras.

    Also Comte D’erlion spent The whole of Waterloo day marching and countermarching his crack army between Ney and and another superior whose name I forget. So the 22,000 crack troops did not take part at all in the battle.

    And Grouchy made the massive error in not marching to the sound of thge guns, wasting his time chasing after the Prussians whom he’d defeated but not completely They’d split into a small and large portion and he went after the small one leaving Blucher to march to Wellington’s aid, JUST IN TIME TO save him from defeat.

    Also Ney went mad and took over the massive cavalry division and contrary to all common military sense, attacked Foot soldiers in impenetrable squares, throwing away the last final chance of success which Nap had been on the verge of achieving.

    And more; like Nap starting cannonade late after midday, and the artillery aiming to bounce as usual but needed hard ground which that day was not available have had downpours making the artillery barrages useless.

    And more.

    I have about 120 books on that period and I recall the Waterloo battle very well.

  2. There is still no real peace anywhere. The people that win a war feel the need to lord it over those that lost. Those that lost are jealous of those that won and angry that they are being treated so badly.
    Let’s take Japan as an example. They very aggressively defeated most of the far east and were then partially occupied. After 50 years or so, they had had enough and started to demand that the occupiers leave.
    We can take this example and check out all the other war scenes and reach similar conclusions. In the case of Israel, it didn’t take long at all for the Arabs to start complaining… they were not defeated, they just lost the war and much too quickly.

  3. @Adam

    A genuine peace between them did not happen until Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815.

    “From Musket to Maxim 1815-1914
    The period 1815-1914 is sometimes called the long century of peace. It was in reality very far from that. It was a century of civil wars, popular uprisings, and struggles for Independence. An era of colonial expansion, wars of Empire, and colonial campaigning, much of which was unconventional in nature. It was also an age of major conventional wars, in Europe that would see the Crimea campaign and the wars of German unification. Such conflicts, along with the American Civil War, foreshadowed the total war of the 20th century.

    It was also a period of great technological advancement, which in time impacted the military and warfare in general. Steam power, electricity, the telegraph, the radio, the railway, all became tools of war. The century was one of dramatic change. Tactics altered, sometimes slowly, to meet the challenges of the new technology. The dramatic change in the technology of war in this period is reflected in the new title of this series: From Musket to Maxim…”,which%20was%20unconventional%20in%20nature.

    1803–1815 Napoleonic Wars
    1804–1813 First Serbian Uprising
    1804–1813 Russo-Persian War
    1806–1812 Russo-Ottoman War
    1808–1809 Finnish War
    1809 Polish–Austrian War
    1815–1817 Second Serbian Uprising
    1817–1864 Russian conquest of the Caucasus
    1821–1829 Greek War of Independence
    1821 Wallachian uprising
    1823 French invasion of Spain
    1826–1828 Russo-Persian War
    1827 War of the Malcontents
    1828–1829 Russo-Ottoman War
    1828–1834 Liberal Wars
    1830 July Revolution
    1830 Belgian Revolution
    1831 Ten Days’ Campaign
    1830–1831 November Uprising
    1831 Canut revolts
    1831–1832 Bosnian Uprising
    1831–1836 Tithe War
    1832 War in the Vendée and Chouannerie of 1832
    1832 June Rebellion
    1832 Siege of Antwerp
    1833–1839 First Carlist War
    1833–1839 Albanian Revolts of 1833–39
    1843–1844 Albanian Revolt of 1843–44
    1846 Galician slaughter
    1846 Revolution of Maria da Fonte
    1846 Solís Uprising
    1846–1849 Second Carlist War
    1846–1847 Patuleia
    1847 Albanian Revolt of 1847
    1847 Sonderbund War
    1848–1849 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence
    1848–1851 First Schleswig War
    1848–1849 First Italian War of Independence
    1852-1853 Montenegrin–Ottoman War
    1853–1856 Crimean War
    1854 Epirus Revolt of 1854
    1858 Mahtra War
    1859 Second Italian War of Independence
    1861–1862 Montenegrin–Ottoman War
    1863–1864 January Uprising
    1864 Second Schleswig War
    1866 Austro-Prussian War
    1866–1869 Cretan Revolt
    1866 Third Italian War of Independence
    1867 Fenian Rising
    1869 Krivošije uprising
    1870–1871 Franco-Prussian War
    1872–1876 Third Carlist War
    1873–1874 Cantonal Revolution
    1875–1877 Herzegovina uprising
    1876–1878 Serbian–Ottoman War
    1876 Bulgarian April Uprising
    1876 Razlovtsi insurrection
    1876–1878 Montenegrin–Ottoman War
    1877–1878 Russo-Ottoman War
    1878–1879 Kresna–Razlog uprising
    1878 Epirus Revolt of 1878
    1885 Bulgarian unification
    1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War
    1897 Thirty Days’ War
    1903 Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
    1904–1908 Macedonian Struggle
    1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War
    1905 ?ód? insurrection
    1905 Revolution of 1905
    1906–1908 Theriso revolt
    1907 1907 Romanian Peasants’ Revolt
    1910 Albanian Revolt of 1910
    1910 5 October 1910 revolution
    1911 Albanian Revolt of 1911
    1911–1912 Italo-Turkish War
    1912 Albanian Revolt of 1912
    1912–1913 Balkan Wars
    1912–1913 First Balkan War
    1913 Tikveš Uprising
    1913 Second Balkan War
    1913 Ohrid–Debar Uprising
    1914 Peasant Revolt in Albania
    1914–1918 World War I – 19,174,335 deaths

  4. The armistice of 1918 and the subsequent Versaille treaty did not result in any meaningful peace between Germany and the wartime allies, becuase two mill.ion Germans were allowed to retain their weapons. It was only after Warr II, when the allies did not negotiate with the Germans but imposed their own terms for peace on them by force, did the wars in Europe end for almost fifty years, Unfortunately, they eventually return, first in the Balkans 1992=3-1999, and now in Ukraine.

  5. Stable and lasting peace between nations with a history of warring with each other has rarely if ever occurred in history. During the eigtheenth centtury, Britain Farance, the Netherlands Spain, Austria and other countries signed one peace treaty after another after they decided that the heavy loss of life and the bankrupcy of their national treasuries forced them to negotiate peace with each other. But once their finances had been at least partially patched up and a new crop of potential warriors had reached the age of eligibility for military . these countries resumed their war with each other. A genuine peace beteeen them did not happen until Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815.