Photo Credit: Courtesy
Map of Gaza.

*The following is an excerpt from Daniel Pipes’ interview on Al Jazeera

How do you view things moving forward moving forward?


I see that the Israelis seem to be today, November 14, on the verge of taking control of Gaza, or at least Northern Gaza, and that Hamas seems to have lost control of it. So, this is a very important moment, because now we will see what the Israelis have in mind for the future of Gaza.

There are various options. One is for the Israelis to come back and take it over and administer the area. A second is to bring in the Palestinian Authority. A third is to invite some combination of foreign countries and organizations to come in and take it over.

I have my own idea, which is that the Israelis carefully and quickly turn the administration over to Gazans who are opposed to Hamas, opposed to the goal of destroying Israel. Gazans who are willing to live in a neighborly way next to Israel. That’s not to say they’re pro-Israel. I’m not saying they’re democratic. I’m not saying it’s a great place to be, but it’s a decent place to be. Gaza has suffered for the last 15 years from the rule of Hamas. I think the Gazans would be much better off if they lived in environments such as those that can be found in Egypt or Jordan. I’m hoping that the Israelis will – and the Gazans will – agree to such an arrangement, where Gaza is administered – police, schools, hospitals, utilities – by Gazans themselves.

Don’t you view that as a problematic approach – that Western or foreign people, yeah essentially foreign, should decide on behalf of an indigenous people who should rule them?

It’s not ideal but it’s certainly better than what has been the case in Gaza the last 15 years.

That’s pretty racist.

It’s not racist at all. It’s saying Gaza is in a terrible condition, and to establish administration of –

“Rather than build a constructive, economically buoyant, politically stable country, Hamas has used Gaza as a platform to attack Israel.”

Why is it in a terrible condition?

It’s in a terrible condition because, rather than build a constructive, economically buoyant, politically stable country, Hamas has used Gaza as a platform to attack Israel.

What are the foundations of a strong, economically stable country or entity?

Well, the first thing you do is not try and destroy your much larger more powerful neighbor, okay.

But it’s also based on trade, no?

Trade indeed.

How can you trade when you are besieged by land, air, and sea?

I point out that Gaza has two borders – one with Israel and one with Egypt. And if the Gazan authorities, Hamas, had not been so destructive in their intentions, the borders would have been open on both sides, and Gazans would come and go, trade would come and go. But because [Gaza]was for 15 years – 2008 until the present – used as a platform for attack, of course it was isolated and besieged, but that was a choice that Hamas made.


{Reposted from MEF}


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Daniel Pipes is a world-renowned Middle East and Islam expert. He is President of the Middle East Forum. His articles appear in many newspapers. He received his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1978) from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard, Pepperdine, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Chicago. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace and other institutions. His website is