Thursday, April 27 will mark the launch of the "Congressional Israel Victory Caucus" (CIVC) to be chaired by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH). Johnson and DeSantis are enlisting the help of anti-Muslim activist Daniel Pipes, a man who has spent the better part of three decades vilifying Muslims, and Palestinians in particular.
Pipes’ Middle East Forum (MEF) is supporting the Caucus, with an April 24 MEF press release stating, “CIVC builds on ideas promoted by the Middle East Forum that are now gaining support among analysts, in the U.S. Congress, in the executive branch, and in Israel.” The “ideas” promoted by MEF stem from a paper Pipes penned titled, The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat.
The paper contains a number of extreme recommendations including calls to “reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies” to Palestinians if violence against Israel continues and, “When a Palestinian attacker is killed, bury the body quietly and anonymously in a potter's field.”
Such statements are not new for Pipes, who has made a career of attacking Muslims. In 1990, he penned an article in National Review claiming, “Fears of a Muslim influx have more substance than the worry about jihad. Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene."
One day after the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Pipes was quick to blame Muslims, telling USA Today: “People need to understand that this is just the beginning. The [Muslim] fundamentalists are on the upsurge, and they make it clear that they are targeting us.” In fact, the bombing was carried out by Timothy McVeigh, an antigovernment American extremist who had nothing to do with Islam.
In 2002, Pipes organized Campus Watch, a website widely accused of McCarthyism after publishing dossiers on college professors he deemed “hostile” to America.
In 2004, Pipes endorsed the internment of ethnic Japanese in American prison camps in World War II and held that up as a model for dealing with Muslims today. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Pipes also was the original source of the much-ridiculed claim that there are hundreds of “no-go zones” in Europe where Shariah law prevails and where non-Muslims, including police, are afraid to go — a claim Bloomberg described as “totally false.”
Pipes criticized the “hypocrisy” of authorities who say they are not profiling Muslims, calling it “best to be honest and open about necessary preventive actions, however distasteful they may be” in a Dec. 22, 2005, article.
In 2010, Pipes attacked Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was trying to build an Islamic center in lower Manhattan, calling Rauf and his wife “unsavory Islamists” and saying, “this initiative carries the unmistakable odor of Islamic triumphalism” and “should be barred from opening.” In fact, Rauf is a well-known moderate who would go on to conduct trainings for the FBI and the State Department after 9/11 and spent a career trying to improve relations between Muslims and the West.
In an April 21, 2013, article, Pipes speculated that jihadist attackers might soon dress in the full-body coverings worn by ultra-conservative Muslim women and called for their banning. “One must expect future non-suicide bombers to turn to niqabs or burqas,” he wrote. “But why wait for them to engage in more murders? Why close the barn door only after the horse has run away? Far smarter would be to ban whole-body covers in public places now.”
A diverse array of groups has criticized the Congressmen for working with Pipes on this endeavor. J-Street, a liberal American pro-Israel organization, blasted Johnson and DeSantis for associating with Pipes and his ideas, writing “Members of Congress should stay as far away from such savage and dangerous ideas as possible.” Also in response, the civil rights group Center for New Community partnered with MPower Change, a group dedicated to organizing for grassroots Muslim power, in launching a petition calling on members of Congress to boycott Pipes.