Where’s my invite?
Daniel Pipes is currently touring Down Under, but I only found out about it yesterday, when a mate expressed outrage that the neo-conservative author should be hosted by local Jewish organisations. Why? ‘Cause Pipes is a bigot — or so he says. My mate, not Pipes.
Otherwise, Pipes’ tour appears to have received little or no media or public attention.
The pair discoed ‘Europe and the USA: Middle East Visions and Delusions’.
In Perth, where Pipes spoke yesterday and today, the ‘West Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs’, ‘Friends of Israel (WA) Inc’, and AIJAC co-presented a public lecture by “One of the world’s foremost analysts on the Middle East and Islam” — that is, Pipes — on “ISLAMIST EXTREMISM: Is today’s Islamist extremism like Fascism? Are they related?”.
Pipes may not be a Trotskyist, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the question he poses may be a rhetorical one.
He also appears not to have spoken in publicly in Melbourne on this occasion, his last such appearance being in November 2009, when he speechified before the ‘Australian Institute of International Affairs’ on being ‘Inside the Middle East Today’ and AIJAC / the ‘Zionist Council of Victoria’ on — presumably —
the price of fish in China similar issues.
Pipes tour takes place at the same time as there is controversy in the US regarding the construction of a new mosque a few hundred metres away from ‘Ground Zero’ in New York. The pens of anti-Muslim conservatives impact N.Y.C. mosque debate mightily according to Michelle Boorstein (The Washington Post, August 19, 2010) while Once considered anti-Islam, senior scholar says he’s now in the middle (‘Under God’, The Washington Post, August 19, 2010.
Note that after many years pointing out to the public the political dangers presented by the Koran, Pipes proceeds to kick Kantian arse in Immanuel Kant vs. Israel (National Review Online, August 17, 2010), in which Mr. Pipes explains how “The West villifies Israel because it has undergone a paradigm shift away from the nation-state”; a shift first announced by way of the 1975 film Immanuel’s Perpetual Peace (directed by Yoram Hazony).
In Australia, fascists belonging to the tiny ‘Nationalist Alternative’ groupuscule joined a community campaign against the construction of a mosque in Melbourne, Australia, while in Camden and elsewhere, members of the Australian Protectionist and One Nation parties have joined with Christian fundamentalists in opposing the caliphate. In England, meanwhile, the ‘English Defence League’ (EDL) has its own Jewish division, one which gives Jews with a passionate hatred of Islam the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of their erstwhile foes on the neo-Nazi right. The Australian franchise tried to organise a public rally in Melbourne in April, but were told to shoo, and only a handful of racist kooks, and one or two neo-Nazi skinheads, managed to sit and grumble in Y&J’s. (Their next public performance is scheduled for October 9 in Sydney.)
Politics makes for strange bedfellows.
See also : Israel and Palestine After Disengagement: Noam Chomsky debates with Alan Dershowitz, Kennedy School of Government, November 29, 2005 [transcript].