After ripping Trump’s peace plan in the Wall Street Journal last month, Daniel Pipes changed course on Twitter, citing a discussion with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
By World Israel News Staff
Daniel Pipes, one of the world’s foremost experts on Middle East history and the geopolitical status quo in the region, penned a damning assessment of U.S. President Donald Trump’s as-yet unreleased Israel-Palestinian peace plan. The piece was published in the Wall Street Journal last month.
The primary concerns Pipes raised in the WSJ op-ed focused on Trump’s professed “neutrality,” his “suspicion of Netanyahu,” and his expectations that Israel will “make larger concessions,” which taken together “signal a potential crisis in U.S.-Israel relations,” he concluded.
Pipes specifically red-flagged Trump’s comments that he is “committed to getting the Palestinians the best possible deal” and that “Israel would make real concessions” under any agreement. Pipes also referenced Trump’s remarks to French President Emmanuel Macron that he could be “tough” on Netanyahu.
In addition to statements by the president himself, Pipes also referenced comments by Trump’s Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt that “each side will find things in this plan that they don’t like” and remarks by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that “the Palestinians would benefit more, and the Israelis would risk more” by accepting Trump’s peace deal.
About a week after the WSJ op-ed ran, Pipes posted a far more optimistic prognosis on Twitter following a discussion with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Pipes quoted Friedman’s pronouncement that Trump is the “most pro-Israel president ever,” concluding, “so far, the record confirms his observation.”
Outlining Trump’s “positive record” in the tweet, Pipes referred to the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, the Jerusalem embassy move, and massive cuts in aid to Palestinian agencies such as UNRWA, which have been identified as impediments to the peace process.
Pipes also cited the U.S. defense of Israel at the U.N. and its encouragement of warming ties between Arab nations and the Jewish state.
In summary, he referred to Trump’s approach as “buck[ing] convention” and making “overdue changes.”
While Pipes concluded by referring to his “known concerns” about Trump’s approach to Mideast peace, the tweet sounded a completely different tone than the WSJ piece, which warned against the American pro-Israel community “blithely but wrongly trust[ing] Mr. Trump as one of their own.”
Pipes has remained a vocal critic of Trump and opposed his nomination to serve as the Republican candidate in the 2016 U.S. election.
As president of the Middle East Forum, an American conservative think tank, Pipes is recognized as a leading expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict, radical Islam and U.S. foreign policy. In addition to writing 16 books and articles in over 100 newspapers, Pipes served in five administrations in the U.S. between 1982 and 2005, including two presidentially-appointed positions.