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December 4, 2007 Clip No. 1626

American Middle East Expert Daniel Pipes Clashes with Lebanese Journalist Khodhor 'Awarki on whether Israel Should Be a Jewish State

Following are excerpts from a TV debate between American Middle East expert Daniel Pipes and Lebanese journalist Khodhor 'Awarki, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 4, 2007.

Daniel Pipes: Well, let me start by pointing out that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is no different from recognizing the 56 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference as Islamic states, recognizing the UK as an Anglican state, or recognizing Greece as an Orthodox state. As a matter of fact, if you travel around the world, you will see that a large number of countries have a religious identity. Therefore, there is nothing unusual or fascist about it. Simply put, this is a common and widespread matter in the 21st century.

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Israel is not perfect and faultless, but it is a modern, liberal democracy. The Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, regardless of their complaints, ultimately want to remain Israeli citizens. I think this it is an important point, and Israel deserves to be called a liberal democratic state. We, as Americans have a strong alliance with Israel, because it is a modern, positive, and constructive state, and it is in the interest of Israel's neighbors to recognize it as a state of the Jews.

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Khodhor 'Awarki: I hope that all the Arab viewers, and especially the families of the one million Iraqi martyrs... I hope that the people of our beloved Egypt... I cannot understand why the Egyptian authorities have not yet issued an international arrest warrant against Mr. Pipes, who conducts intensive activity among the Copts abroad, in order to Zionize them and to create sectarian confusion in Egypt, with the support of the Jewish lobby, which provides him with huge resources, through Freedom House and other organizations, which serve as fronts for the Jewish lobby. I hope that the Palestinian people - every mother of a Palestinian martyr, every widow, and every orphan – will get a good look at the face of Mr. Pipes, because he is a member of the Satanic, terroristic gang that convinced George Bush, Olmert, and all the Israeli and American terrorists to kill, invade, and destroy them. This man, who dons the cloak of an academic Middle East expert, promotes the war against Islam as a religion - regardless of the fact that there are bad Muslims and good Muslims. He promotes a religious war between civilizations. He is talking about Israel as a modern and legal state. Israel is an illegal racist state. If he's talking about democracy – Israel is a democracy only for Jews.

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Only yesterday, he posted on his website an article that is the epitome of racism and Nazism. This man has delved so far into Nazi ideology that the spirit of Hitler has materialized in him.

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Daniel Pipes: I can't deal with all these accusations. Let me simply state that I never said many of these things.

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I don't agree with Samuel Huntington. I am against the "clash of civilizations." I have always said that the Islamic world is undergoing a difficult period, and that it can develop, have democracy, and be successful. There is no problem with Islam itself or with the Muslims, but these are difficult times, and the difficulty stems from radical Islam.

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