By Larry Gordon
Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick is a clear thinker and a refreshing breath of fresh air amid a polluted and convoluted diplomatic push to force concessions on Israel in what the world calls the cause of peace. Ms. Glick, in New York this week to promote her new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, told students at Rama z High School on Monday that the two-state scenario is simply unworkable for the simple reason that it is based on lies and falsehoods.
The narrative of two states for two peoples—one Jewish and the other Palestinian—is something that much of the world, including many Israelis, have bought into as a way to hopefully finally dispose of the problem. The lack of a so-called homeland for the Palestinian people is still thought by many to be the central issue that troubles the Muslim world. This old belief has largely been disproved after more than 20 years of an Israeli offer on the table to establish a Palestinian state being rejected by Palestinian leadership, and the continued violence against Israel by Palestinian officials with the support of regimes in Iran, Lebanon (in the form of Hezbollah), and the Gaza Strip.
In her book, Caroline Glick grabs the truth and reality of the situation as it stands today regardless of its consistent denial in the White House, in Europe, and even the Knesset. “The idea of two states is just unworkable,” Glick told her audience. She added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s adamant insistence that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state is a deal-breaker; there is no route of negotiations or diplomatic nuance that will allow that demand to be circumvented.
“This is not about fairness or justice for the Palestinian people,” she said. “It is about one thing and one thing only—the rejection of Israel.” Ms. Glick’s proposal eloquently and sensibly outlined in her book is for Israel to finally apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria just as it did to eastern Jerusalem in 1967 and then to the Golan Heights when Menachem Begin was prime minister.
She explains that the precedent for a minority population living in a free and true democratic society is extensive. In fact she points out that polls have indicated that Arabs currently living in Israel have said that they prefer Israeli rule to Arab rule and would move out of their homes in areas proposed to be taken over in any deal by the Palestinian Authority.
As far as the much-talked-about demographic issues where eventually the Arab population becomes a majority in Israel, Glick says straight away that those assumptions are based on lies and distortions. She says that firstly, the Palestinian population numbers have been exaggerated by more than a million but are accepted as being factual by the world. And while conventional wisdom says that the Arab birthrate in the territories is high and the Jewish birthrate is low, the opposite is actually the truth.
The deception and distortion of the reality have been so effective and thorough that high-level Israeli officials have bought into the two-state Palestinian narrative. No, according to Glick, it’s is not a matter of them believing it even though it is not true. It is rather a matter of wanting to believe it in the hope that the issues surrounding it can be addressed, the problems solved, and the conflict ended. That is what most of the parties involved seem to desire more than anything else.
That is, except for the Palestinians. And that is why Mahmoud Abbas is adamant about not recognizing that Israel is the state of the Jews, or the Jewish state. No one parses or dances around words and slogans better than those in the Arab world. Abbas said he has already recognized the existence of the state of Israel and that is as far as he is going to go. He will not accede to the request or requirement that says that the Israel he purportedly recognized is the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Caroline Glick pointed out in her remarks the other night, as well as in her book, that there are very few media outlets willing to examine the reality and report the truth. “The PLO conducts a press war against the media to the extent that journalists prefer not addressing these matters.” In the Palestinian media in particular, Glick says, a journalist who criticizes the way Abbas has conducted the peace process runs a high risk of being killed.
That is, of course, the polar opposite of the way things are run in Israel. Every word uttered by the prime minister, or for that matter any Israeli official, is scrutinized and analyzed by hundreds in the media without any fear or concern of repercussions of any kind.
And the reluctance to cover the conflict factually spills over into the general world media as well, both in the U.S. and Europe. It can be argued that to an extent Israel has some liability in the matter because the Israelis, as much as anyone else, wanted to adopt a formula by which this century-old conflict could be ended. But that objective or desire does not seem to be on the Palestinian or overall Arab agenda, for now anyway.
So the point of the Glick book is the open and unflinching expression of a reality that no one seems to want to deal with. And that is that a two-state solution is not possible. There is no way, she says, that the Palestinians will recognize a Jewish state, because that would mean that the 100-year-old violent struggle they have conducted is officially not just ended but lost.
Glick was a captain in the IDF and a member of the negotiating team with the Palestinians that arrived at and signed a number of agreements during the first Netanyahu stint as prime minister in the 1990s. She says that of the five accords regarding which she was personally involved in the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, none were adhered to by the PA.
Caroline Glick is not just a national treasure of Israel but a valuable journalistic weapon who speaks the difficult truth that many prefer not hearing. She writes two columns each week in the Jerusalem Post and will be featured at the Post’s Jerusalem Conference that will take place here in New York on April 6.
Glick, whose appearance at Ramaz High School was made possible by the One Israel Fund, says that this plan or scenario is not workable for Israel either. She says that it is simply imprudent and unsafe for Israel to entertain any type of withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. She points out that over the last decade, the number of Arabs arrested in Israel proper for terrorist offenses is about 250. The number of offenders from Judea and Samaria is over 10,000. The dichotomy in the numbers stems from the fact that Israel controls central Israel while it relies to an extent on the Palestinian police in the territories.
She accuses too many Israeli as well as American officials of “embracing the fantasy” of two states. Instead, Glick says, Israel has to move ahead, annex Judea and Samaria, and move on with the one-state solution. Sure, there are going to be protests and accusations of Israel occupying and dominating Palestinians, not unlike the cries and protests of the last 50 or more years. “But that does not really matter,” Caroline Glick says, because the Arab claims on Israel are bogus, “and it’s all just a lie.” And, regardless of politics or perceptions, that is not a formula for real peace. v
Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.