Caroline Glick is out with a new book we have been covering of late entitled The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East” [reviewed here].
The central premise of Glick’s — the Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post’s — book is that the two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians is unfeasible, legally, historically and morally unjustifiable, and based on a discredited world view. Glick argues instead for a one-state solution whereby Israel would apply Israeli law, and through it Israeli sovereignty to the entirety of Judea and Samaria (commonly referred to as the West Bank).
Below is our interview, conducted with Glick from TheBlaze’s newsroom in Manhattan. The conversation has been transcribed and slightly modified for clarity. All emphasis is ours.
Give us your pitch for why Americans should be interested in this book.
Glick: The United States has been pushing this idea of a two-state solution for over a generation. It was first pushed by the Nixon Administration in 1970 and it’s based on this totally false understanding of the Middle East which places Israel at the center of everything. It says that the size of Israel is really responsible for all the bad things in the Arab world, and if we can make Israel smaller than the problems will be smaller. And the ultimate idea is partition and establishing a PLO state in areas that Israel controls.
The problem with this paradigm is that it’s totally false. Israel doesn’t dictate events in the Arab world. Those are dictated by internal issues in each Arab state as we’ve seen now with the revolutions going through all of them that have absolutely nothing to do with Israel. They all have to do with the internal dynamics and pathologies of Arab societies. But because the U.S. has been pushing this idea for so long, what has happened is that U.S. policymakers are fundamentally incapable of understanding the Middle East, because they’re basing everything on this false assumption of Israeli culpability. And once you start with that, you can’t think about anything else. So they didn’t understand Iraq when they went in, because they didn’t think about it. They didn’t understand Egypt when they decided to overthrow Mubarak because they didn’t think they had to think about it. They put everything into prisms, so “democracy,” “Israel,” “peace process” and they’re all very convenient but they’re all completely irrelevant.
So what this book does is it shows why this is false, how devastating it has been for American policymakers’ capacity to analyze situations as they unfold based upon reality, and so I think it’s absolutely critical for Americans who are concerned about U.S. national security and their interests abroad. Furthermore, this has had a debilitating impact on Israel because basically you have the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is to pressure Israel, which is the U.S.’ only stable ally in the Middle East, and so by necessity this policy has weakened Israel, and as threats rise in every area of the Middle East against Israel or simply rise because of the massive instability and empowerment of the most radical extremist actors in the Muslim world in places like Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia…and of course in Iran, Lebanon, you need Israel to be as strong as possible and so Israel itself has to get out from under the tyranny of the two-state paradigm, which places again all of the blame for everything on the Jews.
And so it’s imperative for Israel to get past this; it’s imperative for the United States to get past this and to move on and base a policy on reality. The policy that I put forward here seems radical, but actually it’s not at all radical because it’s based entirely on reality and fact, statistics…and interests and values. And what it says is, the West Bank of the Jordan River, what we in Israel refer to as Judea and Samaria, is part of Israel: by law, by national rights. And Israel has to control it for those reasons as well as for military necessity because it can’t defend itself without them.
As I argue in my book, America is much better off having an Israel that is stable and capable of defending itself against all aggressors because the stronger Israel is the more secure U.S. interests are and so this book is both for people who are involved in policy and national security, it’s also for people who care about Israel, and understand that there’s something fundamentally wrong when the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is to push for the establishment of a terrorist state that is dedicated to destroying Israel but can’t figure out what to do about it because they’ve been told all of this time that Israel is the problem, or the absence of a Palestinian State is the problem; that if they care about Israel they should support America financing a Palestinian terrorist army and spending upwards of $500 million a year bankrolling Palestinian terrorists. It’s always been crazy, but that’s what people have been told and they’ve come to believe it over time. It was always a lie, and so that’s something else that I focus on in my book and I think is critical for people to understand.
Describe what the “Israeli solution” is.
Glick: The Israeli solution involves the application of Israeli law and through it Israeli sovereignty to the entirety of Judea and Samaria — the West Bank of the Jordan — and providing the Palestinians who live there with automatic permanent residency status and the right to apply for Israeli citizenship in accordance with Israel citizenship law, and through that, the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority and the abandonment of the two-state paradigm for peace-making. This is an idea, this is a policy that is based on an understanding that at base the Palestinian national movement since its inception in 1920 has not been about the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state but rather the destruction of the Jewish state or earlier the prevention of the establishment of a Jewish state and so it remains to this day which is why the PLO has consistently refused statehood every time it has been offered them since 1993. And so it’s about abandoning a fake idea, an idea that’s based on lies, that is that the Palestinians aspire first and foremost to a state of their own, and embracing instead the truth that Israel is capable of absorbing the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, and giving them what they’ve always lacked which is full civil rights, and through that their ability to determine their own fate as individuals and as members of a society of Israel.