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Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Israeli columnist rejects 'two-state' solution

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Caroline Glick

TORONTO — For a typical Canadian observer of the Middle East, Caroline Glick’s viewpoint and solutions seems to come out of left field. Or in her case, right field.

A widely read columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Glick says we ought to abandon the “two-state solution.” Ignore doom-and-gloom prognostications that Israel will be swamped by a demographic surge of Palestinians. It’s not happening, she said. Israelis are having more babies than the Palestinians.

Stop being so defensive about asserting Jewish rights. It’s our land and always has been. By agreeing to hand over some of it to the Palestinians as part of a failed peace process, Israelis have in effect endorsed the Palestinian narrative that they are at fault for the conflict, she argues.

The solution, said Glick, in an address last week at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation, is to do what Israel did in Jerusalem and the Golan – apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, a.k.a., the West Bank.

“This land is ours by history, by international legal rights, and it’s ours by justice, and we have to assert those rights,” she said.

Glick is author of The Israeli Solution; A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. Her position stands in sharp contrast to the one adopted by successive Israeli governments, but she believes Israel’s international standing was stronger, not weaker, when it stood up to international pressure.

Israelis thought that by yielding its rights and turning over territory, it would foster international goodwill and enhance its diplomatic cachet. Instead, the opposite has occurred.

If Israel wants international respect, it has to assert its rights, she said. If Israel wants to tell advocates of boycotts, divestments and sanctions where to stick their positions, it has to be assertive.

“You can’t do it if all you say is we want defensible borders” and if you agree that the other side, which “exists only to destroy you,” has rights.

Speaking at an event organized by the Toronto Zionist Council, Glick suggested that her audience imagine what would happen if Israel does hand over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian leadership. Even if you consider Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a moderate – a suggestion she questioned – he’ll bring in terrorists from UN refugee camps. In an open Jerusalem, they’ll be able to walk into the Old City through the Damascus Gate, exit through the Jaffa Gate and walk right into the new city.

“They have been marinating in genocidal Jew hatred for 66 years. What are the chances they want peace? Zero,” she asserted.

Glick, who was embedded in a U.S. army unit during the 2003 Iraq war, said the United States really doesn’t understand the region.

“You can’t get it because your guiding policies are all wrong,” she said.

World leaders, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, now believe that it’s up to Israel to end the conflict. Clinton once cited what can be considered a bipartisan view, that if there was an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, 50 per cent of all terrorism would end. This falsely suggests that Israel is responsible for the pathologies of the Middle East, “that the Jews are to blame,” Glick said.

The Middle East is fraught with pathologies – jihad, misogyny, economic failure. But in the middle of all that, as the United States has lost ally after ally, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is obsessed with the number of apartments Israel is building, she said.

Glick noted that contrary to accepted wisdom, the Palestinian public’s perception of Israel is not all bad. A survey recently revealed that two-thirds to three-quarters say the democracy they most admire is Israel’s.

Another poll revealed that while 46 per cent of Israelis opposed a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, 59 per cent of Palestinians oppose it.

“These numbers are extraordinary. What they tell us, if we know how to empower Palestinians to lead the good life, they will do so,” she said.

Another survey showed that while 30 per cent of Palestinians preferred to live under Palestinian sovereignty, 35 per cent preferred Israeli sovereignty.

And in Israel itself, Palestinian Christians are abandoning the pan-Arab ideology. “They no longer want to identify as Arabs, but as Christians,” she said.

They look next door and see what is happening to Christians throughout the Middle East. Arab families are enrolling their children in Hebrew-language schools and Israel has seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of Arab Christians volunteering for military service.

“This is an earthquake,” she said, adding there are now unique opportunities to change the status quo. n

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