Caroline Glick: US Would Benefit From 'One State' Plan for Mideast

Image: Caroline Glick: US Would Benefit From 'One State' Plan for Mideast

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 07:51 AM

By Elliot Jager

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In her forthcoming book "The Israeli Solution – A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East," columnist Caroline Glick is calling on Jerusalem to jettison the two-state approach, annex the West Bank, and apply sovereignty over the area.

Such a move would benefit Washington, Glick said in an interview with Newsmax prior to leaving Israel for the United States. America's attachment to the two-state solution involving a Palestinian state alongside Israel  has been "devastating" to its interests, resulting in uninformed and incoherent U.S. policy in the region, Glick said.

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President Barack Obama is certain to oppose applying Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank, "but he's not going to be the president forever," Glick said.

She described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as trying to buy time so that Israel can make it through the Obama administration with the "minimum damage" possible.

One purpose of Glick's stay in the United States — which begins Tuesday — is to make the case that the Republicans also do not have a coherent Middle East policy. "They have isolationism on the one hand of the [Kentucky Sen.] Rand Paul variety, and they have neo-conservatism on the other, with [Arizona Sen.] John McCain — both clearly discredited by events. The American people don't support either of them."

Her one-state solution would give the United States a new policy based on strengthening allies, to minimize U.S. overseas military deployments while still securing American interests.

This could be an important foundation for a future Republican foreign policy, Glick told Newsmax.

"Right now we have to build a support base for this in" the United States looking toward the post-Obama era.

U.S. policy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is rooted in a series of fallacies that Glick's book criticizes.

Washington erroneously believes, Glick told Newsmax, that the source of the Arab conflict with Israel, and the pathologies roiling the Arab world, are explained by the absence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

Washington further inaccurately believes that the Palestinian Arabs are interested in a West Bank state; that the absence of such a state will demographically endanger the Jewish majority of Israel; and that Palestinian legal rights to the West Bank trump Jewish legal rights to the area, Glick said.

Glick lays out scenarios for how different groups would react to an Israeli declaration of sovereignty.

The Palestinians in the West Bank would be the primary beneficiaries since they would receive full civil rights equal to those of all Israelis, including automatic permanent residency. They would enjoy the right to vote in local elections – and to apply for Israeli citizenship. Only active or past membership in a terrorist organization, or a history of incitement to anti-Semitism, would disqualify anyone from citizenship.

Glick dismisses the argument that a growing Arab population once incorporated into Israel proper would be a demographic time bomb.

She says that the Palestinians have purposefully inflated their numbers, and that the United States and Israeli doves have played along as the only way to persuade ordinary Israelis— and the pro-Israel community in the United States — to abandon the strategic territory.

Glick said that between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea there are 6.1 million Jews and 3.2 million Arabs, meaning there is a 2-1 Jewish majority and that, moreover, birthrate trends are in the Jewish favor. Glick said there is no need to factor in about 1 million Arabs in Gaza, which Israel quit in 2005 and is now under Hamas control.

She does not expect the Palestinians to embrace Israeli sovereignty but expects they would not be able to torpedo the move. Nor does she believe surrounding Arab countries would respond to the Israeli application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Hezbollah, the dominant force in Lebanon, might react if they were free to do so, Glick said.

Glick anticipates that the strongest negative reaction would come from Europe because pushing for a Palestinian state is the only foreign policy plank that unites the region. "If we take it away from them, we're taking away their only cause."

Any sanctions beyond existing "economic warfare" by Europe against Israel would depend on Washington's reaction, Glick said. European actions would also be mitigated by Israel's growing trade with Asia and its promising energy independence.

Within Israel, Glick told Newsmax, multiple ministers in the government and the majority of Likud Party backbenchers support applying sovereignty. Building popular consensus for sovereignty will not be difficult since public opinion surveys show a majority of Israelis favor the idea.

The problem, Glick says, is that for 40 years there has been no serious discussion about applying sovereignty, only about conceding territory.

Glick tells Newsmax, "This is a very optimistic plan. Not optimistic in a Pollyanna-ish sort of way, since the book points out all of the dangers of this initiative. But it is rooted in the understanding that Israeli society is extremely strong. We get stronger with each passing day. Our economy is very strong and growing. Our people are very vibrant, involved, and patriotic. The time is ripe to seize the moment."

Glick is a senior contributing editor at The Jerusalem Post and lives outside Jerusalem with her family.

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