The Israeli One State Solution
Caroline Glick’s latest book, One State Solution, carefully explains the political, legal, demographic, and military position of Israel in the modern world. She corrects many faulty notions that are prevalent about Israel. The reader learns from her that Israel was not created as an emotional reaction by a world horrified by the Holocaust. Its legitimacy and destiny as a State is grounded in historical and political realities that antedate the Holocaust, and the prayerful longings of the Jewish people to be restored to and to rule their own homeland after dispossession by the vengeful Romans 20 centuries ago.
Although she does not place much emphasis on the visionary and incredibly determined work of Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weizman, their vision is foundational and cannot be separated from the existence of present-day Israel. Rather, she derives Israel’s right to exist primarily from three sources: the continued presence of Jews in the territory now called Israel for 2000 years, the Palestine Mandate to the British, and from the British after World War I, and U.N. Resolution 181 which established the state of Israel (as a Jewish state).
With amazing logic and compelling detail, she depicts every phase and aspect of Israel’s struggle to come into existence and remain in existence from 1920 until the present. The reader can see plainly that the Arab world accepted France’s mandate to create an independent Syria and Lebanon, and the legitimacy of the British prerogative to create Iraq and Jordan, but at the same time found the British mandate for a Jewish state to be illegal and untenable. Self-determination became a byword, a new, significant idea in international affairs after WWI and especially after Wilson’s Fourteen Points, but self-determination for the Jews who had remained as a continuous presence in Palestine for 2000 years – to this the Arab world’s resounding answer was no.
She depicts with seeming effortless, elegant writing the hatred of the PLO towards Israel and towards Jews. The book corrects so many myths about the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab world. One myth in particular stands out, namely that Yasser Arafat failed in his goals because the two-state reality of Israel and an Arab Palestine was never realized despite his engagement in the Oslo process. She debunks the idea of his failure, but in beautiful detail demonstrates the extent of his success. With the help of the USSR, he managed to create a worldwide diplomatic climate of opinion hostile to Israel where many countries now believe, falsely, that Israel is a colonialist power in the Middle East and racist to the core.
Further, Arafat was bailed out time and time again by the U.S., lionized by a sycophantic world press for his “flexibility” and “moderation,” and excused for his masterminding of massacres and murders. He was behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Munich, his Intifada killed hundreds of Israelis, and he repeatedly broke every signed agreement made under the Oslo Accords. Yet, he remained the Teflon terrorist throughout. After being kicked out of Jordan and Lebanon by his fellow Arabs, the U.S. found a place of sanctuary for him and his cohorts in Tunisia. Furthermore, the U.S. has financed the security forces of the Palestinian Authority, and thus increased significantly the dangers to Israeli life and limb, and the precariousness of Israel’s national existence. Ms. Glick documents Arafat’s criminal intentions and actions with overwhelming detail, and yet, as she sadly reports, he remained supported and encouraged by a long list of U.S. presidents.
Negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs, the book tells us, have stagnated into a failed prioritizing of the so-called “two state solution.” Yet, Glick avers the two-state solution is the cause of the twenty-year stalemate. It is not a viable solution. In fact, the Palestinian Arabs have rejected their own state on four different occasions. The assumption that we have “just barely missed” working out a final solution is a wrong conclusion. Rather, she posits that the Palestinian leadership does not want a two-state solution, but wants the destruction of the State of Israel as a sovereign, Jewish entity in the Middle East.
Her solution to the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (often improperly called “the West Bank”) is to follow actions taken by Prime Minister Begin who placed the Golan Heights and Jerusalem under Israeli law in the 1980s. Although technically those areas were not annexed to Israel, placing them under Israeli law was a de facto annexation. They were no longer administered by the military. Palestinian Arabs and many Western journalists seem to think that Israeli military presence means territories are “occupied,” but it does not. The military is there to protect Israeli interests while the disputed territories are engaged in ‘dispute resolution’ with interested parties. Once Israeli law is put into effect, Israel would be unilaterally affirming the end of ‘dispute’ and settling the question of control.
With passion and care, the author reviews the pros and cons of taking such a step. She expresses a great deal of concern about the European reaction to such a move. Also, there would certainly be fallout from increasing the number of Arab permanent residents and/or citizens as part of Israeli demographics. Yet, this big step will give relief from the cul-de-sac Israel now finds itself in, where it endlessly negotiates for a two-state solution that the Palestinian Arabs do not want. The endgame for Mahmoud Abbas is the destruction of Israel.
One State Solution projects an alternative to the dangerous gamesmanship and perpetual war we have witnessed in the quest for a so-called two state solution. Yet, is it really wise to try to absorb a fiendish population -- people mired in rage, mental instability, and rigid ideology – into one’s country? Their co-Arabs have kicked them out of three different countries (Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait), so it seems unlikely they can be absorbed, even on a gradual basis, into the legal structure and fabric of Israeli society. The expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs from Judea and Samaria would be much more effective in bringing peace to Eretz Yisrael. Yet, before doing so, a much more aggressive public relations campaign against the Palestinian Arabs is needed to counteract Arab and Soviet-era propaganda about Israel. This campaign would put the moral onus where it belongs – on the attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of the Arab enemy.
E. Jeffrey Ludwig is a Harvard Master Teacher who has taught at Harvard, Penn State, Juniata College, Boston State College, and at numerous secondary schools. He is a member of the Zionist Organization of America.