At a time when almost all politics seems polarized, there is a strange consensus around a failed policy, Caroline Glick writes in The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. The Israel Defense Force vet and Jerusalem Post columnist talks with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s your plea to readers disinclined to read The Israeli Solution, perhaps offended by the very suggestion of a one-state solution?
CAROLINE GLICK: If they are committed to making the Middle East a more stable, more peaceful region, then they need to think about why it keeps getting less stable and less peaceful even though the United States has made peace in the Middle East a key goal of its foreign policy for a generation. If they care about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, then they need to ask why, after 20 years of a peace process, there is no peace. They have to consider why the two-state-solution policy keeps failing, and ask themselves whether there might, after all, be a better way forward. This book asks those questions. And it gives answers. They may not like to ask these questions, or want to accept these answers. But if they really care about making the Middle East a safer and better place, and if they really care about peace between the Palestinians and Israel, then they owe it to themselves to read this book.
: What is the single most important fact for anyone considering Mideast policy to know?
GLICK: That everything is changing before our eyes. Borders are changing. The way people view each other and the way they see the world and their places in it is changing. Old convictions are being replaced by new ones. In Israel, we see this most vividly among Israeli Arabs who are abandoning their radical leaders in droves and striving to integrate fully into Israeli society, including through vastly increased enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces. Trying to fix problems with the same tools that have been used for the past three generations is like trying to stop up a sea with a wine cork. New thinking is required today more than ever before.
LOPEZ: How has Washington “willfully trampled its own most cherished values” when it comes to the Middle East?
GLICK: The main way that Washington has done so has been by making the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state on the west bank of the Jordan River and in Jerusalem the most urgent goal of its Middle East policy. Such a state would be a racist state whose rulers demand that it be ethnically cleansed of all Jewish presence before they will even accept independence. To advance this end, successive U.S. administrations have rejected Jews’ right to own property in the historic heartland of the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria and in much of Israel’s capital city. Aside from that, the Palestinian state the U.S. seeks to establish will be led by terrorists who continue to support terrorism and indoctrinate their people with genocidal Jew-hatred marinated in anti-Americanism.
In other words, the Palestinian state the U.S. seeks to establish is an affront to the moral foundations of the United States, and contradicts all of America’s core interests in the Middle East.
LOPEZ: How does “the two-state solution treat the Arabs and the broader Muslim world as objects to be acted upon rather than as actors whose actions, beliefs, and choices determine their fates”?
GLICK: The two-state-solution policy assumes not only that guilt for the 65-year Arab war on Israel lies solely or predominantly on Israel’s shoulders but that all Arab-related conflict too can be ascribed to the actions of Israel. The idea behind the policy model is that the root cause of instability in the region is the absence of a Palestinian state, and that the absence of a Palestinian state is Israel’s fault.
Former president Bill Clinton put it this way: The establishment of a Palestinian state would “take about half the impetus in the whole world — not just the region, the whole world — for terror away. It would have more impact than anything else that could be done.” And the party that most international actors view as guilty for the absence of a state of Palestine is Israel. Israel is blamed for the absence of that state because, in the common line of thinking, it refuses to give up sufficient quantities of land to the PLO to satisfy its leaders.
Now, if Israel is responsible for the terrorism — not just in the Middle East, but throughout the world — then there is no reason for anyone to think about anything that happens in the Arab world. Everything regionally and internationally will be better if Israel just straightens up and flies right. This is a shocking negation of Arab agency and humanity. If Israel is to blame, then why think about the treatment of women and girls in Arab societies? Why think about the endemic poverty, the illiteracy? Why think about jihad, and Islamic doctrines that preach it?
In other words, the two-state-solution policy, which places most of the blame for the pathologies of the Arab world on Israel, also ignores the Arab world, and so only harms the Arabs — and the U.S., which is basing its Middle East policy on pure nonsense.