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.
U.S. and Israeli administrations alike have both spoken to the demographic disaster that will face the Israelis if they are to maintain the status quo given the growth rates of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Describe how Israel could go about absorbing mass numbers of Palestinians and still be a viable entity.
[sharequote align="right"]The demographic...argument that President Obama made...is based on a complete falsification of demographic data[/sharequote]
Glick: Well what we’re talking about is giving permanent residency status in the first instance to approximately 1.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank, and that in addition to about 1.6 million Arab Israeli citizens who already live in Israel would make Arabs jump to around 30-32% of Israel. The demographic argument that President Obama made most recently in his interview with Jeff Goldberg is based on a complete falsification of demographic data by the PLO in 1997 that inflated the base Palestinian population by 50% and then asserted birth rates that had no equal throughout the world for the Palestinians, when in fact there’d been a collapse of Palestinian fertility rates over the past 15 years along with the rest of the Muslim world, and on the other hand, at the same time, there’s been a steep rise in Jewish fertility rates in Israel. Israeli women moved from 2 to 3 children per woman, and the Palestinians are down to below 3 children per woman, which means that Israel has already outpaced the Palestinians on fertility. The base population of Jews is twice the base population for Arabs to begin with and they’re hemorrhaging immigrants. And Israel has high and rising immigration rights…so demography is actually Israel’s strongest suit and I would just add to that that the concept if you establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria that this is going to avert a demographic disaster even based on the false demographic numbers that people like President Obama are pushing is completely wrong because they’re saying that a sovereign Palestinian state in those areas will have the right to absorb millions of foreign-born hostile Arabs who live today in Palestinian and UN-administered refugee camps in places like Lebanon and Syria and Jordan, and these are terrorists. These are camps that are terrorist bases, run by terrorists, and so you’re talking about bringing in up to several million foreign Arabs into the Palestinian state. They will not be at peace with Israel and they will be using that area (even if local Palestinians didn’t want it to happen)…to make war against a shrunken Israel that would lack the basic capacity to defend itself because its borders would be so porous and indefensible. That would be the demographic disaster.
One of the points you make in your book that is often overlooked is that the living standards for Palestinians during times of relative peace has increased exponentially and at a disproportionate rate versus the rest of the Arab world. Speak a little bit to the narrative that the Palestinians have been “oppressed” since the creation of the state of Israel.
[sharequote align="left"]Under the PLO jackboot for...20 years the Palestinians...have lived...[under] the law of the jungle[/sharequote]
Glick: Well to a certain degree it’s true. But they haven’t been oppressed by Israel, they’ve been oppressed by Palestinian leaders and they’ve been oppressed by Arab leaders. The people who reside in those camps that I mentioned in places like Syria and Jordan and Lebanon have been denied the basic rights of citizenship that all other refugee populations are supposed to receive. They’ve been shunted from one place to another--in Lebanon they have no civil rights to speak of--they live under an apartheid regime where they’re not allowed entry into almost any profession in Lebanon and are therefore doomed to massive poverty – intergenerational poverty – as a consequence of this discriminatory policy against them. And they live in squalor and that is horrible. Under the PLO jackboot for the past 20 years the Palestinians of these areas have lived in an area ruled by the law of the jungle, by kleptomaniacs who have stolen billions of dollars in international aid funds that were supposed to go to building a state which their leaders of course were not interested in. And they’ve suffered torture and of mass privation. As a result of that the Christians for instance have been targeted. Bethlehem was majority Christian when Israel handed it over to the PLO in 1996 and today I think only 12% of Bethlehem is now Christian. Their property has been stolen, their stores have been taken over by people who have forced them to immigrate to other lands. So they have been oppressed. But just not by Israel. Israel is the only force in the area that has actually provided them with a good life, with rights, with the protections of a liberal legal code, with universal education. Israel built all of the Palestinian universities. During the years they lived under Israeli military rule from 1967 through 1996 the Palestinian growth rate – their economy was consistently one point above Israel’s growth rate. They were fully integrated into Israeli society. The big problem for the Palestinians began with the PLO’s entrée into the areas under the guise of the so-called peace process of 1994.
To this end, you cite a 2012 poll that showed that Palestinians are more strongly opposed to Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria than Israelis. Explain to Americans why that is.
Glick: Look at what happened in Gaza – when Israel left, Gaza became a jihad state. It’s a hub for global jihad – any semblance of residual civil rights is gone and the Palestinians who live in the West Bank don’t want that for themselves. They know exactly what happens -- the more PLO control over their lives, the less good their lives are, the poorer their lives are. This is why Israeli Arabs for instance when Israel began the negotiations with the PLO, for years they had never wanted to apply for Israeli citizenship. They had never done it. The number of Israeli Arabs who had applied for Israeli citizenship, you could almost count it on your fingers. And then suddenly they started lining up by the thousands outside of the Ministry of the Interior to apply for Israeli citizenship. You saw Christian Arabs in Jerusalem increasingly moving into Jewish neighborhoods and away from Arab neighborhoods because they were frightened and they didn’t want to risk living under the control of the PLO. And so the tendency to apply for Israeli citizenship rises with any expectation that Israel may abandon the lands and we’ve seen similar things happen with the Druze of the Golan Heights who were given a similarly permanent residence and status after Israel applied its laws there as well in 1981. So, they know exactly what Israel is. It’s also why the Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria oppose economic boycotts of Israel – and other political isolation of Israel that is being propounded by their leadership at their expense.
One of the things you speak to in your book is that the distinction between Presidents George W. Bush and Barck Obama is "rhetorical, not real." Many in the U.S. tend to think of Bush as being a strong, pro-Israeli figure, and Obama as being a hostile figure. Explain the “rhetorical, not real” phrase.
[sharequote align="center"]The two-state paradigm is inherently anti-Israel. It places all the blame for everything on the Jews[/sharequote]
Glick: I think it’s true that at base the inclination of President Bush was much more sympathetic towards Israel, and the basic inclination of President Obama is hostility, is to be hostile towards Israel. I think that is borne out now on a daily basis with all the actions that are being undertaken by the White House to downgrade Israel’s status in the United States. But on a substantive basis, the fact that President Bush embraced the two-state paradigm meant that overall his policy regarding Israel and the Middle East generally was based on and therefore advanced the cause of this pathological view of both Israel and the Middle East that discarded reality and so even at the time when Bush gave his most seemingly pro-Israel speech on June 24, 2002, in the midst of a massive terror campaign by the Palestinians, the points that he set out were substantively difficult to distinguish from the policies that Obama has laid out in some of the most anti-Israel speeches that he has given as president. Because if that’s the model, even if you support Israel on a sort of visceral level like I think Bush did, the policy that you end up advancing is necessarily anti-Israel because the two-state paradigm is inherently anti-Israel. It places all the blame for everything on the Jews.
You speak frequently in your book to the "Soviet-Arab anti-Israel" worldview. What does this view represent, and can you explain how the West came to espouse it?
Glick: As I explain in my book, after World War II it became sort of socially unacceptable to be anti-Semitic. But anti-Semitic feelings that formed the basis of the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the expansion of their ideology to many of the lands that they conquered during the war was based upon widespread hatred of Jews that had been existent in Europe for over 1,000 years. That hatred doesn’t go away overnight just because people are embarrassed suddenly at the site of death camps to express it in public. What the Soviets did in the late 1940s is they figured out a way to transpose Jew-hatred, which was politically unacceptable or socially unacceptable after World War II to anti-Zionism, so they simply made Zionism -- the Jewish national liberation movement -- the new Jew. We saw it already in expressions by Soviet leaders immediately after the war basically, but certainly from 1949 on it became a central narrative which is why leading Jews who were being purged by Stalin weren’t attacked for being “Jewish,” they were attacked as “Zionist.” The head of the Hungarian Communist party Rudolf Slansky and other Jews were sentenced to death and show trials in 1953 as Zionist agents, and it was clear to everybody that what they were were Jews, and that this was the beginning of a major campaign that Stalin would have enacted against the Jews in the Soviet sphere if he hadn’t died thankfully on Purim in 1953. So the Soviets took this and they said “Ok, if we say that Zionism is now the new repository of all of the things that everybody hates in the post-war era, specifically imperialism, racism – it won’t matter that Zionism was an anti-imperialist movement – that Zionists fought first the Ottoman Empire and then the British Empire to gain independence in those colonial possessions that had been granted to the Jews under international law as their sovereign state.” History as we know in the Soviet Union was one of the most malleable things in the world for them, and what they did was they said “No, we’re going to ignore everything and we’re going to take this Zionism and we’re going to pretend that it’s all of the things we struggle against in our war with the United States.” And so they began claiming that Israel is imperialist, Israel is colonialist, and all the rest. And it was very convenient because all of the passionate anti-Semitism the Europeans didn’t feel comfortable expressing any longer – they could put into this.
Arafat was the successor of Haj Amin al-Husseini who was the founder of Palestinian nationalism. Haj Amin al-Husseini in a way had an easier time than Arafat did as I explain in my book because he lived at a time when the fashionable position was Nazism. It was the default position of all of the bon ton to be a Nazi and to support the annihilation of the Jewish people. So anti-Semitism was an incredibly popular position to have in the 1930s when he was most active and rising in prominence, and so when he was calling for the annihilation of Jewry in the Arab world and the annihilation of the Jews in the Palestine mandate, there were a lot of people who thought that that made a lot of sense. And then Arafat came along in the 1950s when it’s no longer acceptable to say kill the Jews, slaughter the Jews, throw them all into the sea. So the Soviet sort of merging with the Arab nationalists through Nasser and then through Arafat after the Six Day War were able to take a position that was fundamentally at odds with the kind of zeitgeist of the 1950s of seeking the physical annihilation of the Jews and turn it into something that was politically and socially acceptable by claiming that it’s really an anti-colonialist movement, an anti-imperialist movement and that it’s not Jews per se, it’s Zionists. The fact that Zionists are Jews and all Jews as far as they’re concerned are Zionists is immaterial because what was important was to transpose it into something seemingly different and we see that now of course today has become really the new wave of anti-Semitism, Jew-hatred that is really spreading all over the Western world. And its again in this guise of anti-Zionism based upon such flimsy lies that the only way you can believe them is if it’s part of a basic belief structure of faith because there’s no basis for any of these efforts to malign Israel, in fact.
Bringing this forward to today, you speak to a refrain in President Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009 in which he refers to the “Muslim world.” In your book you describe this as an “Islamist concept,” (presumably referring to the ummah), and Obama’s use as signaling “an acceptance of the…view that all Muslims are motivated to act by the same totalitarian religious and political impulses that inform the actions of Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime.” Explain.
Glick: Obama is interesting because this whole – if the two-state paradigm is essentially saying we don’t have to think about anything it’s all Israel’s fault, the concept of the ummah is the flip side of that which goes in the same direction, it’s all Israel’s fault, but you don’t have to think about the Muslims, you don’t have to think about anything that’s happening in Cairo in Egyptian society. You don’t have to think about anything that’s happening in Syrian society, in Iraqi society, because everybody is part of an ummah. And there’s no distinction – a billion Arabs or Muslims worldwide have more in common that distinguishes them from one another because they’re all Muslim – that cancels the individual. That’s a very totalitarian way of looking at the world that we’re all the same simply because we share the same faith. It cancels individual will. So, if anti-Semitism at the base of the two-state solution that gets to blame the Jews for everything is also something that ends thought as opposed to enabling it, then the whole concept of the ummah as well is something that ends thought as opposed to enabling it. In both cases you’re told that you have an all-encompassing explanation for everything that happens or everything that ought to happen – what motivates individuals to act – that doesn’t require you to think at all.
Could Israel actually pursue the solution that you propose in an Obama age?
Glick: Well my column in tomorrow’s Jerusalem Post says that Obama left the door wide open to this in his interview with Jeff Golberg because he said “Nobody’s given us an alternative to this, and so you gotta do this because there’s no alternative.” Well no, that’s not true. I don’t know that Israel can go forward with anything like this with the Obama administration, but it can certainly prepare the ground for it – he’s not going to be president forever – because what Netanyahu I suggest in my article ought to do is say “Well, this is the alternative: applying Israeli law to all of these areas. Now I support a Palestinian state and two-state solution, however, we certainly have a viable alternative to it, so if they don’t want to give us an offer that we’re going to be able to live with then we’re just going to go our own way. It’s fine, don’t worry about us. We’re ok. And by the way your demographic statistics are complete lies.” You know if Netanyahu were to say that, he would be able to park Israel so to speak in a much better place vis-à-vis the Palestinians for the duration of the Obama administration than he can do without asserting this because we have to begin to change the discourse on the Palestinian conflict with Israel because the way that it is now is that nobody’s thinking at all. Israel’s friends are not thinking. Israel’s opponents are not thinking because everybody has agreed that Israel for demographic reasons which again are wholly false, needs a Palestinian state more than the PLO does, and therefore the terms of such an agreement that is reached between Israel and the PLO are far less important than actually reaching that agreement. Well that’s crazy, it’s not true. So simply by saying “Yes, actually you know, dear president, we have an alternative, and here let me just set it out, not saying that I’m adopting it, like I said it’s not the position of my government that this should go forward, but this is – you know two bills have been submitted to the Knesset in the current session calling for Israel to apply its laws to various parts of Judea and Samaria – this is the hot item in town. You know maybe you’re not paying attention to what’s going on but over half of my Knesset faction in the Likud supports this. One of our major coalition partners supports this, so yea we have an alternative. What do you think?”
On post-Obama U.S.-Israeli relations
Glick: Senate Democrats right now are beholden to Obama because they have the 2014 election cycle to think about. But I’m convinced that most Democrats support Israel. Most Democratic politicians support Israel. Right now they’re being cowed by the administration into supporting the administration against Israel, but after the 2014 elections I think that the Democrats are going to feel much freer to take independent stands on issues then they can now because Obama is going to determine who gets full financing for their election campaigns and all of the rest of it. But in 2016, the person who’s going to be calling the shots in the Democratic party is going to be the presidential nominee. It’s not going to be the lame duck president. So things are going to change in terms of the power equation that Democrats are going to be making after November and that is significant. The other significant thing is that the Republicans as well right now are veering between two policy paradigms of foreign policy-making that have been discredited by events. The first one is sort of the Rand Paul, neo-isolationism: Well that was discredited in 9/11, and everybody knows it, so he can get traction from time-to-time with people who are just fed up, but in general that’s not something that resonates with either the Republican Party or the general public in the United States as best as I can tell. People don’t want to get involved but they don’t want to close America off to the world and they understand that’s not a possibility – it’s not a real option…at base he is in the mind of the public the representative of the neo-isolationist policy school in the Republican Party. And on the other hand you have someone like Senator John McCain who supported the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt and supported the overthrow of Gadaffi in Libya because he has this sort of neo-conservative view -- sort of this pollyanish view of the prospects for liberal democracy taking seed in places where it has no roots, and so that was discredited by the Iraq War. McCain can make good points on this that or the other, but when his basic outlook is something the American people think failed in Iraq – rightly or wrongly believe failed in Iraq, it’s not something that’s going to capture the public’s attention or imagination.
But this book will – you know a policy that’s based on standing with America’s allies and trying to make them strong is possible and opposing America’s enemies, that’s just, in a way it’s obvious although it has not been the policy of any president in recent times. And so, Israel does not want American forces to be deployed in the Middle East to protect it – Israel has consistently rejected such proposals and I’ve always said “We’ll stand on our own two feet thank you very much for asking.” If America were to adapt this policy, it would save a half a billion dollars a year because it wouldn’t have to finance the Palestinian terrorist army any more – that would be a good thing – it’s a net savings. The United States is actually here required to do less, rather than more. It’s a policy model that the U.S. could easily adopt as well in places like Latin America and Asia. You want to scale back U.S. military involvement? Fine, then help the Japanese and the South Koreans defend themselves. It’s about being a good ally and I think that this is something that speaks to most people in the United States whether Democrats or Republicans. Americans are good and they want to do the right thing and they know that allies are better than enemies. This isn’t rocket science. This is schoolyard rules. If you’re good to your friends and bad to your enemies people will want to be your friends and they won’t want to be your enemies. Unfortunately that model has been turned on its head in recent times – people want to try to be too clever by half and they say, “Oh, well if we keep our allies at bay and we try to draw our enemies in then everybody will be happy, we’ll end up with some sort of happy equilibrium” – that never happens. When you empower your enemies your enemies become more powerful. When you weaken your allies they become weaker. And they still remain your allies on one hand and your enemies on the other hand, but you just weakened yourself by doing what you just did. Get it? So I think that this policy, although first and foremost the focus is of course Israel and the Palestinians, its ramifications are far wider and I would love it if it would be the basis for a renewed post-Obama U.S. foreign policy. I would love it for Israel. I would love it for America. I would love it for the rest of the free world that is now struggling under the shadow of Obama’s presidency.
Your solution requires an Israel with the ability and willingness to assert itself. Having worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his prior tenure in office, and understanding Israel’s internal politics well, and given Netanyahu’s prior land concessions and terrorists swaps, can he and would he the solution you propose in this book?
Glick: Well I know that Netanyahu believes in most of the points in the book, because he made most of the same points in his own books. These are the positions in terms of defending Israel’s rights and pointing out the fallacy of the concept of Palestinian nationalism from the get-go – these are arguments that Netanyahu has made throughout his life. In terms of where he is now politically and in relation to this, is he going to do this tomorrow? I doubt it. But this has become a very serious proposition in Israeli society and Israeli politics. The conversation in Israel began just a few years ago about this, so as demographic data began percolating deeper and deeper inside Israeli society, people got that the demographic time bomb is a dud and that it’s one of our chief assets, not liabilities. That opened the door for a conversation about what Israel’s assets are [with demographics being] one of the central points that has been presented by serious leaders in Israel. So I think that the internal politics of Israel are becoming prepared for this and I think that oddly or ironically one of the outcomes, one of the consequences of Obama’s hostility towards Israel, guarded hostility towards Israel is that for the first time in a generation, Israel has had to think about how to defend herself in the absence of American support. And this has had a liberating impact on the Israeli political discourse because America had sort of in a way…cultivated a welfare mentality among Israelis talking about Israel not as an ally but as Condi Rice used to say patronizingly as a “friend” or a “special relationship” which people said was so important and wonderful, but they didn’t call us an ally as a serious strategic ally – and the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a resolution saying that which was very important. And Israelis are now feeling it more than they had in the past because when you don’t have a very cushy kind of security blanket to hold on to or a safety net underneath you then you have to really think carefully about what your options are or what you can do or what you can’t do, what you can sacrifice or what you have to maintain and so I think that you know from that perspective Israelis are much more independent after six years of Obama or five-and-a-half years of Obama then we were when he took office, and that’s good.
On Israeli leftism…
Glick: …Well Americans almost only see Israeli leftists. Those are the people that are invited to speak and get op-eds in the major newspapers and speak for major audiences here because they reflect back the basic prejudices and notions that have become the bon ton here in America. So you know most Americans are not at all aware of what’s happening in Israel politically. Most Americans are not aware at all that the left in Israel has been completely marginalized. And their chances of getting elected to form a government are essentially zero. But they don’t recognize that because they’re not listening to mainstream Israeli politicians, they’re listening to much more marginal voices in Israeli politics and society so they have a distorted view.
One of the nefarious actions of the Obama administration in relation to Israel has been U.S. meddling on the ground to try to alter Israel's internal politics and undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu, as reflected in articles by yourself and Eli Lake. Can you talk a bit about what is going on internally and what the Obama administration is trying to do on the ground?
Glick: I think that they fundamentally didn’t understand what has happened in Israel over the past 20 years. When Rahm Emanuel was chief of staff when Obama first came into office he essentially said we’re going to overthrow Netanyahu…he made [some statement] indicating that they would overthrow Netanyahu in 2009 or 2010 just as the Clinton administration had done in 1999 when Clinton sent his election advisors – [James] Carville, [Robert] Shrum and [Stanley] Greenberg to Israel to oversee Ehud Barak’s election campaign for the 1999 elections. And really just took over the whole thing and Clinton’s behavior towards Netanyahu was essentially part of an overall campaign that they were managing to overthrow Netanyahu’s government – destabilize and then overthrow it, and replace it with Ehud Barak’s government. And Israel was in a much different place in 1999 then it is today, then it was in 2009. You know we hadn’t had the complete discreditation of the peace process, [Yitzak] Rabin’s assassination was a very fresh memory for most Israelis, and the left was able to “raise the bloody flag,” and Yasser Arafat hadn’t rejected Palestinian statehood and peace and opened up this massive terrorist campaign against Israel. He would only do that while [Ehud] Barak was Prime Minister in 2000. So you know none of the truly horrible things had happened and Israeli society was in a different place, but by 2009 when Obama came into office it wasn’t going to be possible to overthrow Netanyahu using the same strategies that they used in 1999 because Israeli society had moved on. We had not only suffered from the disillusionment with the concept of peace because we realized that the Palestinians were fundamentally dishonest about their intentions towards Israel but we also recognized we can’t even leave on our own. You know we tried it in Lebanon in 2000 and it blew up in our face and then five years later we did it again in Gaza and had by 2009 suffered over 13,000 missile strikes on Israel from Gaza. So you know Israeli society was in a different place then, and the Obama administration didn’t realize and so all of their tinkering with Israeli politics – it’s just not effective – every time that they’ve tried to weaken Netanyahu they’ve strengthened him. Every time that they’ve publicly humiliated him his polling numbers have gone up. Israelis are just not moved by the same things today that they were moved by when Clinton was president and so they’ve failed.
Make the case for why liberty-oriented Americans should care about Israel and why this plan is a pro-libertarian plan.
Glick: I mean if you don’t want the United States to have to deploy overseas, and what you want is for the United States to have the strongest allies possible because the stronger your allies are the less you actually have to do because they can actually fight their own battles, Israel is essentially the only U.S. ally I think in the world that has never asked the United States to fight a battle for it. Britain brought the United States into World War II to save it by the way. But Israel’s never done that. America hasn’t ever had to send troops into battle in order to protect Israel. To the contrary all they’ve had to do is ship weapons to Israel which Israel then knows how to shoot straight and it does and it wins. So I mean this policy of strengthening Israel enables the United States to further disengage from the Middle East in a way though that protects America’s interests.
The other thing is that you know Israel is a liberal democracy. It’s not a totalitarian dictatorship. It’s not some sort of wild-eyed military dictatorship or whatever. It’s a liberal democracy. All Israelis support the United States so you know that anybody who comes into office is going to be pro-American. It’s not like you have to worry that tomorrow Israel’s going to have an election and everybody’s gonna hate America. It just doesn’t happen that way, so you know everybody knows that the Middle East is horrible and everybody knows that the Middle East “Ugh, we don’t want to hear about it anymore.” So fine, the way not to hear about the Middle East is to enable America’s allies first and foremost Israel to take care of themselves.