From the library: “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East” by Caroline B. Glick

I’ve been reading this book off-and-on over this past week.  It isn’t the sort of can’t-put-it-down writing style that keeps you turning the pages, but here’s the main point:

The Palestinians simply have proven again and again that they will not make peace with the Israelis.  So often have they, and in particular Arafat and Abbas, acted in bad faith, rejected peace offers without even a counter-offer, continued to sponsor terrorist attacks even while proclaiming that they supported “peace,” propagandized, even and especially to children, in favor of terrorists and against Jews, that it is rank foolishness to believe that they are a “partner in peace.”  And yet the United States and Europe continue to support the PLO and the Palestinian Administration, and even accept Hamas.  What’s more, the PA is exceptionally corrupt and brutal.

Page after page, Glick recounts the PLOs misdeeds (and the missed opportunities to let them die, when the Lebanese expelled them and Reagan delusionally persuaded Tunesia to take them in, for instance, or when their prospects were dimmed by their mistaken support of Iraq in the first Gulf War, but Bush “rescued” them by supporting the “peace process” after the war).  It becomes quite depressing to see that everyone is so desperate for an agreement as to ignore the fact that the PLO’s goal is not a free Palestinian state, but the destruction of Israel.  What’s more, U.S. presidents have repeatedly convinced themselves that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in the form of a separate Palestinian state is the linchpin for peace in the Arab and Muslim world.

Glick’s solution?  Incorporate the West Bank into Israel itself.  Offer Palestinians citizenship if they wish it, but if not, apply Israeli law and, most important, Israeli legal protections in place of the corruption of the the PA.  The PLO and other sponsors of terror won’t like it, but the Israeli government will be able to destroy them anyway.  The other Arab states won’t like it, but they won’t intervene, and ultimately the Americans and Europeans will accept the Israeli action.

But – you say – isn’t a “one-state solution” demographic suicide?    Won’t the Arabs, both those now in Israeli and those in the Occupied Territories, outnumber the Jewish Israelis by virtue of their extremely high birthrates?  Glick disputes this.  First, she says, she has no interest in Gaza — that’s gone and never had any historic connection to Israel and a Jewish Homeland anyway.  And, second, the census which the Palestinian Authority conducted was fraudulent, both in double-counting, including Palestinians living outside the Gaza/West Bank borders (who Glick does not, of course, envision welcoming back), and exaggerated estimates for population growth.

Is she right?  The World Bank (see my links here) reports a very high TFR for the West Bank and Gaza, 4.0 children per women, which is clearly higher than Israel’s 3.0.  And I’ve read in the past that the West Bank and Gaza are like a welfare state gone amok, so much so that the people breed like rabbits, claiming additional “welfare money” for each new child, rather than needing to support their children themselves.  But Glick cites fertility rates for Gaza and the West Bank separately, in which the fertility rate for Gaza, at 4.57, is considerably higher than that of the West Bank, which is equal to that of Jews in Israel, both at 2.98.

In any event, her arguments are compelling, yet it’s difficult to imagine that she’d be listened to, that John Kerry, for instance, would move away from the “two-state” objective, and the “Israeli concessions will bring about Arab cooperation” strategy, especially in light of the “BDS” (Boycott, Divestiture, Sanctions) movement that’s gaining steam, for instance, at American universities and even with a resolution of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  But she is convincing when she says that this “two-state” strategy will fail, or, more accurately, will continually fail just as much as it has failed for the past decades, and that as long as the actors continue to pursue it, the next decades will be wasted every bit as much as the past.

Update 7/15/14:

Now we’re in the midst of another outbreak of slowly-simmering warfare between Israel and Gaza, and I find myself wondering:  are Gaza and the West Bank culturally the same, and the only reason why Gaza is launching rockets and the West Bank isn’t, is that Israel has left Gaza to its own devices but still has a military presence in the West Bank?  Or is Gaza historically, culturally, politically its own entity, so that it makes sense to think of it separately, with a separate solution for them (either nominal independence with a UN “peacekeeping” presence or annexation to Egypt) vs. for the West Bank?

Consider that, as of today, Egypt attempted to broker a cease-fire, which Israel accepted and Gaza/Hamas summarily rejected (reported by legalinsurrection.com, among others).  What else is there to do?

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