Sarah: As the Israeli people are enduring a monumental crisis over the issue of judicial reform, we see that there are certain segments within the American Jewish Community, despite the fact that we do not put our lives on the line, we’re never asked to make the ultimate sacrifice for the survival of the state of Israel, pay taxes or vote, yet there are many American Jews who most assuredly have felt it was within their purview to weigh in on Israeli domestic issues. EMET has been very careful to know the distinction between what is within our purview as American Jews and what most assuredly is not. We do scrupulously look at detailed analyses of Iran, of Hezbollah, of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, what’s happening within Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and within Judea and Samaria, or the disputed territories. But we are careful, never, particularly in our meetings with policymakers on Capitol Hill, to cross the strong boundary lines of what is an internal Israeli domestic issue for Israelis to debate within their own body politic, and what is an American national security issue.
However, the acrimony that has unfortunately been filling the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has spilt over across the Atlantic. Far too many American Jews have categorically and publicly claimed that if Israel continues down this path, they can no longer support the one Jewish State we have had in our possession since the last 2000 years.
How did this all begin? EMET has always felt that the premises that have predicated the Oslo Accord were tragically flawed, that the two-state solution and the land for peace formula would not work with the population that teaches its children that all of Israel will be Palestine one day, that extols the virtue of being a Shihad or a murderer and that has posted lucrative rewards for murdering Jews. And those of us who have followed this closely have seen that the Palestinians have rejected incredibly generous offers time and time again, first made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on July 25th, 2000 to Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, and then an even more generous offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Mahmoud Abbas on September 16, 2008. And we have seen as the Palestinians continue to educate their children and teach them that all of the state of Israel will one day be Palestine, and reward terrorists with increasingly lucrative payments.
The Israeli public knows this. They are now experiencing a new wave of terrorism. Yesterday, in Ma’ale Adumim, a suburb right outside of Jerusalem, a Charis [?] wounded 6 people, leaving one in critical condition. And today, someone was stabbed in the Jordan Valley. There have been well over 1,670 innocent civilians killed in Israel since the beginning of the Oslo Accords, and the Israelis themselves have to live with this harsh reality and have rejected the established wisdom of the state department and the major bulk of the foreign policy establishment. Yet, American Jews in their comfortable homes, so remote from the seat of the conflict, feel entitled to weigh in. Why have American Jews clung to what I call the Oslo delusion to this fairytale-like version of reality that if Israel just gave enough land to the Palestinians, peace would suddenly break out all over the Middle East, not just between Israel and the Palestinians, and everyone would sing Kumbaya, contrary to that almost 30 years of empirical evidence on the ground?
There is no better person more qualified to be able to discuss this rupture in the opinions between the American Jewish and the Israeli population than our extremely courageous and brilliant speaker today, Caroline Glick. Caroline is no stranger to EMET. She’s a Senior Contributor and Editor at JNS and a Senior Columnist, not only at JNS but at Newsweek. She’s also a Diplomatic Commentary at Israel’s Channel 14. Caroline serves as a Senior Fellow for Middle East Affairs at that wonderful Center for Security Policy in Washington DC and is a lecturer at Israel’s College of Statecraft in Jerusalem. Caroline is the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East and Shackled Warrior: Israel and Global Jihad. Caroline is a widely sought-after lecturer and has briefed policymakers from Washington to Canberra, military commanders in Israel and the United States, and general audiences worldwide. She’s received multiple awards for her journalism. Caroline served as a captain in the IDF from 1994 to 1996 and was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the PLO. She also served as a System Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 1997 and 1998.
She didn’t write this but I know she was an embedded journalist and went to Iraq. Caroline, as I said, is the author of the One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East and Shackled Warrior– or The Israeli Solution: One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East and Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad. Caroline lives in a frat with her husband, Shimon Suisa, and their sons.
I’d like to start by thanking Caroline for the wonderful corpus of work she’s contributed to the debate, for her years and years of intelligent analysis and wisdom, and for having the courage to go against the grain of political correctness. Caroline, thank you so much.
Caroline, you recently wrote a chapter in Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser’s book Betrayal where you said, “The American Jewish communities embrace of the so-called two-state solution as its primary position on the Palestinian conflict with Israel has undermined communal efforts to provide a positive and sustainable non-religiously-based identity to American Jews of all ages. It has debilitated the community’s capacity to find anti-semitic assaults on its political power and the civil rights and human rights of American Jews.” Please explain this.
Caroline Glick: Well, thank you so much, Sarah. I appreciate both your opening remarks and obviously, your kind words about my own work. I just finished writing a magazine article for an Israeli magazine for next month, marking the 30th anniversary of the onset of the Oslo Process on September 13th, 1993 on the White House lawn. I’ve been following the so-called peace process, the Oslo Process, since its inception when I was an officer in the IDF at the time, and the IDF was called on to implement the plan to negotiate it, the plan that was set out as a stage plan for peace with the PLO between Israel and the PLO at the White House that day, 30 years ago. And as an officer in the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, I was appointed to be the coordinator of those negotiations. So, at the height of the Oslo Process from 1994 to 1996 when Israel and the PLO negotiated and implemented the most significant deals that emanated from that agreement from 1993, I was involved both with negotiating and drafting those agreements, and I was also involved in implementing them on the ground and helping to put together Israel’s negotiating positions.
So, I was a very central participant, although at a very junior level as a captain in the IDF at the time. And since I left the Army at the end of 1996, as you said, I subsequently went on and worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu in his first tenure, and I’ve been working as a commentator, as a writer, as an author, as a columnist since 2000. I think I’ve looked at every single aspect of Oslo, both from an Israeli perspective and a Palestinian perspective, as well as from an American perspective throughout the years at a very granular level. So, I think that I can consider myself an expert on the issue.
And in relation to the American Jewish Community, when Charles and Avi asked me to write an article about the failure of the American Jewish leadership, I didn’t want to get into, you know, ADL does this or the American Jewish Community does that. I think that the main problem that American Jews now face is a sort of overwhelming failure of every American Jewish organization, except for EMET and the ZOA, Camera, and some of the small organizations. But starting, I would say, first and foremost, with AIPAC. Every American Jewish organization, beginning in 1993, swallowed Oslo, Lockstock, and Barrel, and made the establishment of– or the first, the peace process, and then the establishment of a Palestinian State, the so-called two-state solution, the be-all and end-all of American Jewish political activism and the ultimate goal of the policy-making arm of the American Jewish Community vis-à-vis Washington, vis-à-vis its relations with Israel and inter-communal relations as well.
So, whether it’s CAJC or AIPAC or the ADL, or any other leading American Jewish organization that has an outsized voice, an American policy formulation, and in the discourse between American Jewry in Israel, absolutely, every major American organization that’s considered mainstream as opposed to, say, right-wing, not to mention left, embraced Oslo, embraced the peace process with the PLO that began in ’93. And the problem with that is that, at its base, the Oslo Paradigm is anti-semitic. It’s actually, I would say, and I’ll explain because it sounds bombastic, it’s arguably the most successful anti-semitic blood libel we’ve ever seen. Why do I say that? Oslo is premised on the idea that the Palestinian conflict with Israel is entirely wrapped up with the size of Israel, that Israel controls lands, Judea, and Samaria, in 1993, as well as the Gaza Strip that rightfully belongs to somebody else and it’s an occupier of those lands, that the Palestinians, the PLO has a better claim to sovereignty. And in fact, it has the only legitimate claim to sovereignty that became sort of the larger sense over the intervening 30 years.
And as a result, there’s a conflict. If Israel would simply quit Judea and Samaria in a final settlement, as well as the Temple Mount and large swaths of Northern, Southern, and Eastern Jerusalem, then there would be peace, not only between Israel and the Palestinians but throughout the Middle East. And so, Israel is actually responsible for the absence of peace not only between Israel and the Palestinians but actually between Israel and the wider Middle East. It’s responsible for the extremism that’s marked the Islamic world, particularly this was stated in the post-9/11 reality of the region repeatedly by people like Tony Blair and former President Bill Clinton, among others. So Israel became, as a result of Oslo, the scapegoat of the Middle East. That we were responsible because of our control over Judea and Samaria for all of the conflicts, and first and foremost, of course, the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
That’s the basic premise of Oslo, that’s the basic premise of Plan for Peace. That’s the basic premise of the two-state formula that envisions a Palestinian state on lands that Israel controls, and specific, very specific lands that Israel controls – Judea and Samaria, and Jerusalem. And these are specifically important because you cannot understand Jewish civilization, you cannot understand Jewish religion, you cannot understand Jewish history without recognizing that the cradle of all three of those is Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. All of Jewish history, almost all Jewish history in the Bible took place in those lands. The connection, the religious connection, the spiritual connection, and the national connection between the Jewish people through 2,000 years of dispersion to the land of Israel was wrapped up in the history of Jewish connection, settlement, and conquest of those areas at the time of the Bible.
So, the minute that you say that all of these areas are actually rightfully somebody else’s, the Palestinian’s and Israel’s continued presence in those areas is the cause of war, not only between the Palestinians and Israel but between Israel and the Arabs writ large, and among Arabs and themselves, because it causes extremism in their ranks. Then, you’re blaming the Jews for everything. When American Jews accepted this, they accepted this idea. Now, this idea came to an American Jewish community that in 1993, it was already in the throes of a deep and profound crisis of assimilation and crisis of identity. Intermarriage rates began rising precipitously in the 1980s. And in 1990, there was a survey of the American Jewish community that found, I think over 50% of American Jews by that time had begun intermarrying. So, you had already significant, in fact, a profound crisis of assimilation in the United States.
Certainly, when I was growing up in Chicago in the 1970s and the 1980s, and I think more widely since the Six-Day War in ’67, Zionism had been the basis of Jewish identity in the United States that was not Torah-based. So, the majority of American Jews by far, the vast overwhelming majority of American Jews, non-Orthodox, they’re conservative or reform or unaffiliated. And the Jewish identity of that overwhelming majority of American Jews was based on Zions.
We were taught in our Jewish Community about Israel and about the Zionist movement, about Jewish history and specifically Zionist history. And that formed the basis of a very, very powerful and a very, very strong and extremely positive Jewish identity for non-orthodox Jews in my community and in communities throughout the country. And some people were liberal and wanted to make territorial compromises, and some were more conservative and wanted to keep Sharm el-sheikh forever and wanted to take over Lebanon up to the Litani if they had that knowledge. But there was no polarization in the sense that American Jews thought that people who were more liberal in their view or more hawkish in their view were morally impaired. You really had a sense of common faith and of common destiny, and also of a common love for Israel and attachment to the state of Israel as the center of the Jewish world. I mean, American Jewish support for Israel was sort of the very strong bases foundation of the American Jewish identity, and it was a positive identity because Israel is positive, came slow in 1993, and said that Israel was born in the original sin[?] of occupation. Because why does Israel exist in Tel Aviv or in Haifa if it has no right to be in a frat or in Jerusalem, or in Shiloh, or in any of the areas or [inaudible] where our civilization took hold? How can you explain the existence of a Jewish state in areas that were part of Palestine?
If you can’t understand the importance of — or the rights of the Jews and the historical legitimacy of the Jews, and so, the more that Israel was blamed, the more the concept of a two-state solution and of the occupation, and of the fundamental illegitimacy of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem began to take hold among American Jews, the less American Jews were able to maintain Zionism as the basis of their identity, and other identities will put forward at the time, like the Holocaust, Holocaust Education began supplanting Zionist education and Jewish communities. You started seeing the massive construction of Holocaust memorials, and Holocaust museums all over the United States, starting with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial in the Washington Mall. And this was actually a deliberate act. It was to try to replace Israel with a Holocaust as the basis of a non-religious Jewish identity in the United States, and it’s impossible, largely because the Holocaust was not a Jewish event. I mean, Jews were the victims of somebody else’s actions, but it wasn’t a Jewish historical act. It was a historical act and historical crime of epic proportions that was carried out against the Jewish people, but it wasn’t a Jewish, it was a German event, it was a European event, and the Jews were the victims of that event. But you can’t compare from the perspective of a young Jewish person… what does it mean that you were victims of the Holocaust? What does it mean that 6 million Jews over there were killed? How does that impact you? And why should you be a Jew? Because you had a great-grandfather who died in Auschwitz? That’s not a sustainable concept for maintaining a Jewish identity over time because it doesn’t give you anything to feel attached to, it just makes you sad. And so, while you can be sad, and we hear a lot of young Jews talking about how they support Israel because of the Holocaust, this is not a sustainable identity, and it’s also not a relevant claim for justice for a country. Because if Israel has been stolen away from its rightful owners who are Palestinians, who cares that your great-grandfather was killed in Auschwitz? That doesn’t have any application or bearing on what’s happening in the Middle East today. If Israel is carrying out genocide against the indigenous Palestinian people, then who cares? Because the Holocaust didn’t happen to a nation, and that nation doesn’t have a homeland, that nation is evil, it’s a group of individuals who purloined and stole lands belonging to somebody else.
So, the Holocaust was supposed to supplant Zionism as the basis of a non-religious Jewish identity in the United States, but it’s incapable of doing. And so, you go back to Zionism, and then you look at something like J Street. The first people who were supposed to be able to go to the mattresses essentially against J Street, of course, was AIPAC. Because J Street was launched as a means to disenfranchise American Jews who support Israel by going after AIPAC, which was perceived as the main organ for the exp– or main expression of Jewish political power in the United States.
And AIPAC refused to reassess after the Camp David Accord at the beginning of the Palestinian Terror war against Israel in 2000. They support the establishment of a Palestinian state. In fact, they went into an open battle with Netanyahu in 2009 when they insisted on maintaining their slavish devotion to this two-state solution, when he wanted to abandon it, and they refused.
J Street, I would argue, is the entirely logical progression from Oslo because if Israel was born in– if there is no peace in the Middle East because Israel supports or maintains its control over Judea and Samaria and allows Jews to live there, and the same goes for United Jerusalem, then to be pro-Israel means to be anti-Israel. Because you’re trying to expiate its guilt. You’re trying to take away the original [inaudible] by compelling Israel to own up, to confess, to make right its crime against the Palestinian people. And if Jews in the United States are taught that the be-all and end-all of Israel supporting the establishment of a Palestinian State, then they’re being told that Zionism is actually anti-Zionism.
So, it makes perfect sense for an American Jewish student at a university who has been raised with the idea that Israel is synonymous with or only is correct when it aligns with the two-state solution. Then, why would they join a ZOA chapter on campus? They should join J Street U because that aligns with what they’ve been told. So, it makes sense. And AIPAC’s inability to understand the anti-Semitic slander at the base of the two-state solution, and its maintenance of allegiance to this concept, to this policy paradigm, has paralyzed it. And it can’t do anything and it’s not. Because in the end, it’s the same thing that happened to us and Israel, right?
Shimon Peres said, after [inaudible], that we didn’t need [inaudible] anymore because peace was the most important [inaudible], and he prohibited Israeli embassies abroad to talk about the fact that the PLO is a terrorist organization or that it rejects the existence of the Jewish people, of Jewish history, of the rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel anywhere. These were things that Israeli diplomats were saying as a matter of course beforehand and handing out copies of the PLO charter that make that very clear. The same thing, he said, we don’t have to talk about the justice of Zionism because the best [inaudible], he said, was peace. That would have been fine if the Palestinians had agreed with that, but the PLO went out and used the legitimacy that Israel gave to them at ASLO and waged a political war against Israel, saying that “we’re illegitimate and we’re a racist apartheid state,” and they’re the real Jews and we’re the real Romans or Nazis, and that’s just the way it is.
So, it would have been fine if the Palestinians had been genuine. I would actually argue it would have been fine. But all the segments would be… It wouldn’t be so devastating if it hadn’t all been alive from the Palestinian perspective, but it was. So, Israeli diplomats, like American Jewish leaders, were left with saying, “Well, we’re pro-peace.” The Palestinians would say, “You stole our land in Israel.” They would just say, “We just want peace, and we’re only in Judea and Samaria because we need to defend ourselves. But the moment that you stop terrorism, we’ll leave.” But if it’s not ours, to begin with, why should anybody care about your security any more than they care about the fact that your grandfather died in Auschwitz? It’s not yours. So, it all goes back to that, and then that leads to the final point that I made in my chapter in the book, which I think is a very important book.
I said, look, American Jews, you know, we keep talking about, we keep seeing the rising levels of anti-Semitism and the most politically powerful and devastating form of anti-Semitism that American Jews have really faced since the Holocaust, since Father Coughlin and all the rest of them, and Charles Lindbergh, is anti-zionism.
But again, how do you even recognize that anti-zionism that is pushing American Jews out of the public sphere? Of course, on almost every single college campus in the United States today, 30 years after Oslo, but also increasingly out of corporate America. How do you fight these allegations or out of Hollywood, I mean, anybody who hasn’t read it already should read an article that came out in Tablet Magazine last week called The Vanishing Jew or The Vanishing, about the expulsion of Jews from the public sphere in the United States. And you see, you know, you can’t fight it if you don’t recognize that the Palestinian national narrative is, A, a lie, and B, an anti-Semitic blood libel. And you cannot understand either of those things if you continue to propound the fiction that the only way to reach peace in the Middle East is by Israel withdrawing from Judea and Samaria, and most importantly, that Israel’s the occupier of Judea and Samaria, that Israel is the occupier of Jerusalem. If you accept these basic facts, and the vast majority of the American Jewish community does, and they’ve been trained to do so by the Jewish institutions, by Jewish Day schools, by Jewish Hebrew schools, by synagogues, by the ground-level people that meet young Jews, old Jews, middle-aged Jews in America, and they’re being told that the basis of a healthy Jewish identity that was able to sustain a non-religious or at least an unorthodox American Jewish Community until 1993 is no longer politically acceptable. And it replaced it with nothing, it replaced it with self-hatred. And so, you cannot fight anti-Semitism if you maintain devotion to the paradigm at the heart of Oslo. That there’s something morally compromised about the Jewish State.
The last thing that I’ll say about that is, you know, Peter Beinart is an interesting person to think about, and I was just thinking about him this morning as I was preparing for my remarks. When he started out with his support for BDS, he tried to make a distinction between his support for BDS, which he said only related to Jews in Judea and Samaria, and arguably, Jerusalem, I assume he said as well, but certainly Judea and Samaria, the settlement. But within a year, he abandoned that position and supported BDS against all of Israel. And within two years, he wrote an article explaining why he is an anti-zionist, no longer a Zionist, the same thing. And now, he calls for the annihilation, the end of Israel’s identity as a Jewish State. Because he doesn’t accept it. Because that’s the whole thing, again, if Judea and Samaria, then Tel Aviv– I mean, we just marked the 18th anniversary of the expulsion from Gaza. I wrote an article about it in [inaudible] that I felt was important and you might want to take a look at it. I don’t usually [crosstalk] about my work. But we were by Sharone in the 2003 elections before, you know, and turned against his voters, they said that the fate of Tel Aviv is the same as the fate of the most isolated community in Gaza, which was [foreign language]. He said, “[foreign language].” He actually said, “[foreign language].” Because in 1948, [foreign language] was the southernmost community in Israel and it was initially overrun by the Egyptian Army. And the idea was that without this, you can’t defend them. And that if [foreign language] falls in the 2000s as then the Head of the Labour party Wanted, then Tel Aviv would be at risk.
Now, [inaudible] completely changed his view, but he was right. His initial warning bore up because today, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, frat, all the terrorist organizations operating in Hamas, controlled Gaza, have the means to shoot missiles at Tel Aviv. And so, he was right. And here, it’s the same thing with denying, rejecting out-of-hand[?] Israel’s history, the Jewish people’s history in Judea and Samaria. If you don’t have history and you don’t have legitimacy, and all of the justice is on the Palestinian side in relation to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, then obviously, Haifa’s on the boards too. I mean, you cannot limit anti-zionism to specific areas of Israel. It’s an all-or-nothing prospect. And anybody who argued differently in the past has been proven wrong by events over the past 30 years.
My appeal, really, to American Jews is to abandon the two-state formula. Okay, one last, last thing on that, you know, Israelis became disaffected or convinced. I mean, Israelis were always opposed to a Palestinian State until 1993, and Robyn only received majority support for it because they added the Arabs. There was never a Jewish majority in support of Oslo until after he was murdered. And then, that majority lasted for a very, very short time because of Palestinian terrorism. At any rate, after the Palestinians went to Gera[?] war with Israel in 2000, and openly were calling for Jihad.
The support for a Palestinian State among Israelis, at least for a while, is in single digits. And now, it’s higher, but again, you don’t have majority support among Israeli Jews for that. And on the other hand, you have this massive disparity because the polling data on American Jews year after year shows that the overwhelming majority of American Jews do support it. And then they look at this disparity, they being American Jewish leaders, Israeli leftists, to blame the Israeli people for the fracture in Israel’s relations with the American Jewish community. But my fundamental point is that maintaining devotion to the Oslo precepts, to the Oslo premise, has caused massive damage in Israel. We’re barely out of it. I would say we’re still in it, and we see it today in the streets, and what Sarah was mentioning in her opening remarks. We have our elites are still as devoted to the Oslo concepts as an overwhelming majority of American Jews are, and it’s tearing Israel apart. But the American Jewish community is in an existential crisis today because you’re assimilating so quickly. And of course, you are because the two-state solution is– it’s not just that it doesn’t block assimilation, it almost requires it. Because if the basis of your identity is evil, you don’t care about the Torah, you don’t look at it as a guidebook for life, that’s not the basis of your Jewish identity, your Jewish identity for generations was Zionism, that’s going to… And, in fact, it was replaced and supplanted by anti-zionism in the guise of peace.
So, if now, your Zionism is anti-Semitic, obviously, you want to join J Street and assimilate because there’s no point in being a Jew anymore. This is something that anybody concerned with the survival, and the political rights, security, and future of American Jews in America should be concerned with and should revisit this basic idea.
So, thank you very much for your attention today. I have a couple of minutes for a few questions if you have any more [crosstalk].
Sarah: I just want to offer a few questions. One is, what has always amazed me is the total lack of agency on the part of the Palestinians. When Oslo was first presented, there were a series of commitments that they had agreed to, you know, first and foremost was to stop the incitement to terrorism and to stop the terrorism. Another thing, like, collecting all the rifles. I mean, it was just– all of these things have been totally overlooked and ignored, and the only agency seems to be on the Israelis to withdraw. And that’s the only thing that people remember. This was not supposed to have been a time or calendar-drawn commitment, but a kind of commitment on both sides. Yet, everybody forgets, seems they’ve conveniently forgotten about the responsibilities that the Palestinian side has. Can you comment on that?
Caroline: When I was working with Netanyahu in his first 10 years, his first term of office in the 1990s, this was his position of reciprocity, they’ll get if they give. Like you said, at the time, there were the Palestinian Security Forces, they were limited in number, and the actual number, by the agreement, the agreement stipulated precise numbers down to the unit of how many security forces could be brought into the Palestinian security forces that were formed as a result of the Oslo Accords. And they had twice and three times that number. They were inciting to murder. The truth is the Palestinian Authority, and this I saw also when I was an officer, was that I took on myself because nobody wanted to know. I was distributing, I was writing and distributing to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Head of the Shabak, the Head of Military Intelligence, and everybody else who was relevant to the discussion. Every three weeks, I would put out these reports of Palestinian breaches of the agreement, at least from the civil perspective because I was the officer coordinator of government activity. So, it was the civil aspect.
And all of these were methodical. They were strategic and they were all-encompassing. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO literally kept none of their substantive commitments to Israel at any point in the implementation of the Oslo Accords. To the contrary, they deliberately breached them because that was all the point. It was never true. It was all a lie. And every agency, every ministry, every media organ, every hospital, every school, every nursery, every mosque, every channel of human endeavour inside of the Palestinian Authority from its inception in 1994 and similar or precisely identical to the PLO itself was conceived and operated as agents and organs for the dissemination of genocidal anti-Semitism, and towards the liquidation of the state of Israel at every level. And nobody wanted to look at these. And so, when Netanyahu came into office, he talked for the first time about Palestinian breaches of the agreement, and he went through, and he said, “I’m not giving them anything until they start implementing.” But that made everybody angry and said that he was an enemy of peace because he wasn’t joining the Peace Train, and the Peace Train was based on all of these fictions. And if he doesn’t accept these fictions and he’s keeping– there’s no wink- wink, nod-nod in his relations with the PLO, then he’s not getting with the program because the whole program was wink-wink, nod-nod. And he wouldn’t take it. This was his view, this has been his view throughout.
Sharon, for a while, had this view as well, but he limited [inaudible], didn’t say you have to keep all of the agreements. He didn’t say, you know, you have to have mandatory, compulsory car insurance for all the road rage of Palestinians directed against Israeli drivers on the roads [inaudible]. He didn’t do all of these things that were sort of the obligations under the civil agreement. He said, “We want one day without terrorism. Give me one day without terrorism, and I’ll do A, B and C.” And we never got it. And that was all he asked. It was like Weizmann who said, “Give me Israel the size of a tablecloth. If you accept that, then I’ll write[?] yes.” Because the whole concept was they don’t accept Israel’s right to exist. And it’s the same thing here.
I mean, [crosstalk] the concept– just [inaudible] for one second. The concept was, of course, the Palestinians are objects. If all of the guilt for the absence of peace lies on Israel’s shoulders, then who cares what the Palestinians do? I mean, again, the basic foundation of Oslo is that Israel is at fault, Israel is to blame, Israel is responsible. And as a result, nothing that the PLO does matters.
Sarah: Yeah. And I’m sure you’ve seen the polling from [inaudible] Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research of July 27th, where it said, fully 87% of Palestinians believe that the PA has no right to arrest other members of terrorist groups in order to prevent them from carrying out attacks against Israel. And we know that Mahmoud Abbas has been in his 18th year of a four-year term now, and is in ill health, and that Palestinian Street is basically being governed by Iranian-backed terrorist groups. So, do most Israeli Jews understand this? And why do most American Jews fail to understand this?
Caroline: Most of the Israeli Jews understand that. Most of the Israelis refused to reconcile with it. I would argue, I mean… again, you’re always under the influence of the last thing you wrote, and I just wrote this magazine or article in Hebrew, so I apologize, you won’t see it. But I’ll probably be writing about it again next month in [inaudible]. Anyway, everybody’s talking now that everything that we’re seeing on the street, they left insurgency against the government, and no call for rebellion and civil war is over judicial reform. But the truth is… My view of the Jews is that we’re tribal people, and that’s great. If anybody wants to celebrate diversity, they should be celebrating the diversity of the tribes of Israel. But what always held us together is our common values, common beliefs, common history, common recognition of our common history.
What we’ve seen with the Israeli elites, if you want to call them a tribe, these Ashkenazic secular Jews who, due to Oslo, are also increasingly… and have been for quite some time anti-zionist, is that they reject all the other tribes. That’s why we’re seeing so much racism being expressed by the heads of the rebellion, you know, the way that they talk about Moroccan Jews, the way that they talk about religious Jews, ultra-orthodox Jews, I mean, it’s anti-Semitic in many cases. We had a supermodel turned television anchor, morning news show host, call ultra-orthodox Jews bloodsuckers just a few weeks ago, or like a month and a half ago, and she wasn’t fired. She wasn’t even disciplined. That’s the thing. These kinds of remarks are made all the time now on Israeli television by members of this tribe. You know, call for a tax revolt for pulling their money out, they’re lobbying the US to isolate Israel, they’re lobbying Moody’s to lower credit rating, and they’re talking about capital flight, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
You have this rejection, and that rejection that we’re seeing now in such a [inaudible] way, you can really date it back to Oslo. That the minute that they embraced this narrative that places the onus for the absence of peace on Israel and accepted this narrative that’s completely fictional about the nature of the PLO, that it’s a former terrorist organization, that it never abandoned terrorism, and that Israel is to blame for the conflict. Just like it said, Peter Beinart was on a course that led to his announcement that he doesn’t support the continued existence of the Jewish state. So, it’s the same thing for them. And since they wield so much power in Israel, it’s been quite devastating for us.
Sarah: Okay. Well, if the Gaza withdrawal and all of the thousands of ensuing missiles and rockets that have rained onto Jewish communities, since then, have not taught either the Israeli Jewish population or the American Jewish population the fault, the flaws, and failed paradigm of land-for-peace, is there anything that can, is there any way of coming back from this route?
Caroline: I think that the answer is, you know, from Israel’s perspective, the reason why this particular tribe is so powerful is because they put up barriers to competition, barriers to entrance into senior ranks of the public service that make it all a closed club. And so, the judicial reform that’s now on the table is an existential threat to this tribe’s ability to wage war on the rest of the people of Israel because their power is based on barriers to trade, barriers to entry into international markets that they have laid on other people so that they can maintain their dominant position in the Israeli economy, in the high-tech and banking sectors, particularly, and then in the Judiciary and in the state prosecution, in the finance ministry, and in other key bureaucracy is inside of Israel’s government or public service. So, the idea here is democracy, right? I mean, the basic idea is that if you have equal opportunity among Israelis, then the weird situation we’re saying now, over 90% of retired generals are on the far left, and those who are in the center tend to gravitate towards the far left anyway for social reasons, that would be ended. The fact that there’s an absolute majority of radical, arguably anti-zionist justices on our Supreme Court would be remedied. The fact that you have an absolute majority of radical leftists in the state prosecution who view their power as a political tool, would be ended.
So, the idea of the reform is to open up these particular places, and really all areas of human endeavour in Israel, to everyone, and then let everybody just compete. The same thing, obviously, with the media.
Sarah: All right. And I’m sorry that we’ve run over before Hussein, my amazing colleague, has the ability to run through the questions that have been posed by the audience and perhaps pose a few excellent questions of his own. Hussein?
Hussein: Thank you very much, Sarah. And thank you very much, Caroline. This has been truly an informative webinar. I think after the recording is up, I’m going to go ahead and send it to everybody I know. I believe it’s very important for a lot of people to hear what we discussed here. I want to apologize in advance to all our audience who send us a lot of questions. It’s clear, we’re not going to be able to get through all of them, but I’ll do my best in order to ask a lot. Caroline, one of the very recurrent questions that we received right now is asking about, “Okay, no two-state solution, then what?” A lot of people ask this question. If you’re not for the two-state solution, what is the alternative?
Caroline: Okay. There are various alternatives. I wrote my Israeli solution where I called for Israel to apply its law over all of the [inaudible] Samaria. Right now, I’m not sure that I would call for that because we’re seeing, as a result of the Palestinian Authority, a lot of the radicalization of the Israeli Arab community. When I wrote the book in 2013, because of the civil war in Syria and particularly, Israeli Arabs were on mass integrating into Israeli society, sending their children to Hebrew language schools, sending their children to perform national service or be conscripted into the IDF. That trend was reversed over the ensuing decade. And Israeli Arabs today, as we saw in Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021, are now a fifth column inside of Israel, and the military planners now assess that in the event of another major war, either with the Palestinians or with Hezbollah or a multi-front war, that Israeli Arabs will participate on the side of Israel’s enemies in a way that may eclipse what we saw in 2021 when they carried out pogroms against the Jews in mixed Arab-Israeli cities, and on the highways, among other places.
So, in light of this situation, I think that the best way to look at the conflict is to take what we have now from Oslo, which is Palestinian autonomy, Allah[?] Camp David, effective in Judea and Samaria. Ninety-nine per cent of Palestinians has lived under Palestinian governance since 1996 when Israel withdrew from all of the major Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria, in 1997, that included as well, have grown. And I think that we should allow the leadership of those areas to devolve to the local residents. So, the dissolution after the death of Mahmoud Abbas of Palestinian Authority and the devolution of local governing responsibility to the people, the residents of the area as well, will want, and obviously, Israel will have overall governing responsibility, will maintain and expand what has already been lost to our control of area C, and will apply our law to area C, which is where a very small minority of the Palestinians live, and where all of these Israelis in Judea and Samaria live, to the international boundary with Jordan, the Jordan Valley, the Samarian mountain range, the South [inaudible] hill, so that will have defensible borders for the long term. So, that, to me, right now, is the best long-term parking space for contending with this conflict, which is, again, about a population that rejects the Jewish State’s right to exist and the very existence of the Jewish people.
Hussein: A follow-up to this question that I received from a couple of our listeners. All right. So, if we abandon the two-state paradigm and admit a much more complicated reality, isn’t it simply walking right into Israel is an apartheid narrative?
Caroline: No, because that narrative itself is based on lies. I mean, Israel is not an apartheid state. At a minimum, that’s something that American Jews have been capable of arguing. Although increasingly fed by propaganda from Israeli leftists, they’re now having more difficulty doing so. The facts point to the conclusion that Israel’s the exact opposite of an apartheid state. And the apartheid state in this question, of course, is the Palestinian authority because any Jew who enters the area is under its control. It’s taking its life in his hands, and it’s just stupid, which is why we’re banned by law from entering any areas that are under the security control of the Palestinian authority.
So, I think that the apartheid canard is easy to show as false. I think what it will do, though, if we abandon Oslo, is that it enables us to stop pretending that our rights are unimportant or that justice isn’t on our side. I think the most important thing from an American Jewish perspective is to restore Zionist education of American Jews, American Jewish children, American Jewish communities. I think that’s the most important thing. Stop pretending, stop apologizing for the Jewish State, start being proud of it. I mean, this is the basis of a healthy non-Torah-based Jewish identity that can be sustained into the next generations. If you want to preserve the American Jewish community in any coherent form and protect American Jewish civil rights, that act, that success, begins with recognizing that we are not the villains of our own story. We’re the heroes of our story. And we have to revel[?] in that because we have a beautiful history, and it’s sick and evil that we’re rejecting this basic truth about who we are and the justice of our identity and of our people. It’s sick. And it has to end. Otherwise, there will be no Jewish community here. Period.
Hussein: Thank you very much. We’re running out of time, and I want to pose this again to all of our audience. We have this very quickly, some of our listeners asked for the name of the Hebrew article and where they could find it.
Caroline: No, it’s not online. Channel 14 has a weekly magazine, a monthly magazine that comes out, it is to try to get people to subscribe. So, they don’t put it online. But I’ll have it. They’ll send me the proofs, and I’ll put it on my Twitter page and my Facebook page. So, if you want to read it in Hebrew, I’ll be posting it there when the magazine comes up.
Hussein: Thank you. The last question I’m going to [inaudible] listeners and take a prerogative. I want to ask you about the last part [crosstalk]
Caroline: Wait, were you the one who wrote the article about Robert Malley?
Caroline: That’s a fantastic article. And I didn’t see your byline, but I wrote a whole column about it.
Hussein: Thank you.
Caroline: That was an incredibly important contribution. Good for you.
Hussein: Thank you. Thank you very much. About [inaudible], me, personally, I’m not Jewish but I’ve been involved in the American Jewish world for quite some time. I’ve worked in [crosstalk]
Caroline: You play one on TV.
Hussein: Yeah. I’ve worked in many educational capacities with many organizations to go to high schools, campuses, [inaudible] communities, and talk to a lot of young Jews. The last part that you spoke, my own experience, that you spoke about, is absolutely true. There is a problem that alarming even to me about the certainty of the Jewish identity of young American Jews today, given the amount of vilification of Zionism, and given that a lot of them are internalized, you know, liberal secular ethos, and it’s hard for them to go to a Thora-based Jewish identity. What you suggest, what you demanded, which I think is the right thing, more Zionist education, how can this happen, given the circumstances in the Jewish community that you just actually talked about, the problems with the big Jewish organizations?
I remember, for example, when StandWithUs tried to get me to Jewish schools, many times, it was a battle for the school to have a Zionist speaker inside the school. How could this be challenged, and I think, in order to have substantive time [inaudible]?
Caroline: I think it has to start in the home. I mean, frankly, I don’t trust any of these organizations. Look, StandWithUs hasn’t invited me to speak at any of their events for over 15 years, I would assume, because their donors don’t like me. I mean, good for you, at least they’re trying to have you come places because, you know, somebody– because myself, not somebody like me, I’m not acceptable, which is pretty amazing.
I remember I was really actually touched by this many, many years ago, close to 20. I’m supposed to go and speak to the ZOA in Michigan, in the fall, and I’m looking forward to it. Because the last time that I was there, might have been when my first book came out in 2008, I don’t remember anymore. But at my house, there was a man whose name I don’t remember, but he was a father and he was raising his kids. And he told me that every week, he found another Jewish hero and he would print out a story about him and they read it at the table at Shabak. And I thought that that was just extraordinary. Because here was this guy, he wasn’t religious, he was a devoted Jew and he wanted to give his children a healthy Jewish identity. And there are innumerable Jewish heroes throughout the ages. And again, if we’re the villains of our story, of course, we’re being denied and denying knowledge of our heroes to our children. So, I think that Jewish parents and Jewish grandparents should be teaching their children. It all begins with the home. And from that, you know, emanates out. But when you have philanthropists that dominate the operations of major Jewish organizations in the United States, who are banning speech, who are banning Zionism in the name of support for a two-state solution, from Jewish schools, from Jewish day schools, from Jewish Sunday schools, from synagogues, from communities, then the only place that you can get any results is in your own home, and you should do that. Because otherwise, you’re stealing from your children, you’re denying them their identity, you’re denying them the truth about what it means to be a Jew, and that’s not right. And anybody who does that should be embarrassed, and anybody who acts like that father in Michigan is a hero in my book.
Sarah: All right, speaking of heroes, Caroline Glick, you will always be a personal hero or heroine of mine.
Caroline: And you as mine[?].
Sarah: Really? Thank you so much. You have been on the front lines in the battle of ideas, whether in the United States, in the various countries that you speak in, in the Israeli Knesset, on Israeli television, radio, and newspapers. And I can’t thank you enough.
Finally, I have to say that if you enjoy these programs, and that really does need your support, we are combating a world of misinformation about Israel and the Jewish people. And every single day, we are on Capitol Hill, meeting with policymakers who have grown to trust AMET to provide them with accurate facts and deep-delving analysis of what’s going on in the Middle East. And we couldn’t do this without the support of our viewers. So, please, we not only have these incredibly important webinars with incredibly informed, brilliant people like Caroline Glick, but we have many other responsibilities that we take very, very seriously to carry the torch of truth for the Jewish people. So, I really do ask you to make as much of a contribution as any of you can comfortably do to the best of your ability to AMET. And please go to www.ametonline.org. And next week, we will have our very own Lori Reagan, we’ll be interviewing Avi Bell and Jonathan Tobin about the very contentious issue of judicial reform. So, tune in at the same time next week. And thanks again, Caroline Glick, for all that you do.
Caroline: Thank you. [foreign language] Bye.
Sarah: [foreign language] Bye.
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