Caroline Glick, the popular conservative commentator for the Jerusalem Post, will launch her new manifesto, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, early next week. The book argues that Israel should abandon the faltering two-state solution and incorporate Judea and Samaria–i.e. the West Bank–into Israel, offering Israeli citizenship to its Palestinian residents and dissolving the Palestinian Authority.
The one-state model has typically been used by Israel’s critics as a threat, based on the idea that Arabs would soon outnumber Jews in the area, and that the only way Israel could maintain its Jewish character would be by casting aside its democratic system. Glick argues that Palestinian demographic statistics are bogus–especially once Gaza is left aside–and that Jewish Israelis would still hold a two-thirds majority inside the larger state.
The bulk of Glick’s argument is devoted to showing how efforts to create a Palestinian state have been a failure, largely due to the deliberate efforts of Yasser Arafat and his successors to exploit the peace process to expand their terrorist infrastructure and build their personal wealth. She adds that U.S. policy in the Middle East more broadly has suffered from the delusion that a Palestinian state is the missing ingredient for regional stability.
Glick slams the Obama administration–but she does not spare George W. Bush, either. In passages certain to spark debate, she argues that despite the rhetorical differences between Obama and Bush, their policy towards Israel is substantively the same because both pursued the creation of a Palestinian state, often at direct cost to both Israeli and American security. Obama’s foreign policy failures only highlight the need to change course.
There are precedents, Glick argues, for successfully integrating Arabs into Israel in the decades since 1967. One is the incorporation of East Jerusalem in 1967, where Arabs were offered Israeli citizenship, and the other is the de facto annexation of the Golan Heights. Though Palestinians have been indoctrinated to hate Israel, many also admire Israeli democracy, she says, and would be less prone to act violently under direct Israeli rule.
The only real demographic threat to Israel, she adds, is the one that will emerge if a Palestinian state is allowed to invite millions of “refugees” (or their descendants) into territories under its control. Indeed, throughout the book, while she acknowledges the diplomatic and practical challenges that a one-state solution would face, she argues that the status quo and the future of a two-state solution is no better and in many ways worse.
Glick’s book is timed to coincide with the annual Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which runs March 2-4. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be speaking at AIPAC, and will visit with President Barack Obama, who is reportedly planning to pressure Israel’s government to embrace a “framework” for the two-state solution more aggressively, though Palestinians have rejected it.
In the current political and diplomatic climate, with tensions between the U.S. and Israeli governments at their worst level in decades, and with the Obama administration pressuring Congress to ignore AIPAC’s appeals for a tougher stance against Iran, AIPAC’s agenda is uncertain and unclear. The Israeli Solution will bring the one-state alternative out of the margins and into the mainstream policy debate–whether AIPAC likes it, or not.