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Caroline Glick

phot by Rhonda Spivak

Temple Mount


by Rhonda Spivak, April 19, 2014

Caroline Glick outlined her proposal that Israel annex  Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) providing voting rights to Palestinians just as it did in East Jerusalem in her talk in Winnipeg for the Jewish Heritage Centre's Distinguished Kanee lecture on April 1, 2014 at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue.  Her proposal is that Israel not only annex the entire area of Judea and Samaria, extend Israeli sovereignty over these territories and apply Israeli law to them, but incorporate the Arab population there as permanent residents of Israel, and offer them a path to citizenship.

One of the central components of her argument is that in applying Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank is that Jews will comprise a demographic majority well in excess of 60%  (specifically 66% ) between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
Central to Glick 's proposal is her claim that the Palestinian population figures are greatly exaggerated, a claim that  is well supported in her in new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East
As Glick, the deputy managing editor and Senior columnist at the Jerusalem Post has written in her book, Israeli researchers have demonstrated that:
The 1997 Palestinian census was a fraud. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics [PCBS] had exaggerated the Palestinian population figures by nearly 50 percent, or 1.34 million people… First, it had inflated the existing Palestinian population base. In the 1997 census, the PCBS had included 325,000 Palestinians who lived abroad. It had also included 210,000 Arab residents in Jerusalem, who had already been accounted for in Israel’s population count.
The Palestinian census had included an additional 113,000 persons whose existence was not noted in the 1996 Israeli civil administration. When the data was compared to the voter base published by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC) in 1996 and 2005, the PCEC data substantiated the Israeli data. That is, the 113,000 people did not exist.
Taken together, these three moves increased the Palestinian base population by 648,000 people or approximately 27 percent. Imagine if the US Census Bureau had predicted that, in 2012, the United States would have a population base of 400 million, instead of its actual 2012 base size of 314 million. The second stage of the population inflation involved exaggerating future growth. First, it predicated the projections for future growth on a population base that — as we have seen — was massively inflated. Every annual growth assessment based on an inflated population model is necessarily false and inflated.
This fundamental problem was compounded by other factors. The PCBS inflated birthrates and massively inflated immigration rates. Moreover, it ignored the high numbers of Palestinians who immigrated to Israel by marrying Israeli citizens. All told, the PCBS census claimed that the compound annual growth rate of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was 4.75 percent — the highest population growth rate in the world. Significantly, just as the Palestinians were claiming to be the fastest-growing population in the world, the Arab world, and the larger Muslim world, were entering a period of unprecedented demographic contraction, even collapse.

Further according to Glick, as Palestinians continue to emigrate from the West Bank and Jewish immigration picks up, “some, such as Yoram Ettinger" anticipate that due almost entirely to Jewish immigration, Jews could comprise an 80 percent majority within the 1949 armistice lines and Judea and Samaria by 2035.” She referred to demographics as analyzed by Yoram Ettinger, and noted that former PA president Salam Fayyad has said that "We [the Palestinians] are destroying ourselves by immigration.

The more controversial part of Glick's talk was her claim that even if the demographic predictions she cited turned out to be less favourable, Israel would still be better having West Bank Palestinians " inside the tent, than outside the tent."

Glick really didn't have to convince me that the two state solution does not appear to be realistic in the near future given that the Palestinians are not ready to recognize a Jewish state nor are they interested in bringing about an end of the conflict. And she is, I fear, correct that if a Palestinian state were to arise in the West Bank today, it would become a terror state run by Hamas, and radical jihadi type Palestinians would emigrate there to use it as a base to attack and destroy Israel. I suspect she is correct when she said that if a Palestinian state were to arise it would be hostile to Israel--not one with peaceful intentions and that would be an existential threat to Israel. As Glick said, 

"You'd have a million Arabs coming in from UN camps controlled by Al-Queda. Would they be coming into Jenin, and Ramallah to sit under a grapevine and a date tree? No they'd be insisting on getting the Galil and Jaffa and Jeruslaem."

Of course, I can't help but think that if it were so easy for Israel's policy makers to annex  the West Bank, we wouldn't need Caroline Glick to suggest doing it. It would have happened already, long ago.  Remember that Israel has wanted to try to build in E1 thereby linking Ma'ale Adumim to Jerusalem, but hasn't managed over all these years to do so, in large part due to US and European opposition


In fact, Glick  really had no adequate answer to my question about  how it is that the United  States would go along with her proposal (because it wouldn't) and  as she spoke I was reminded of an article by former aide to Yitzhak Rabin Eitan Haber in the Times of Israel, 'When they become PM, they realize how utterly dependent Israel is on the US' | The Times of Israel . Haber spoke of how when Israeli politicians such as PM Benjamin Netanyahu become Prime Minister they understand close up how dependent Israel really is on the US. As he wrote:

"Slowly your tone changes, because you understand that without the spare parts [from the US], your entire air force is grounded. And when you have no air force you have no defenses. You can barely do anything without America. Her diplomatic support, defensive support, economic support. We are in America’s little pocket.”

I'm not suggesting that in her briefings on Capital Hill, US members of congress or Senate won't give Glick a polite hearing, but I would suggest that one of the reasons that the very far from perfect status quo in the territories has been going on for over 45 years is because the alternatives to it haven't proven to be any easier to engineer.

In a worthwhile article in the Jerusalem Post, Martin Sherman explains that he disagrees with Glick's proposal because he believes that it will result in the  “Lebanonization” of Israel. As he writes:

Implausible and imprudent
“Lebanonization,” as the noted New York Times columnist, the late William Safire, explained, refers to the [situation] within a single country so riven with religious and other disputes that [it] becomes impossible to govern”; and should be distinguished from “Balkanization,” which refers to splitting a country into several separate – usually rivalrous – countries.”

Were Glick’s prescription to be adopted, it is difficult to see how internecine inter-ethnic strife, which has become the hallmark of Israel’s northern neighbor, would not afflict Israel itself. Even if her demographic calculations are correct, it would induce almost intolerable pressures on the socioeconomic fabric of the country, were it to attempt to maintain itself as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Glick does seem to be aware, at least partially, of the severity of the problems implementation of her policy prescription is likely to generate. She writes: “The main price Israel will pay for applying its laws to Judea and Samaria… will be the demographic burden of increasing its potentially hostile Arab minority by 1.66 million people.”
Elsewhere she acknowledges that there will be an “initial shock that [Israel’s] economy will likely absorb following the sudden, steep rise in the number of applications for its welfare rolls after it grants permanent residency to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.”

But apart from glib acknowledgment of their existence, I could find no indication of how Glick proposes that the grave societal strains she mentions (and the many that she doesn’t) will be resolved, other than an expression of optimism that they will be.
It is difficult to avoid the impression that it is a proposal that is both implausible and imprudent. "


To read more of Sherman's article, click here:

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.