The Jerusalem Post's senior contributing editor discusses Israel's only viable path to peace.
Editor's note: Below are the video and transcript of Caroline Glick's remarks to the Freedom Center's March 25, 2014 gathering of the Wednesday Morning Club.
To order Glick's new book, "The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East," click here.
Caroline Glick: Thank you all for coming to hear me talk about my new book, and as David said, I wrote it in a historical context that we live in, which is where surrealism and delusion is governing the policies of so many governments in the Western world, where we have chosen to believe fantasies rather than craft our polices on the basis of reality and the facts on the ground.
So, just to give you sort of, before we dive into the book itself, just to give you a sense of just how out of control the reality has become as a result of this delusional view of reality, I just want to recall a few very recent stories -- and I could add one that I just got today in the morning -- but I'm just going to start with something that happened two weeks ago at the National University of Ireland. A pro-Israel speaker, a professor by the name of Alan Johnson, came to the campus to speak against a resolution of the student government to boycott, divest and sanction Israel; that is, to wage economic warfare against the Jewish state in a discriminatory manner against Jewish businesses. So, Alan Johnson came to speak and he was shouted down by extremely violent protestors who cursed him in the most vile fashion and demanded that he be expelled from their campus immediately. Then, right here in Los Angeles we saw a couple of weeks ago that when the BDS resolution was rejected by the student government that one of the members of the panel broke down and started crying in seemingly mad fashion that her life had just been destroyed by the fact that University of California at Los Angeles decided not to wage economic warfare against the Jews.
Yesterday, I got an email from Tammi Benjamin, who is a Jewish hero here in California, who has been fighting anti-Semitism on University of California campuses, and she discussed a recent hearing that was held before leaders, administrators, I suspect, of the University of California about the anti-Semitism that Jews on college campuses here in California suffer, and she brought the testimony of a couple of the students before the panel; and one, a neuroscience major at UCLA named Omair Hitt, said, "We constantly hear the term 'Zionist' used as a dirty word, as if supporting the liberation and self-determination of a historically oppressed minority in its homeland is something to be ashamed of."
When I was watching that woman in UCLA break down and have a nervous breakdown after her university decided not to do something execrable and bigoted and anti-Semantic and hateful and Nazi-like, something sort of clicked inside of me. I looked at her on my screen and I realized that she is absolutely convinced that Israel is Nazi Germany. She thinks that tolerating pro-Israel voices like Alan Johnson, like Omair Hitt at UCLA, like me, I would assume, is to cater to evil; it is to collaborate with the Nazis. She looks at Jews, she looks at non-Jews who support Israel, the Jewish state, and she sees in them Nazi storm troopers. In order to do this of course she has to know nothing about Jews, nothing about Nazis, nothing about history, nothing about anything, but hence the state of higher education in most of the West -- it has allowed this kind of delusion to take hold and dominant the discourse. Israel is considered Nazi Germany and, yes, in order to believe that you have to not know about anything at all that has happened in human history, but, again this is the state of higher education throughout the Western world.
Now, the question is how did we get here? How did it come to be that today at University of Michigan the university government administration is siding with open anti-Semites who gave death threats to Jewish students and called them "kike" and "dirty Jew" because they voted to table a BDS resolution in the student government, and the university administration demanded that they take a vote right away, under the gun, literally, to pass a BDS resolution at the University of Michigan? How did we get to this point?
There are a lot of reasons, and the work that the Center does in explaining a lot of what's happening on the college campuses is essential to understand. But I want to look at it from an Israeli perspective. Twenty years ago, this wouldn't have happened on U.S. college campuses. In 1993, I graduated from Columbia in 1991 and this was the capital of anti-Israel agitation, with Edward Said on the faculty, and despite that, this would never have happened 20 years ago, or 22 years ago when I graduated, but it's happening all over the country today. How has the status of Israel and Jews on campus deteriorated to this degree in the past two decades? And I submit to you that the answer is the Oslo process. The answer is the peace process. The phony peace process that Israel undertook with the PLO in 1993 is a central cause of the legitimization of anti-Semitism in the Western world. Now, why is that? Why is that? The reason is because the peace process with the Palestinians, with the PLO, with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, terrorist organization, the architect of modern terrorism, is based upon certain assumptions that are all anti-Semitic. The two-state solution is based on the proposition that all or most of the violence emanating from the region, from the Middle East, and coming to the United States, whether on 9/11 or at any other time of day, is due to the absence of a Palestinian state.
I'll give you a quote: In 2010 President Clinton said that the creation of a Palestinian state would "take about half the impetus in the whole world" -- not just the region, the whole world -- "for terror away. It would have more impact than anything else that could be done." So here is the former President, and I dare say that Condoleezza Rice and George Bush felt the exact same way, Hillary Clinton feels the exact same way, and we see today day in and day out that President Obama and John Kerry believe the same thing -- this is bipartisan. They truly believe that the source of instability, depravity, pathologies of the Muslim world are due to the absence of a Palestinian state and once a state is created we are going to have heaven on earth. We're going to see Nirvana. The end of terrorism, the end of jihad, the end of misogyny. Everything will be fine and unicorns will come and dance with wolves and wolverines. It will be wonderful. All we need is a Palestinian state.
And who's responsible for the absence of that state according to the two-state paradigm? Israel. Israel. Those grubby Jews who will not give up enough territory to satisfy the PLO are responsible for the absence of peace, not only in the region, but throughout the world. If Israel would stop allowing Jews to build in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem, stop respecting Jewish property rights in these areas, and if the Jews would just leave those areas and give them lock, stock and barrel to Palestinian terrorists who remain bent on their destruction as a nation, then everything will be fine.
That is why we can see American policymakers at the height of the genocidal Syrian Civil War getting bent out of shape when the Israeli government allows 200 new housing units to be built in a efrat in Gush Etzion or in Ma'ale Adumim or in Ariel or in Jerusalem. This is why. Because if this is the problem that is causing every other problem, then obviously the worst people in the entire world are Israeli right-wingers who insist that we should be allowed to build. They're the ones who have to be called to task as often as possible until they are shunned by Israeli society and deprived of all legitimacy worldwide, and I submit to you that Israel's embrace of this paradigm has hamstrung it. It cannot truly defend itself. The moment that Israel accepted the notion that to make peace with the Palestinians you have to give land to Yasser Arafat and his minions, Israel disarmed itself completely. From a rhetorical perspective it can no longer defend itself. And so instead of going on offense and saying you are terrorists, you have no right, you don't care about national self-determination, all you want is to destroy Israel, and we're not going to let you do it. You can't do that.
So Israelis talk about defensible borders. We talk about what an open and pluralistic society Israel is. We talk about the fact that we're a start-up nation, the indispensable engine of technology worldwide. We talk about the fact that we're the only liberal democracy and as a consequence women have full and equal rights in Israel. Homosexuals have full and equal rights in Israel. All religious groups have full and equal rights in Israel. We talk about these things, but for that woman in UCLA and for those protestors in Ireland and for the rioters and anti-Semitic haters and violence-doers at University of Michigan, none of this matters. They couldn't care less because as far as they're concerned Israel is sitting on somebody else's land, and if you're sitting on somebody else's land, why do we care that you need security? Why do we care that your human rights are respected? Why do we care that you're a liberal democracy? Why do we care that gays are treated well as opposed to hung from the center squares of cities like they are in Ramallah and Iran? We don't care about any of that. You're the problem. Who you are, what you do with your time, we don't care. We know that you're the problem and we hate you for it, and we hate everybody who likes you for it. It doesn't matter that you're right. It doesn't matter that you're nice. It doesn't matter that you're creative, and it doesn't matter that you're entrepreneurs. We hate you because we suffer because of you.
And Israel, what can we say? We want peace. Well if you want peace, get out of their land. Right? We hear this time after time after time. We just needed to defend ourselves. But you have no right to defend. Why. Because you're sitting on somebody else's land, and because you're sitting on somebody else's land we have to worry about terrorism and take off our shoes at the airport. Right? I mean that's essentially what has happened. So no defense that Israel makes, as long as it remains in this paradigm, is effective. Nothing that we say to defend ourselves under these guidelines and this intellectual straightjacket is effective because we're at fault, and that's why you have people who truly believe that we're Nazis.
So how do we fix this from an Israeli perspective? How do we fix it from the perspective of people who care about Israel and want Israel to be able to defend itself and want to be able to fight back against this anti-Semitism? I say, and the argument that I make, and that stands at the heart of my book and was my impetus for writing it, is that as long as you are not asserting your rights, you have no legitimacy. Israel is not the ghetto. Israel is not the pill of settlement. Israel is a sovereign Jewish state, and we are there by rights and by legitimacy in accordance with international law and our national rights as the Jewish people, and the reason why all of this is important is because if we're not there by rights then we have no right to be there. And if we aren't able to assert these things then we're losing them, and we see we're losing them. We're losing the battle not on Gush Etzion today, not on the settlement blocks, or whatever you want to call it. We're losing our rights to Haifa, to Tel Aviv, to the Negev, to the Galilee because it is indivisible.
From the enemy's perspective this isn't BDS against Jewish settlement products. This is: we want to economically boycott Jewish products. They may say every once in a while -- but even Salam Fayyad said, no, I want to boycott the Israeli economy. That's want he said. He started off with the settlements and then within six months he was on the whole Israel. The cat was out of the bag. There is no distinction. Because, again, if we're not there by right then we have no right to be right there, so I said we have to assert our rights.
Now, what does that mean? Israel is, in accordance with the international laws, as I explain in my book, Chapter 12, our international legal rights to Judea and Samaria are stronger than any other peoples. As David said, they were under Ottoman rule for 400 years and then the Jordanians illegally occupied them in 1949 and held them until 1967, but the post-war determination of sovereign rights over the land of Israel that took place in 1922 determined that the sovereign rights to those areas belong to the Jews alone, and that determination by the League of Nations mandate for Palestine has never been superseded or abrogated. It was never allocated to anybody else and everybody who keeps talking about UN resolutions and international legitimacy is talking about lawfare, not about law. There is no legal basis for any of the Palestinian claims; and a claim to self-determination is in fact, is a claim. But you can fulfill a right to self-determination in any number of ways, and by the way they've had self-determination for the past 20 years.
At any rate, the main thing that now everybody says we can't do: if Israel remains there it's going to cease to be a Jewish state. It's based upon what? It's based upon demography. The Palestinians are about to outnumber Jews west of the Jordan River. Tomorrow, or maybe the day after, there are going to be more Arabs than Jews and all that they're going to need is a plebiscite to destroy Israel. So that's another lie; that's another lie. There is a hero sitting right here in this room. His name is Bennett Zimmerman. Does everybody know him? Stand up for a second Bennett. I talk about Ben in my book. Ben was driving, I think you told me, he was on vacation with buddies in Israel and they were driving through Judea and Samaria on their way up north and he said, where are all the people? Where are all the Palestinians that everybody is talking about, that are multiplying like gang busters and are about to overthrow the Jews? Well it works out that they weren't there. So what did he do? He got together a bunch of people who understood how to count. My son is 4 ½. Give him two years, he can join the team; but no, seriously. They looked.
What happened was, in 1997 the Palestinian authority put out a census, and it was interesting because why they were conducting it, as I cite in my book, the chapter on demographics in the book, the head of their statistical, the director of their census bureau, this guy named Hassan Abu Libdeh said to the New York Times that the census was going to be a demographic intifada. Now how could a census be an intifada. What does that mean? How could a census, how could statistical data be the statistical equivalent of a terrorist war. Well, we found out when it was published because what they did was falsified data on a massive scale as Bennett and his colleague showed. They increased artificially the number of Palestinians living west of the Jordan River by 50 percent, that would be like the U.S. census bureau just magically claiming that there were an additional 100 million Americans living here, and then everybody swallowed it whole instead of checking the data, which was completely out whack with the surveys of the Palestinian population that were undertaken by the Israeli civil administration every single year from 1967 through 1996, but nobody said anything. They swallowed it whole. Not only did they claim that the Palestinian base population was larger by 50 percent than it actually was, they also extrapolated from that birth rates that have no peer throughout the world and mass immigration rates. When it worked out that not only the Palestinians, but the entire Islamic world beginning in 2000, began a demographic collapse, so we see for instance in Iran in 1997 at the time of the Islamic revolution women were having eight children on average, and today they have 1.7. They're below replacement rate in Iran, and these are the numbers that are going on in Yemen, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, in every country in the Arab world and also among the Palestinians, at a lower rate albeit, but it's as a consequence of the education of women on the one hand and urbanization, and these are trends that we see throughout the Islamic world. This was a UN survey that was put out last year showing that the collapse in the Islamic demographic statistics has no equal in the history of recorded demographic data. This has never been seen before, but the Palestinians are following this overall trend.
So, in 1997 they had about 4 ½ children per woman in Judea and Samaria. Today they have less than three, and at the same time Israeli families have decided to go forth and multiply, so that we see a rise in the number of children per woman in Israel from two to over three in the past 15 years. So Israeli women are actually today having more children than Palestinian and Arab women in Judea and Samaria, but you'd never know that, and at the same time, what? We're seeing rising aliyah rates, rising immigration of Jews due in large part to the rapid rise of anti-Semitism through Europe, both east and west, and on the Palestinian side you're seeing just a hemorrhage of emigration year after year, year in and year and year out, over a million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza said they would like to emigrate if they could. A million. It's an enormous thing and everybody is ignoring it, saying, no, it's determined already. It's preordained that Israel is going to lose its Jewish majority five minutes from now, five minutes from now, and we all have to be scared and as a result we have to commit national suicide by enabling the establishment of a Palestinian and terrorist state in Israel's eternal capital, in our historic homeland. Now. Because every minute that we wait to listen to President Obama, we are signing our own death warrant due to demography completely based on falsified data. Thanks to Bennett Zimmerman, we know that.
Now, their initial study came out in 2005, and I would say that it took about five, six years for the reality of the situation and of the falsification of data to start percolating throughout Israeli society, but today, because it's known by most Israelis that the demography stuff, the voodoo data that the Americans in particular keep propagating, are false, you have 59 percent of Israeli Jews surveyed saying we want to apply Israeli sovereignty to all or parts of Judea and Samaria. In the current Knesset session we've had two bills submitted to the Knesset by members of the coalition, by members of Likud, calling for, on the one hand, the application of Israeli law and through it Israeli sovereignty to the settlement blocks, and the second one, to the Jordan Valley.
So we're talking already about current legislative initiatives that are being blocked only because of fear of the Obama administration or otherwise they would pass. Calling for the application of Israeli sovereignty already to some 60 percent of the land in Judea and Samaria. So this is actually the most active policy debate that we're having in Israel today: when, under what conditions and how much of Judea and Samaria should we apply Israeli law to. Even the left. You have the former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, calling for unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. But I daresay that Michael is not talking about leaving lock, stock, and barrel as we did from Gaza, with such horrendous results in 2005, with 13,000 missiles, mortars, and rockets having fallen on Israel by unnamed sources in Gaza for the past nine years. No, no. He's also talking about doing this while applying Israeli law to at least parts of Judea and Samaria. So even on the left there is a view that we should do it unilaterally, but we have to apply Israeli law to all or parts of Judea and Samaria. And as a result, again, everybody is moving in this direction because the basic fallacy behind the two-state formula, that the Palestinians are interested in a state of their own rather than continuing to be dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state, has percolated throughout Israeli society as well as the notion that the demographic threat has been discredited as an existential threat to Israel.
And I just want one more word about demography before I turn to the question of America. When we talk about demographics we have to understand that the true demographic threat to Israel is the establishment of a Palestinian state. First of all, parenthetically, I haven't mentioned that in my plan the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria would be afforded permanent residency status in Israel just as the residents of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights did when Israel applied its laws to those areas in 1967 and 1981, respectively, and they would also, like the residents of Jerusalem and the residents of the Golan Heights, would have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship. So what I'm saying is bring it on, I'm not scared of you.
Now, the real threat of demography that does scare me is the establishment of a Palestinian state, and I'll tell you why. Because under such a scenario Israel would no longer have the ability to defend its truncated borders. The people who would be in charge of the Jordan Valley and the eastern approach to Israel would be Palestinian terrorists, and they would be a sovereign state, and they would have the right to determine their own immigration policy. And so forgetting for a second their demand that five million foreign Arabs be allowed to immigrate at will to a shrunken Jewish state within the '49 Armistice Lines, just think for a second about whether that right, as Justice Minister Tzipi Livni would have it, is limited to such a Palestinian state. Well who would be coming in? And what would be their intentions? We're talking about millions of Arabs who have been living in U.N.-run refugee camps that are controlled by al Qaida, by Ahmed Jabril, by Hezbollah, by Hamas, and they would be coming into the West Bank of the Jordan River. And by the way, into Jerusalem, which would be a partitioned city. Would they be sitting quietly? Would they say, oh, what we really want to do is look for work in Jenin. Of course not. Their intention would not be to sit at Israel's indefensible border and live at peace with Israel. To the contrary, that is the existential threat that demographics manifests to Israel – a Palestinian state. That is the demographic threat to Israel.
Now, briefly I just want to talk about the United States and what all of this would mean for America. David gave a very good tourist view of the world as an American seeing the collapse of American power throughout the world as a result of the current administration's misguided foreign policy, which is based on the proposition that one should be good to one's enemies and bad to one's friends. Now, as I show in my book, it has been the bipartisan delusion of U.S. administrations since Nixon that the way forward is to moderate the PLO. The PLO, Yasser Arafat ordered the assassination of the first African-American U.S. ambassador, Cleo Noel, in Sudan in 1970, and he together with his deputy chief of staff and the Belgian charge d'affaires in Sudan, were assassinated by PLO terrorists. And as I show in my book, the U.S. response to that was to cut a deal with the PLO to turn a blind eye to the PLO so long as they limited their operations to Jewish targets. And that worked out really well. The Italians also had the same deal, but the idea constantly in the back of the minds of U.S. administrations on both sides of the partisan divide was that so long as the PLO maintained or limited its terrorists attacks to Jews, they were moderate, and they were somehow distinct from the global web of terrorists that the PLO was aligning with and cultivating, whether it was IRA or the Shining Path. Whether it was the Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Hezbollah or Amal or, yes, al Qaida. It doesn't matter what it was. So long as the PLO limited its operations more or less to Jewish targets it was fine. And then successive American administrations kept saving the PLO from oblivion. Reagan did it when it forced, really, the Tunisian government to accept the PLO as it was leaving Lebanon in 1982. Bush 1 did it when he started the Madrid peace process in 1992 after the PLO had been completely destroyed due to its support for Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War. And then Bill Clinton of course with Oslo and Bush, and Obama as we see today, that this has been a bipartisan delusion.
Now what has the concept, this fixation with the idea that the United States would gain something by cultivating an alliance with a terrorist organization called the PLO, done for the American clarity of thought and purpose in the Middle East? Well it destroyed it. Because at the heart of all of this idea is the notion of the two-state paradigm, which is that there's something fundamentally wrong with Israel. That America's only dependable, reliable, and self-sufficient ally in the Middle East is America's biggest problem in the Middle East. And when your strategic understanding of a very complicated region is based upon such an utter fallacy, it's fairly clear that you're going to get just about everything else wrong. Now the nice thing about the two-state solution is that what it really does is it liberate people who hold it from thinking about anything difficult. Right? Because if the Jews are at fault, then who cares about the demographic makeup of Iraq? Right? Who cares about the revolutionary ideology of the Iranian regime? Who cares about Saudi cultivation of al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood? Who cares about the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? You don't have to. Because, again, as Clinton said, the establishment of a Palestinian state will take about half the impetus in the whole world, not just the region, the whole world, for terror away. You don't have to think about anything once you believe in such utter and complete nonsense.
And as a consequence the United States went blind into Beirut in 1982. They went blind into Iraq in 2003. They're running blind with the Iranians today. They went blind into Cairo, as David said, in 2011 when they overthrew or contributed to the overthrow of America's most important ally in the Arab world. Can say, on behalf of the Israeli left, for the first time they got that one right. The most amazing thing about Israel's response to the American support for the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak was that it was a cross-spectrum. I don't remember ever seeing such unanimity of opinion in Israel about anything, ever, than the utter amazement, shock and revulsion at the American decision to ditch Hosni Mubarak as an ally in Egypt and side with the Muslim Brotherhood. Everybody in Israel thought that the United States had simply lost its mind. And that was of course only the beginning. How do you make a foreign policy in the Middle East, such a critical region for American national security, that works? Well you have to first of all ditch your illusions. Right? You cannot formulate a foreign policy that's going to get you anywhere good if you're basing it on a lie. If you base a foreign policy on being good to your friends and bad to your allies, people will want to be your friends and they won't want to be -- I mean bad to your enemies -- they won't want to be your enemies. It's a revolutionary concept. But it's also tried and true.
I understand completely America is a long way from the Middle East, and I was embedded with the U.S. Third Infantry Division, some of the bravest, most wonderful U.S. patriots I've ever had the honor of meeting in the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. God bless them all. They were 7,000 miles from home, fighting in Iraq, and I said to one of the guys there, a sergeant in the psy-ops unit, I said, so what do you think, being here? And he said, well I'm either going to fight them here in Baghdad, or I'm going to fight them in Faneuil Hall in Boston, and I got a daughter in Faneuil Hall. I prefer to fight them in Baghdad. Made sense to me. But it's a long way from home. And it certainly makes sense to me that people get tired of being so far from home and sending their troops so far away from home. So how do you limit American engagement in such a troubled region? How do you limit American engagement in Asia if you want to draw down U.S. forces everywhere?
Well, you strengthen your allies, because the stronger and more self-reliant your allies are the less you actually have to do. That's why you want allies, right? That's why you should want allies anyway. And the great thing about Israel of course is that every time that Israel fights and wins, America is more secure. The stronger Israel is the more secure U.S. national security interests in the Middle East are, as Defense Minister Yaalon said just last week, Israel is, for the United States, it's an aircraft carrier that stretches from Metula in the north to Eilat in the south. Everything that Israel does adheres to American national security interests. And by the way, you never have to worry about who's in power, because we're a democracy. We don't like our government, we don't overthrow it. We just elect a different one. And by the way, all the Israelis are pro-American. So whoever is in charge is really going to want America to be strong, and as Yaalon said last week, go back to being the world's policeman, because otherwise the United States and the world is imperiled. So, I give a lot of reasons in my book why this is good for Israel, and of course one of them is the one that I cited at the outset: that we'll finally be able to defend ourselves and explain our reality to the world and hopefully make a difference, as madness seizes the minds and hearts of so many people in the Western world relating to Israel and the Jews. And if they decide that they'd rather be seized with madness and hatred of Jews then at least we can fight them coherently and without both hands tied behind our back and one foot in the air, which is where we currently stand.
But from America's perspective, America needs Israel and it needs it strong. And that means that people who care about a strong America need to care about a strong Israel. And the only way for Israel to be strong and preserver for this century and the next is to ensure that we are also capable of defending ourselves against all foes. And the only way that we can do that is if we assert our rights to our land, and we defend them. And so I think that aside from Israel and the Hashemites in Jordan, the chief beneficiary of the Israeli one-state plan is the United States of America. And with that I'm going to conclude my prepared remarks, and I'd be happy to hear questions from all of you.
I think that the American-Jewish community has become quite confused and largely as a result of the two-state paradigm. When I was growing up in Chicago and was going to a Jewish day school in the 1980s, the centerpiece of the non-religious Jewish identity for me and for my fellow students was Zionism. And that was really replaced I think to a very large and significant and disastrous degree in the 1990 and the 2000s with Holocaust education. And, we have a 4,000-year history, and the Holocaust was one of many episodes in our history in which people sought to annihilate us with the sword. And, if you use that as the central guiding notion of what it means to be Jewish, then you actually are negating all of Jewish history. And you're also ignoring Jewish agency. We exist because we've chosen to exist and we've done extraordinary things for 4,000 years in order to maintain our existence, and if the narrative that you're imbuing people with is victimization as opposed to action then that certainly has a consequent confusion of what it means to be Jewish and what it means to stand up for yourself.
Let me just cut to the chase here. Look, yes, there's a serious problem with subversion of particularly Evangelical Christian support for Israel. We see it with the Christ at the Checkpoints, I think they have every year in Bethlehem, and they really are making inroads in the Evangelical Christian churches. Like Wheaton College I know has been really subverted by this. And there's a lot of things coming. I was actually just warning some senators about this two weeks ago on the Hill. But, look, you know, again, if there's only one voice out there -- the Jews want peace and the Palestinians want justice -- then who has justice on their side? We do, but we're not saying it. So what I'm saying is shout it from the rooftops. Just come on, it's ours. Justice is with us and it's indivisible, and unfortunately we were hoping it wouldn't be but it works out that is. And so we just have to make clear that everybody understands that we are the just in this fight. Yes, sir?
The survey data is really startling. You know, I was embarking on this book project before I even understood how startling the data of where the Palestinians' stand on Israel really is. You know that consistently year in and year out two thirds to three quarters of the Palestinians view Israel as the greatest democracy on earth? Israel. Apparently familiarity does not breed contempt. It breeds admiration, which is extraordinary given what we've been told, and I lived there, and I keep my eye on things pretty closely, and I was still amazed. Did you know that 59 percent of the Palestinians oppose an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria? 59 percent. More than the Israelis actually. So, these numbers are extraordinary. One of the things that we did to the Palestinians when we recognized the PLO terrorist organization as a sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian Authority is that we blocked them all out. We stopped looking at them as human beings. Right? We put them under the PLO jackboot and we said, deal with it. They transformed what had been the most open and free society in the Arab world, aside from the Israeli Arab community, into a society ruled by the jackboot and the law of the jungle. They denied human rights not only of course to Jews but also to Christians and to Muslims. Everybody lost all of their legal protection the minute that we brought in the PLO. All of the economic growth that they had been experiencing from 1967 through 1996 disappeared. They were growing at 1 percent above Israel year in, year out from 1967 until 1994. Why would they want to live under that?
Now what we found with data regarding the Jerusalem residents, Jerusalem Arabs, is that the more that people cared about politics, the more willing they were to live under Palestinian control, and the more that they cared about freedom and their children, the more they wanted to live under Israeli control. So I'm not saying that all Palestinians will be absolutely happy and thrilled and cotton candy holding and everything like that if Israel were to apply its sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, but I think that we're not recognizing how much happiness it would provoke among Palestinians of all walks of life throughout the territories, and I think that it's important to mention that.
Now how this would be implemented on the ground -- look, when Israel applied its law to the Golan Heights it was different, because it wasn't Syria in the Golan Heights. And when we applied our laws to Jordan, I mean sorry, to Jerusalem in 1967 it was also different because the Jordanian occupation forces had been forced out in the Six-Day War. Here you have shared sovereignty with an enemy government that has, as you mentioned, 70,000 men under arms. And I think that basically what Israel has to do is just start asserting its authority and dealing with the resistance from the PLO as it comes up. You know, in calling for Congress to stop giving aid to the PLO, in calling for the EU, yes, but doing it in a very low key way.
And I talk in Part 3 of my book of the possible responses, the probable responses of PLO and Hamas on the one hand and the larger Arab world and the European Union to an Israeli decision to apply its laws over the areas. And what I do with the Palestinians, both Hamas and the PLO, is consider their capabilities and I consider their aspirations. And people always point to the security fence and say this is what has blocked terrorism in Israel, but that's not true. What's blocked terrorism in Israel is again, as Moshe Yaalon has repeated stated, is the Israel military control over Judea and Samaria since 2004, really. We started with Defensive Shield but it wasn't really completed until 2004. At this point if a Palestinian terrorist makes it to the security fence, we've failed four or five times already. Because the basic proposition is that we stop them in their bed when they're asleep and we arrest them, and that's why we haven't had suicide bombings in any major way, thank God, in Israel since around 2004. So, we're already in control.
What can the Palestinians do? Well God forbid, but they can, they have the capability of conducting a catastrophic act of terrorism if they want. But if they do that then we wrap it right there and then. The thing that we have to understand about the Palestinian security force is it's really a military organization that's been armed and trained by the U.S. military over the past several years. And it's a very formidable force from the perspective of an Israeli military threat assessment, because we've never had a Palestinian force that's been so well trained with Western doctrine and Western arms. And Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, who was training this army in the beginning, gave a speech at the Washington Institute a few years ago, and he was asked in the Q&A by Paul Wolfowitz whether these Palestinian forces perceived themselves as enemies of Israel, and he said yes. He said that if they don't get a state within a couple of years that they will turn their guns on Israel. So, basically, if we assume that he's correct, and I see no reason to assume otherwise, he sent me an email the other day about the regeneration of terrorist infrastructure in Jenin. Well it's happening because at the U.S.'s insistence we allowed the Palestinian Amy trained by the United States to deploy in Jenin. So they're cultivating this again. So we know that we're eventually going to have to fight them. The question is who's going to initiate that. I prefer for Israel to maintain the initiative and to do it at a time and in a place of our choosing as opposed to theirs.
Audience Member: Thank you, Caroline. I've always understand the two-state solution to automatically include Gaza, but Gaza is practically an independent state all by itself.
Caroline Glick: I'm not including Gaza.
Audience Member: What do you propose? What do you propose for Gaza? What do you see the future with Israel and Gaza?
Caroline Glick: I think we should leave it in God's hands. I mean we left Gaza in 2005. I was strenuously opposed to it, but I think that this plan makes lemonade out of lemons. Because we left Gaza. Under no international legal argument can it be argued in a serious way, I mean we hear it argued anyway, but that's just because of the world in which we live. But it can't be argued that Gaza is under occupation by Israel. Let them do what they want. If they want to call themselves Palestine, they can. If they want to call themselves Afghanistan, they act like it, they can do anything that they want to. We left. And to a certain degree we also, it's arguable and I think probably reasonable, to claim that Israel renounced its legal claims to sovereignty to Gaza because like Judea and Samaria they are sovereign Israeli territory under the Mandate of 22. But when we left, I don't see how it's possible to really argue that we have a sovereign claim to it after we renounced it in 2005 when we removed our civilians and our military forces from there. So, I don't know but I don't see any reason to give the Gazans the same status as the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.
Audience Member: First I'd like to say, I love your writing. I think the clarity is wonderful. Just curious as to how you envision the impact of Israel's find of natural gas and Russia's use of its natural gas in Europe today to threaten them, how that will play out in this paradigm.
Caroline Glick: Well, I talk about that in the chapter on the European Union's likely response to an Israeli decision to apply its laws to Judea and Samaria, because it's my contention that the most angry response to such a move will come not from the Arabs but from the Europeans. Because really hostility towards Israel and support for the PLO is the only unified European foreign policy there's ever been. And I explain why in Chapter 15. But, look, reasonably a lot of people shrug and say, Glick, what are you talking about? The Europeans will ruin us. They'll wreck us financially. And I certainly don't belittle the capacity of the Europeans to do economic damage to Israel. They are our second largest trading partner. There are a lot of mitigating factors, including sustained low growth rates and the increased willingness of various states in Europe to go against unified EU policies, and what I consider to be the probable breakup of the EU in the future. And also the fact that the most radically anti-Israel and pro-BDS government is Britain, really. That's been the fomenter of the BDS movement, and yet British trade with Israel keeps increasing by leaps and bounds, because they need our pharmaceutical products. They need our technology.
So to a certain degree the threats are -- the bark is much, much harder than the bite. But, at any rate, assuming the worst, Israel has already been vastly expanding its trade relations with Asian countries, and trade year in, year out between India and China and Israel has expanded rapidly, as has trade with South Korea and to a degree Japan. And when you add in the fact at that time Israel has now become, last year for the first time, a net energy exporter with her massive natural gas offshore that we have begun using, then you see that the damage that Europe would be capable of causing to the Israeli economy is real, but I don't think that in the medium term that it's paralyzing.
So, I think it is a mitigating factor, the fact that we've become a net energy exporter. Look, we have apparently reserves of shale oil that are 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's claimed reserves, and we're waiting for the environmentalists to finally be defeated so that they can try a pilot program of drilling there. And if the pilot program works and shows that, as they claim, the licensees to the area claim that they can produce oil at $40.00 a barrel from Israeli shale, then we'll become a massive economic superpower. I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, but I am looking at those eggs. Thank you all very much for coming.
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