As an Israeli I am appalled by the hopeless views presented by Caroline Glick (“Conversation with…” Ledger, July 20, 2012); as an American I reject her shameless dismissal of U.S. institutions and leaders; and as a reader I am dismayed by her evident disrespect of the newspaper, the interviewer and the readership.
Ms. Glick’s initial assertion that “The majority of Israelis are convinced that the so-called ‘two state solution’ is a recipe for war, not peace, and do not support it” is wrong. Although opinions vary and polls change, one of the most recent independent polls, the annual Hebrew University Joint Israeli-Palestinian Public Opinion Poll released in December 2011 (see the Jerusalem Post 28/12/2011) indicates that support is in fact growing and Israelis and Palestinians are inching closer to agreeing on a two-state solution based on the Clinton Parameters. According to the poll, 58% of Israelis and 50% of Palestinians supported such a solution in 2011, compared with 47% of Israelis and 39% of Palestinians in 2003, the first year of the poll. Similarly, support for the peace process is still very strong as indicated in a 2011 Gallup Opinion Poll published on 30/3/2012. To the question of supporting or opposing, in principle, the peace process, 68% of Israelis either strongly or moderately support it, while only 29% moderately or strongly oppose it (13% expressed strong opposition; Ms. Glick is obviously part of this small minority.) Among the Palestinians, 63% support (strongly and moderately) the peace process while 32% oppose it. Misleading readers on such a critical question and advancing the notion that the two-state solution is not acceptable and is viewed by most Israelis as a recipe for war is very dangerous to the future of the state of Israel.
I am surprised by the interviewee’s claim that Hosni Mubarak was forced out of power by the Obama administration, or that “the problem with Syria is… the Obama administration’s decision to outsource the Syrian opposition to Turkey.” Ms. Glick is ignoring the effort and the sacrifice of many young Egyptians and Syrians in an uprising against bloody regimes, fighting for freedom and democracy. She would prefer to see the U.S. propping up harsh dictators, and getting involved in endless wars, simply because the Israeli extreme right wing does not believe in peace, democracy, negotiations and multinational collaboration. Or maybe it is because the citizens of Egypt and Syria are Arabs? The peace agreement between Israel and its neighbor will survive the changes in Egypt if both sides undertake broad economic, cultural and educational cooperation that goes beyond the piece of paper the agreement was signed on. The “Most Prominent Woman in Israel” should seek to promote such peaceful relations, and not be blinded by 30 years of relative calm in isolation, claiming as she does that the “peace treaty is dead in the water” just because a ruling party has changed following democratic elections.
To call an occupation a “peace under Israeli sovereignty” and to be satisfied with an “absence of war” in place of sustained shalom is a violation of our values as Jews. I am called naïve by Ms. Glick’s friends; I am attacked for not living now in Israel and therefore not having a right to voice a desire for peaceful coexistence and prosperity for Israelis and Arabs alike. But I love Israel and support it with all my heart. We must stay strong and prepare for a possible war, but constantly strive for a time when Israeli mothers don’t need to fear that their children will die in war, and when elderly women in Haifa don’t need to be instructed how to carry a gas mask together with their walkers. Unfortunately, Ms. Glick does not offer a path, nor hope for such a time.