That is not what happened

Caroline Glick starts out her recent column with two defensible statements, but it is all downhill from there in terms of historical accuracy.

Yes, Rep. Joe Walsh wrote in the Washington Times opposing a two-state solution.

Yes, the “evidence that the two-state paradigm has failed is overwhelming.” Or at least there is a record of failure that is pretty damning.

But about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s history.

No, the Palestinians did not reject statehood at Camp David in 2000. The myth that Glick and so many others love is wrong. Sorry. Wrong. The real story is that Israel did not understand the Palestinian bottom line going into the summit, the US mediation was flawed, and no complete package was ever offered. The story is more nuanced than that, but that is a promising start.

No, the second intifada was not because the Palestinians wanted to “launch a terror war against Israel.” She takes a story with multiple causes, including the way each side’s preparations made a clash more likely; the failure of Camp David; and the occupation and boils it down to one sensationalist claim.

No, the Palestinians as a whole did not launch a missile war with Israel. That was organizations in Gaza such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, not Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah in the West Bank. Also, Israeli policy may have had a wee bit to do with that tit-for-tat. Israel still controlled Gaza’s airspace and water access so the withdrawal was not “complete.”

No, this is not a correct fact: “there is no Palestinian leader willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Abbas clearly does. Arafat did in 1988. Arafat did in 1993 in his letter to Yitzhak Rabin: “The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.”

No, when the Palestinians had the chance, they chose not to gain territory to use as a launching pad for destroying Israel. If Glick were correct that “All territory under its control will be used to attack the rump Jewish state”, Arafat would have said yes to anything at Camp David in 2000. If he could get 70 or 80% of the West Bank, why not? By Glick’s logic, it would be a great launching pad. The fact that the Palestinian negotiators did not do so suggests that they cared about the details because they knew they would have to live by the agreement. The agreement was foreseen as an end, not an intermediate stage.

No, the removal of Israeli settlers will not happen “simply because they are Jewish.” They took land under questionable legal circumstances; they didn’t just show up and politely rent or buy. They built communities in which Arabs were not welcome to live. The settlements embody the power and coercion and occupation of the last 45 years. Not to mention that Glick’s 675,000 number is made-up. As part of the two-state solution, Israel will annex 50-80% of the settlers. (e.g. Clinton Plan of December 23, 2000: “80% of settlers in blocks.” )


I do applaud her desire to give Israeli citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank. She might have explicitly noted that her demographic math works a whole lot better by leaving out Gaza. What happened to Gazans?



1 thought on “That is not what happened

  1. This is what happened

    1. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the recommendations of the Peel Commission in 1937 to create Jewish and Arab States in Palestine

    2. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the recommendations of the United Nations in 1947 to create Jewish and Arab States in Palestine

    3. The Palestinian Arabs did nothing to create the Palestinian state they are now seeking between 1948-1967 when not one Jew lived there after having been driven out by the armies of six invading Arab states

    4. The Palestinian Arabs have maintained a maximilist demand to return to the June 4, 1967 armistice lines (with possibly some land swaps). Any leader considering less would be done over in short time.

    5. The PLO Charter has not been repealed despite promises to do so.

    6. The right of Jews to close settlement in the West Bank and Gaza is enshrined in article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter. The West Bank and Gaza are the only two areas of the Mandate for Palestine in which sovereignty remains unallocated between the Arabs and the Jews. Most of the land in the West Bank and Gaza is state land – not privately owned land.

    7. The two state- solution was achieved on 31 October 2011 when Palestine was recognized as being entitled to be admitted as the 195th member state of UNESCO.

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