“Mind blowing” One Jerusalem Interview with Caroline Glick on her new book “Shackled Warrior”
by Jerry Gordon
I participated in a One Jerusalem bloggers interview with Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, this afternoon. It was synchronized with the launch of her new book, “Shackled Warrior”. Glick was in Washington, DC on the road show promotion of the book and meeting with colleagues there. “Shackled Warriors” is an edited compilation of her brilliant Jerusalem Post columns, where she endeavors to connect quotidian activities that she writes about to the ‘iceberg’ of Jihad and Israel as the literal ‘canary in the mine’. The One Jerusalem audio file interview can be found here.
Glick was trenchant and quite clear in her views. In response to questions from bloggers, Glick addressed topics like the corruption of Israel’s political system, defeatism of its elites, the yearning patriotism of its citizens, the tethering of Israeli policy to our State Department and implicitly, Saudis interests, the ‘crash of the peace process’, the craziness of the Gaza ‘hudna’ with Hamas, and the pathological abandonment for one half million Israeli citizens in the South and Western Negev. Glick also gave views on why the Sunni Arabs will not combat the “rising Shia crescent” in the Middle east given the coup d’etat in Lebanon by Hezbollah. Why Russia and China are basically spoilers and why the US presence in Iraq is important in the ‘long war’ against Islamist Jihad in the region. She also opines on the Obama campaign insistence on dividing Jerusalem, ceding Samaria and Judea as abandoning not only Israel’s national and existential interests but also western values given its centrality in our Judeo Christian beliefs. She consider the three fifths of American Jews who would vote for Obama given his allies and objectives as delusional. But in the end she has hope for Israel and America given our vibrancy and dynamism and commitment to core values of individuals, personal responsibility and freedom. This was mind blowing stuff from a valued Jewish and Israeli public intellectual.
According to Glick Israel desperately needs a political system and leaders who are accountable to their citizens and not to the corrupting proportional form of voting for party lists. In her opinion it discourages political and moral courage. That in her view could only come with direct election of Knesset members. She backs Bibi because of a possible shift to individual direct elections in the Knesset and the continued benefits of his economic reforms via privatization of ‘sclerotic’ quasi government enterprises and tax incentives for investments. She noted that the US adopted a similar proportional party list system in Iraq, that produced the same system of cronyism.
Glick noted the fifth police investigation of another corruption charge against PM Olmert and a proposed law co-sponsored by Yossi Beilin and a Communist MK to ‘out’ the PM. All that would do in her opinion would be to retain the Kadima regime.
Given Barak’s meeting with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Suleiman in Jerusalem yesterday all that would do is to engage in a crazy “hudna” or cease fire in Gaza. Hamas, Iran’s Proxy, she noted would have control over the Egyptian border control points to infiltrate ever more and larger weapons. It would in her view amount to a ‘temporary lull’ in the murder of Israeli citizens, especially in the South and the Western Negev. It is ‘pathological’ she said to continue exposing one half million Israeli citizens to daily murderous rocket threats, while giving lip service as Barak has to ‘fortifying’ their towns.
I noted in my opening question to her the comments reported in today’s Jerusalem Post by a Haim Yellin of the Eshkol regional Council: “Instead of demanding that its residents stand resolutely the government should act swiftly in order to end Kassam fire.” Glick suggested that only a massive ground attack in Gaza would achieve that goal. Yellin continued: “The government’s powerlessness and its disappearance during these difficult days in the Gaza p[eriphery are intolerable." 'We want to meet [US President George W. .] Bush because he’s the one one really calling the shots”.
Unfortunately in the wake of the ‘seamless’ coup d’etat by Hezbollah in Lebanon, a call for a march on Israel by ‘moderate PA President Abbas of Palestinian refugees on May 15th, all ideas about a peace process have ‘crashed’ in her view. She considers President Bush’s PA statehood proposals as inimical to the national and existential interest of Israel.
She considers what is going on in Jerusalem this week with Bush’s arrival a capitulation to the interests of the Near East Bureau of the State Department and the Saudis. She traces that it to the Barak election in 1999 with the aid of American Democratic campaign handler, Jim Carville, that resulted in tethering Israeli policies to those of the pro-Arabist and pro-Saudi State Department: a hearkening back to the traditions that antedated Israel’s Independence in 1948. Glick noted that this ‘tethering” of Israel to US State department views created instability with the leave taking from the security belt in Southern Lebanon that spring in 2000. She noted that this ‘tethering” to US policy was what lead to the August 2005 Gush Katiff withdrawal of 10,000 Israelis. It also is reflected in the pending shelf agreements that Glick noted would require more than 100,000 Israelis to leave Samaria and Judea.
When asked about the rising Iranian Shia hegemony in the region and possible Sunni opposition to the emerging “Shia crescent”, she effectively said FERGETABOUIT! Iran has spun their doctrine of hate so that it resonates with the nearly century old Arab hatred for the Jewish presence in the MIddle East.
Iran according to her, has simply played on the sympathy by focusing on Israel as the enemy. Iran has not only neutralize the Sunnis, but it now controls Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain, which large Shia populations.
Regarding the regional geopolitical interests of China and Russia, Glick opined that they ‘cherished’ their roles as spoilers and do not consider themselves as front line JIhadist states. Both Countries have essentially neutered economic sanctions against a Nuclear Iran, and supplied them with both nuclear technology and military gear.
She noted that one of the chapters in her new book dealt with her experience as an embedded journalist with the 3rd Infantry Division in the assaults on Baghdad during the war in Iraq. That war was, she believes, was transformed by the ‘surge’ strategy of U.S. Army General Petreaus because it was a conscious decision to win. But it also reflected a strategic judgment call, that Glick attributed to AEI scholar Michael Ledeen, that Iraq was not a local war, but a regional one. A war in which Iran with Syrian assistance and “pan Arabist Islamist foot soldiers from Libya and Saudi Arabia” used to foment “chaos” in the region using Iranian supplied equipment and IRGC Al quds force leaders.
A comment was made by moderator Allen Roth of One Jerusalem about a “forceful statement” issued yesterday by former US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurrtzer, a foreign policy adviser to Obama, about negotiating the status of Jerusalem and the giving up of the Temple Mount. In Glick’s view this is tantamount to giving up on the center of Western Civilization. She considers these statements as existential challenges to Israel and the Western world.
Glick noted that overwhelming Israel’s are patriotic over 87% in one survey she cited. In contrast, there is, according to Glick, a huge gulf with the ruling Israeli elites, who as she noted, neither have children serving in the IDF, let along living there. That includes the PM and DPM’s progeny. They live in the fleshpots of Eurabia.
She makes it very plain what she expects when it comes to Obama’s candidacy and American Jews. They shouldn’t vote for him because he is “backed by anti-Semites” and willing to talk with them, Ahmadinejad, for starters.She considers it a ‘shander’ that 60% of American Jews polled would vote for Obama. Ironically if he did get elected this fall, the best thing that would happen according to Glick would be that Israel could no longer take ‘orders’ from our State Department.
A question was posed about what American Jews should do given this background. She said that American Jews have to educate their youth about their Jewish identity and connection to Israel. She noted the work by my friend Charles Jacobs of the David project in training youths for Israel advocacy at both the College and high school level. Glick noted an alliance Bedtween the david project and CAMERA, the middle east media monitoring group in examining public school world history texts, treatment about Israel. This is a matter that recently re-surfaced by the American Textbook Council in the Second Sewall Commission report on the presentation of Islam in such texts. She noted that American Jews, especially philanthropists who consider withdrawing funds from universities with anti-semitic faculty should realize that anti-Semites will always attack Jews. After all they are anti-Semites. We must in her view stay on the offense against such attacks, wherever they occur.
When asked about where she gets you koach from . She said there is lots to be hopeful for. Israel is vibrant like the US and a place to live where there is lots going on. Both Israel and the US are dynamic. She noted the contrast with Lisbon, where she had been recently. No dynamism, but then as Glick noted they kicked out Jews 500 years ago. Israel has beauty. Right by her door are hiking trails and national parks. Glick noted the initiative that the Center for Security Policy is leading-the creation of blogs in Israel to bring the “emet” to a wider audience and avoid the closed mindset of both the electronic media controlled by the government and print media, there.
Glick is a mind blowing breathe of fresh air for American Jews to listen to and act to change things both here and Israel. As a Chicagoan who got a Masters at the Kennedy School without being inflecting by the faculty there, Stephen Walt, co-author of “The Jewish Lobby” among them, she maintained her Jewish identity and stalwart Zionism. Kol hakavod to Glick!