AIM interviewed deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post Caroline Glick last week in a wide ranging discussion. We covered the current state of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the impact that President Barack Obama has had on the situation, and the recent so-called Gaza “Freedom Flotilla.” In addition, she talked about how the situation is further complicated by Hamas’s control of Gaza, the increased militarization and lack of moderation by Fatah, and the recent hostilities at the Lebanese – Israeli border. Glick also talked about the nature of the pressure the U.S. puts on Israel, the ongoing demonization of Israel, and the relationship between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
At the time of the interview, Glick, who lives in Jerusalem, was in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois—Hyde Park to be specific—on the same day that President Obama was making a rare visit to his home in the same neighborhood.
Caroline Glick is a former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces and was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians. She later served as an assistant policy advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu during his first term in the 1990s. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Glick was an embedded journalist with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division, and was awarded a Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Secretary of the Army for her battlefield reporting. She is also a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy, and the author of the 2008 book Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad.
You can read the transcript or listen to the entire interview here.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
On a psychological level, I think we’ve seen, over the past generation or more, 40 years or more, that Israel has been the victim of a campaign that grows stronger with each passing year to isolate it and to delegitimize it internationally, to try to argue that Israel has no right to exist and no right to defend itself. For the past decade or so, the United States has really been the last stalwart who has refused to engage in this kind of demonization of Israel. So from psychological perspective, Israel feels very dependent on the United States as its only ally in this political war that’s being fought against it, that’s being fought against the very notion of Jewish nationhood and of Jewish national rights in the land of Israel. And so the idea that the United States will abandon Israel—and the Obama administration almost continuously has this threat over Israel’s head, like a Sword of Damocles, saying, ‘If you don’t do what we demand that you do, then we’re going to stop vetoing anti-Israel resolutions in the U.N. Security Council, and a whole host of other areas where the United States has traditionally sided with Israel, in the U.N. and other international forums…’
One of the things that’s disturbing about this whole push for an investigation into what happened on the flotilla, the Turkish Hamas terror-ship, the Mavi Marmara, that confronted, and whose passengers attacked, Israel naval commandos who were engaged in maintaining and enforcing a lawful blockade of the Gaza seacoast on May 31st, is that this story, for anybody willing to pay attention to the truth, is cut and dried—that Israel was behaving lawfully, that the passengers on board that ship were behaving unlawfully, that the entire ship itself was illegal in the sense that it was launched to provide aid and comfort to an illegal terrorist organization, Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip.
…the main substantive area where the United States has enormous leverage is in military support, specifically the sale of weaponry, of advanced weapons platforms and materiel, to Israel for means of its own defense. That also is a threat that the Obama administration has wielded against Israel continuously.
Hamas doesn’t want a state. Their charter talks about an enclave of the global Caliphate in Palestine, but it doesn’t talk about a state because, as a jihadist group, a Muslim Brotherhood group that is aligned with the same goals as al-Qaeda, Hamas is not a nationalist movement. They don’t see themselves as Palestinian nationalists. They see themselves as Muslims who are on a jihad, and their particular campaign is being waged against the state of Israel. But it’s part of a global campaign—as their own constitution, or covenant, says, it’s a part of a global jihad—whose aim is the establishment, just like Osama bin Laden says, of a global Caliphate. So that’s Hamas’s aim.
I think, at base, the United States and Israel will always be allies because of the shared values that are common to both countries and to both peoples, and because of the democratic traditions of both countries and both peoples, and so I think that, despite Obama’s turn against Israel, that the basic rationale for the U.S.-Israel alliance remains strong, and the alliance itself will reemerge in the wake of the Obama administration, and it may even reemerge if the Republicans retake control over the Congress. But at the same time, Israel has placed all of its eggs in one basket for a generation, in its alliance with the United States, and I think that the Obama’s turn against Israel serves as a warning to Israel that that is never a good idea for anybody, no matter who the friend is, and that Israel has to expand its web of alliances with other countries in order to ensure its long-term stability and security.