Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Caroline Glick Talks With Bloggers About "A Shackled Warrior"

Yesterday, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick spoke to Jewish bloggers in a conference call sponsored by One Jerusalem, and I was among the bloggers who participated and asked Caroline questions after her primary talk. I urge all our readers, if they can spare the hour, to listen to the entire conference call here.

Caroline Glick was born in Chicago, and immigrated to Israel in 1991, after receiving a BA in Political Science from Columbia University, which she calls "Bir Zeit University on the Hudson." (The actual Bir Zeit University, a hot bed of Palestinian radicalism, is located near Ramallah.) She joined the Israel Defense Forces and served as an officer for 5 1/2 years. From 1994-1996, as a captain in the IDF, she served as Coordinator of Negotiations with the PLO in the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In that capacity she was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians. Returning to geo-politics, she served as Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 1997-1998.

From 1998-2000 she earned a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, and travels several times a year to Washington, D.C., where she routinely briefs senior administration officials and members of Congress on issues of joint Israeli-American concern.

One primary purpose of the phone conference was to promote Caroline's new book, Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad, which is a collection of her columns from the Jerusalem Post on the global Islamist jihad and its implications for Israel and the United States. Readers, buy it from here! It is selling so well that it is temporarily out of stock at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but do not let that discourage you. It received a 5-star review at

Among the points covered by Caroline in the call:

  • Israel's has a proportional system of parliamentary elections, in which Knesset members do not represent a district, but rather all run at large, on a party slate, with seats being awarded on the basis of the proportion of total votes received by the party. That system has promoted corruption and cronyism, and must be changed.
  • Unfortunately, the United States pushed for adoption of the same system in Iraq, where it has had similar bad results.
  • Asked whether the current political scandal would finally finish off the Kadima government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, she noted that leftist Knesset member Yossi Beilin had introduced a bill that would allow the current Kadima-Labor coalition to remain in power even if Olmert were to resign. Consequently, there is a real danger that Olmert may go, but Israel would continue to be ruled by a left-wing government intent on reaching a "peace agreement" with the Palestinians, no matter what dangerous security concessions must be made to do so.
  • The best hope for Israel's political future and national security would be new elections in which Benjamin Netanyahu would prevail and form a Likud-lead coalition.
  • Israel has not had an independent foreign policy since 1999, when Ehud Barak was elected prime minister with the overt support of U.S. President Bill Clinton. (Readers may recall how James Carville was dispatched to Israel to help Barak's Labor Party replace the Netanyahu Likud government, which was making insufficient concessions to Yasser Arafat for Clinton's liking.) Since then, Israeli foreign policy has been directed by the U.S. State Department Near East Bureau, which in term gets its directions from Saudi Arabia.
  • That dominance by the U.S. State Department led to the Israeli withdrawals from Southern Lebanon, in May 2000, and from Gaza, in September 2005. When those withdrawals, each described by Glick as an "insane policy," led directly to the flourishing of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, who then launched artillery and missile attacks on Israel, State Department pressure precluded eliminating the security threats through a proper ground invasion of Lebanon, in 2006, or Gaza now. Only a large-scale ground invasion of Gaza can end the attacks on Southern Israel by Hamas and the threat to Israel from Hezbollah on its northern border.
  • Gaza and Lebanon are parts of a largescale campaign by Iran to become the dominant regional power, with the ultimate goal of world dominance and the destruction of the United States. Iran uses its anti-Israeli rhetoric as a means of neutralizing Sunni Arab opposition to its expanding influence. Iran's campaign includes not only military support of Hezbollah, Hamas and Shiite militias in Iraq, but also diplomacy. It already exerts significant influence and control over Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Glick was very blunt in her view of the presumption Democratic nominee for the U.S. Presidency, Senator Barack Obama. She said, "Any American Jew who votes for Obama is sticking a finger in the eye of the Jewish people." She based that conclusion on his long associations with enemies of Israel and the Jewish people.

    Kudos to One Jerusalem for sponsoring the call and to Anne Lieberman at Boker Tov Boulder for suggesting it.

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