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May 1, 2013 12:48 pm

Alan Dershowitz and Caroline Glick Clash on Two-State Solution

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Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz on stage at the second annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York City. Dershowitz and Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick sharply disagreed on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Dershowitz's comments were laughed at by the audience. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

NEW YORK—Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Jerusalem Post columnist and senior contributing editor Caroline Glick, following their sharp disagreement on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a panel discussion at Sunday’s second annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York City, continued their debate in interviews with

Dershowitz had presented the audience with a plan under which peace negotiations would restart if Israel halted construction in areas where there is “reasonable disagreement” with the Palestinians, saying Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas personally gave him a signed paper that stated Abbas would agree to that condition for negotiations if Israel agreed to it.

Glick, who during the panel discussion said she needed to “catch my breath for a second” after Dershowitz’s idea, told in an interview after the panel that Israel should “apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, just like we did in the Golan Heights.” Judea and Samaria would, under this proposal, “just be permanently incorporated into Israel,” she explained.

“The Arabs of Judea and Samara would become permanent residents of Israel just as they did in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. And like them, they would have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship,” Glick said. She added that she was “willing to take a chance on the demographic outcome rather than on a two-state solution.”

Dershowitz, asked by about Glick’s plan, responded, “Well, before long, Israel would cease to be a Jewish state. The demographics would ultimately turn Israel first, into a multinational state, and ultimately, possibly, into an Islamic state. That would not be an acceptable solution. It would be the end of Israel as we know it. I don’t think that’s a viable solution.”

During the panel discussion, Dershowitz’s plan to restart peace talks was also criticized by Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz and former Israeli national security adviser Uzi Arad, with Arad saying that reciprocity in negotiations with the Palestinians, not “unilateral concessions” by Israel, is what is needed.

On stage, Dershowitz recounted what he called his “serious exchange” with Abbas about restarting peace talks. The audience laughed at Dershowitz when he described the following part of his conversation with Abbas: “[I asked Abbas] if this deal were made, would you agree to not bring cases [against Israel] before the International Criminal Court?’ His answer was: ‘That’s a serious question, and I’m going to give it serious consideration.'”

Dershowitz told that the audience’s response to his comments was “not representative of the American Jewish community.”

“The American Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution,” Dershowitz said. “And, the Israeli Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution. This [reaction] was very skewed.”

Also earning a negative audience reaction, much like he did at last year’s Jerusalem Post Conference, was former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who defended his government’s aborted attempts to secure a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Olmert drew loud boos when he said Israel “must split the land in order to have Israel continue as a democratic and Jewish state.”

Olmert also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the Iranian nuclear threat, telling the crowd, “Israelis disagree with those who say the Iranians have arrived at the ‘red line’ drawn by Prime Minister Netanyahu during his speech at the United Nations… When I was Prime Minister I never overlooked this threat. Iranians do not have nuclear capacity because of their failures.”

Commenting on the peace process, Olmert said a two-state solution “is the only way to go forward.”

“We can’t eat the cake and have it,” he said.

Dershowitz told, “I don’t think that people should boo the former Prime Minister of Israel or the President of the United States on suggestions that they may disagree with. I think you can have reasoned discussion without booing. I don’t think that’s a legitimate part of a discussion.”

“Booing ideas shows disrespect,” he added. “Booing is not a way of expressing ideas.”

When Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren also spoke about a two-state solution at the conference, stating the Netanyahu government’s support for that outcome, he was not booed.

Oren, who accompanied U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during his recent three-day tour of Israel, said Hagel has made an “unequivocal commitment to maintaining Israel’s QME (qualitative military edge)” by providing support for additional Iron Dome missile defense system batteries as well as “new capabilities for the IDF Air Force.” Israel is the first foreign country to receive the V-22 Osprey aircraft and the F-35 fighter jet from the U.S.

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  • Yonit Gefen

    Booing shows the disrespect that people in the US show often

  • Yonit Gefen

    he is also in jail

  • Aaron Steinberg

    Two years late but I agree with you wholeheartedly Ayman Hammoudeh!

  • Aaron Steinberg

    When no other country would accept Jews including the United States, Britain and the US bartered with the Palestinians to share a portion of their land. All of you putz need to read the history of how Israel came into existence!

  • Ayman Hammoudeh

    Glick’s book on the one-state solution for Israel (2014) is a narrow vision blueprint for Israelis who think Palestine was created for the Jews. The term “Arab terror” fills the whole book with outrageous lies. What would Glick tell hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were expelled from their 1948 cities, towns and villages, after 1000s of years of prosperous life whose pulse was stopped by the Zionists who had not laid a brick in the Palestinian life and culture and who had never planted one single orange tree before pouring in thousands from Europe before 1948?
    Thank God that the bookshop that sells Glick’s book (somewhere in
    Canada) also sells other books (next to Glick’s book! and on the same shelf!). I can read more neutral thoughts in the “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, “Israel: A History”,” 1948″, ” My Promised Land”, and “Jerusalem The Biography”. One other thing these books (and many others)share in common: they were written by Jewish and Israeli authors! They say what Glick knows! But her ultra right beliefs cover her mouth and handcuff her hands! Glick will live and die still searching for the answer to a simple question: Why “the one-state” of Israel will have a serious security issue for the rest of her existence? Simply because it was built on the lives of people who populated the land or Palestine. Read the other books on that shelf!

    • Joe

      Well said. I have only glanced at a Glick book but reading her articles makes me wonder what goes on in her head. I’m assuming this one is Israel gets everything and Palestines lucky to get anything

      • David Buki

        Palestinians get it all the time, money in the Billions that ended up in Arafat’s pockets and in means to destroy Israel. If their purpose was to live in peace with a Jewish state, all their problems would have been solved. Israel had a wide variety of leaders with a great degree of desire to compromise. The Arabs prefer to keep their people as human shields in refugee camps and on top of munitions, until they eliminate Israel. At the end, they may lead their people to a real catastrophe.

    • David Buki

      Ayman, there is nothing in what you say that contradicts Glick’s claim that the real purpose of the Arab is the eliminating of the Jewish, or what you call Zionist state. You can re-argue the case for Palestine and through international blackmail may get traction; however, for the sake of truth, you have to admit that the slogan “two state solution” is not intended to have Israel exit.
      For Glick, eliminating Israel is not a solution and therefore she encourages Israel to take the initiative and craft a solution that provides the Arabs civil rights and maintains Israel’s national rights. This is consistent with the League of Nation and San Remmo resolutions.

    • Maybe you should just start reading “Palestine betrayed” by Ephraim Karsh. This is the best, more accurate, more objective book i have ever read about the exodus of the Arabs. You reproach C. Glick her narrow-minded vision but how would you call the “Palestinian vision” of the Nakba if not a narrow-minded vision? The core issues are not whether there should be one or two states because the very concept of a state for one nation doesnt apply to the reality of the middle-east. It is more about three questions:

      1-Palestinians say that there wont be peace until the land from the Jordan to the Sea will be reconquered: how a “two state solution” will work? I will just remind you of the speech Arafat held in the Johannesburg Mosque telling the claim for a state in the west bank is just part of a war that would end with the destruction of a jewish state. If someone is seriously in favor of peace, he cannot just ignore this fact just because it doesnt fit into the preconceived scheme of a jewish state oppressing the arabs.

      2-Every people has the right to self govern itself: (Wilson statement that was used to dismantle the European empires and create states in Eastern Europe after W.W.I but was not applied in colonial empires). If the Arabs can claim legitimately to self govern, why would the same be refused to the Jews? How to handle both claims? So far, everybody admits that Arabs should have a state. OK, but why do they claim something they refuse to the Jews? This claim would be serious if there had been no persecution for jews who could be in peace in arab/muslim countries. And antisemitism is the standard in the middle east. So if you dont recognize the other, why do you expect he trusts you? The real problem is here: Israel withdrew from Egypt because Egypt was serious in the effort to make peace (and get money from the us as well). Same with Jordan. The Arab leaders are just serious about being more and more funded, not solving the problem.

      3-The jewish state has done more to preserve the balance between the different communities than the arabs did during the time they ruled the place. Between 48 and 67, no jews were allowed to pray at the kotel, all synagogues had been destroyed, jewish tombs were used to make public toilets…. So the idea of a one state solution is acceptable as long as the rights of minorities are respected. Do all minorities in the world are about to get their own state? The Serbs in Bosnia are not allowed but the Albanian in Serbia are. The Basque or Corsian people in France will never get a chance to be self ruling. Not even the people from polynesia (where France made the nuclear tests)…

      Glick is not ultra right: she doesnt say she would expell all arabs or kill them (how would you call the hamas or fatah leaders who promise to expell or kill jews? Democrats) You just show your biased point of view over the situation.

    • amir burstein

      instead of attacking Ms. Glick ( rather ineffectively and unconvincingly), it would be very interesting to read what aymen hmmoudhe could say about the issues at hand :
      that the arabs were never interested in a state of their own. rather, history shows ( and Ms. Glick amply demonstrates that – that throughout the years ( late 1800’s –> present), the arabs where fixated on harming the jews. had the arabs been genuinely interested in a state of their own, they could have accomplished that long ago – more than a few times. the proof is as usual – in the pudding.

  • Charles Smyth

    This is rather a non-argument. In 1967, and irrespective of the 1949 armistice lines, Israel’s enemies launched yet another war, and lost, as they also did in 1948. In 2005, Israel completely and unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip. Some of the west bank is a matter of disputed territory, over which Israel’s enemies refuse to negotiate, in the expectation that, in effect, they can simply do an end run around the fact that they instigated a war, without UN and/or Security Council authorisation, yet demand that the same international bodies compel Israel to simply hand it back. Had Israel’s enemies not launched the 1967 war, they would still be in possession of the land that is now in dispute.

  • The line has been drawn in the spiritual sand of time and
    we are now at the place where G-D will have His way. There is no such thing as a two state in palistine. It all belongs to Israel and the jewish people of G-D. I am
    always in wonder at the blindness of some people. The real reson for the position of some is their evil hearts.
    You go girl….Sweet Caroline. G-D bless you.

  • As Professor Dershowitz points out, it might be LOGICALLY true that there is a choice between keeping: (a) all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea; and (b) a democratic Israel as “the” Jewish State, i.e. as the political expression of the Jewish People in a part of its aboriginal homeland. However PRACTICALLY there is no such choice! Even with territorial concessions, there would still be close to zero chances of reaching a full-and-final peace settlement that includes necessary security features and unequivocal recognition of the legitimacy and permanence of Israel as “the” Jewish State. There are any number of reasons why such a full-and-final peace is currently unobtainable. At the very least, Professor Dershowitz should be reminded that President Obama’s foreign policy puts the cart before the horse, in trying to address the peace process before dealing effectively with Iran’s nuclear weapons. The USA must first act promptly to stop Iran’s race to nuclear weapons. After the USA has demonstrated its commitment to remaining paramount regional power, it might then turn its attention to the thorny problem of making peace between the Arabs and the Jews. The day that Iran becomes a nuclear power marks the end of the ‘pax Americana’ in the Middle East. If the USA cannot deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons, it no longer has the credibility required to play a positive role in Middle-East diplomacy. The local landscape will start to look different the day Iran is armed with nuclear weapons. Sad to say, the probability is that the USA is never going to act to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And, this is the likelihood that world leaders have probably already internalized. The only open question remains whether the Ayatollah Khameini will deign to give President Obama some diplomatic wallpaper to dignify his craven appeasement.

  • Chasha

    I just don’t understand this>>> People are always talking about “if Israel halted construction in areas where there is “reasonable disagreement” with the Palestinians”…

    • dante

      Israel has been consistently undermined by important segments of her political, academic and artistic elites. [in some ways, the loathsome olmert is typical of self-seeking, careerists among the political elite (not the alienated and toxic left): he believes in nothing but his own personal interests; he could not care less about Israel, Zionism, the Jewish People; he is, therefore, perfectly willing to support any concession demanded of Israel, to surrender what far better and braver men fought and died for.]

      For the Arabs, the strategy may be summarized as “what’s mine is mine; what’s your is negotiable.” and, too many Israeli governments have accommodated this strategy. Of course, the Arabs have the unquestioning support of the U.N., New York Times, NPR, BBC, Los Angeles Times, etc. That helps (the enemy), a lot. So, rocket or other attacks from Gaza or Lebanon on Israeli civilians meet with mild and perfunctory reproval, if any, while Israel’s patient and restrained response, including its unprecedented solicitude for civilian casualties, is the subject of hysterical, even rabid, condemnation. [Of course, Richard “The Fool” Goldstone can be thanked for doing much to elevate the view that Israel cannot defend herself to the status of a principle of the law of armed conflict.]

  • Michael Goldstein

    As someone who attended the Jerusalem Post Conference, I can say with confidence that the article is not at all representative of what was said at the conference or what took place at the conference.
    What the writer seems to leave out or not to have seen is the vitriolic diatribe that Professor Dershowitz had against the audience throughout the entire panel discussion. A series of long lasting, childish , almost infantile screeching against audience members. At one point he literally stood up, turned his back on the audience and waved the audience of more than 1,500 Jerusalem Post readers,leaders of Large Jewish organizations, Israeli soldiers, Christian supporters of Israel,Jewish students, Holocaust survivors, young and old,rich and poor, Israeli and American; and I quote said to the panel, “We don’t need them, they don’t count anyway, 73% of the Jews voted for Barack Obama and we will do it our way, without them”- go to the video tape- those were his exact words. He also got numerous facts incorrect, being a lawyer who prides himself on facts I was quite surprised by the numerous mistakes he made in regards to Israel, timetables, -even the fact that he kept calling Ehud Olmert the current Prime Minister of Israel a number of times? Such as stated in the article.He actually said that he can’t believe how the audience could boo the Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert-last time I checked he was a civilian , just like Professor Dershowitz and one who I bleive is still under criminal indictment in his own nation and also still under criminal investigation.
    When Caroline Glick gasped, she like everyone else present could not believe what had just happened with Professor Dershowitz. It was ,as fi he had become completely unhinged. Her first comments were I believe,” How can you be talking like this? to your own fellow Jews, what is wrong with you?” go to the video tape.Then she gasped and slunk down in her chair. Like all of us present- we thought the professor had gone mad. i could go on and on and on with all the terrible hate filled things Professor Dershowitz shouted out at the audience but I think what Algemeiner should o is ask for the complete un-edited video of the entire panel discussion for all your readers to watch and judge for themselves the actions and language of Professor Dershowitz. He is no friend of the Jewish people or the people of Israel. if he is truly an advisor to President Obama as he claims often, then he is a danger to all of us and misrepresents both Israel and American Jewery to the President.

    • Simon Taylor

      Michael if you’re on Facebook would you get in touch, that way I can ask you a few questions. You described the climate of the discussion very well. Simon Taylor don’t laugh I’m pictured with a donkey, some people aren’t sure which is which.

    • Replying to Michael Goldstein: Thank you so much for your illuminating comment based on your attendance at the New York meeting. It is really important to have this firsthand testimony. Something terrible seems to be happening in the USA and also within American Jewry. It is almost as if the country has gone mad. Fortunately, we still sane witnesses like you who come forward to tell us the truth!

  • DERSHOWITZ worships the ground OBAMA walks on…OBAMA( and Hillary) worships the ground the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD walks on…and the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD worships the ground HITLER walked on including Auschwitz…….Sorry Alan you can’t get the stench of Auschwitz off you because you are chained to everything Obama “stands” for including the Muslim Brotherhood forever!

  • artcohn

    This audience was much more knowledgable than the average Jewish audience imaginedby Dershowitz. The audience attending the conference was aware that the Palestinian Arab’s goal is not a state along side of, and at peace with Israel. Their prime goal is the destruction of Israel as the state of the Jewish People. Abbas have said this many times and it is still incorperated in the Palestinian Arab charters. Dershowitz doesn’t seem to have a full understanding of their attitude.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    I would not boo President Obama, Professor Dershowitz, or Dr. Oren. However, I would strongly disagree with them all. There is not any doubt in my mind that the ultimate goal of the Palestinian leadership–Fatah as well as Hamas–is to eradicate Israel, whether it be in the short term or in the long term. One need only refer to the multitude of YouTube videos showing the hatred being taught to children throughout the Palestinian school system, including in Israel, or read the numerous academic journals disseminated by the jihadist publishers in the Palestinian universities in addition to the PA and Hamas regimes. Although Professor Dershowitz is a very successful professor, author and attorney, he is not a member of the government of either Israel or the United States and he does not represent anyone besides himself. His take on the issue should be as mute or as loud as mine or any other private citizen. If he likes, he can continue to debate and write his books and columns in newspapers, magazines, and journals; however, actually taking part in the negotiating process is out and out ludicrous. As a private citizen, what right does he have to offer Abbas any “piece of paper”? For usurping the privilege of expression that he thinks he has earned because of his success and fame, he should be unequivocally extracted from future contact with the Palestinian leadership. And until he is ready to live in Israel or at least become an Israeli citizen as I am and endure the constant threat of terror attacks, bombs in the streets, possible suicide bombers, and a potential stabbing, or in my case, personal threats from students, his voice should remain as removed as every other private Jewish-American citizen. I would venture to say that the majority of Israelis would agree wholeheartedly with this assessment. It is nice, cozy, and comfy to sit at a computer in a quiet office and type away without the concern that from 6000 miles away the likelihood of any repercussions from the message of the written manuscript be violent or threatening, unless he is concerned about being the recipient of a flashing torrent online. Contact with any Palestinian leadership is downright showboating!

  • jim mullins

    mr. dershowitz: BOO

  • Leon

    Caroline Glick has stated the correct obvious solution.

    All other notions are sinking ground.