There was a question on Quora, ‘What do you think of the Israeli one state solution of Caroline Glick?’
Well I’ve not read Caroline Glick’s book yet but in any case have reproduced in full below, a reply from Chaim Handler, which is a straight forward, straight talking analysis that filters out the noise. Also reflecting much of my own thoughts on this subject such as they are:
‘I’ve been a fan of Caroline Glick for decades. I haven’t read her book but I enjoy reading her columns because they cut through the B.S.
I’ve written a few posts in my “space” detailing my opinions on this topic. Quite frankly I think people have consistently been overthinking the whole situation. I have come to the realization that the reality is far simpler than people would like to admit.
The simple fact is that sovereignty over the Ottoman territories in the Middle East were legally transferred by treaty from the Turks to the League of Nations, who legally divided those territories into mandates, and thence transferred sovereignty to the States that were proclaimed in each of those mandates. The fact that the opportunity to declare a State was given to the Palestinian Arabs, was only relevant at the specific point in time that sovereignty left the hands of the Mandatory power and was passed on to the single solitary State that was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, Israel.
It wasn’t an opportunity they simply missed. It was a calculated choice to disregard the legal process of the transfer of sovereignty, and to attempt to militarily overthrow Israeli sovereignty, replacing it with their own. It could have succeeded, in which case seventy years later the world would not still be trying to negate the sovereignty of the Arab State of Palestine as it is trying to do to the Jewish State. The world community would never expect it to be possible to “shame” Arabs into renouncing sovereignty and bestowing it upon their adversary, as they seem to expect the Jews to do.
In fact they have been demonstrating this contempt for Israeli sovereignty as early as December 1948, when the UN passed resolution 194 demanding that Jerusalem be “internationalized”. That was while Israel was still fighting to survive, months before the armistice that gave Transjordan temporary control over the Eastern half of the city.
Could anyone imagine any sovereign country agreeing to relinquish sovereignty over any part of their territory, much less the city recognized as integral to the nation’s historical heritage? Needless to say Israel did not and will never voluntarily acquiesce to international pressure to relinquish its sovereignty. But for some reason there seems to be a false impression that Jews can be suckered or bullied to do things no other nations would agree to.
I’ve always believed that what everyone refers to as the “occupied territories” are in fact Israeli territory. How could they not be? What legal claim did Jordan have to the West Bank? They themselves renounced the claim that was never recognized as legitimate. The Egyptians never even claimed the Gaza Strip belonged to them. If the Palestinian Arabs had any legitimate claim it would be to all of what was designated to them in resolution 181. But the fact remains that they refused to consummate the deal and declare a State. On the contrary, they used military aggression to try to seize what was designated to the Jews. They gambled. They lost.
Then, not long ago, I was made aware of the legal principle of Uti Possidetis Juris, and it was no longer simply a question of logic. By this law, at the moment sovereignty is transferred from a sovereign power to a newly proclaimed State, that State (or those States) gain sovereignty over the entire territory that was controlled by the former sovereign power. By refusing to proclaim an Arab State on May 14, 1948 the Palestinian Arabs ensured Israeli sovereignty over the entire territory that was formerly Mandatory Palestine. When Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraqi forces crossed the border and invaded on May 15, 1948 the were invading territory that was already legally Israeli sovereign territory. That is the simple fact that no one wants to acknowledge.
When Jordanian and Egyptian forces withdrew from the territories they had occupied for 19 years as a result of their aggression in 1948 against Israel, those territories were liberated and reverted to the Israeli sovereignty that was in effect at the time of their military occupation by foreign forces. That is the simple fact, and no court has ever presented a reasonable argument explaining how it can be illegal for Israel to exert sovereignty within the territories in question. The international community can make proclamations and condemnations to their hearts’ content. Saying Israel’s is illegally occupying these territories is meaningless without it being proven in a court of law.
And even then, sovereignty is, by definition, a matter of who ultimately possesses control over territory. I highly doubt that if the Palestinians has succeeded in seizing control in 1948 there would be any question as to Palestinian sovereignty over all of what was Mandatory Palestine, despite the fact that they would have gained their sovereignty through military aggression. The only reason anyone questions Israel’s sovereignty today is because there are Israelis who openly question our own right to sovereignty. As I said, people overthink what is in actuality perfectly simple. There are no “Israeli occupied territories”. They legal borders of the sovereign State of Israel is and have been since May 14, 1948, identical to the borders of the former Mandatory Palestine.
I wrote about this, including my understanding of the government of Israel’s motivations for failing to acknowledge and assert its sovereignty, perpetuating the false belief that the territories are occupied, in my post:
What all this means is that there is nothing for Israel to “annex”. All Israel needs to do is acknowledge that the territories under its control are indeed sovereign Israeli land. Which raises the question of the status of the residents of what has been considered, falsely, Israeli occupied territories. Like Caroline, I had also believed that there would be no alternative other than granting citizenship to all who desire it, and permanent residence status to those who do not, with the hope that doing so will not transform Israel from the Jewish State into a bi-national or Arab State. But again I have recently become aware that this too is our overthinking what is a far simpler matter.
Strangely, nearly all of the countries of the world who assert the Palestinians’ right to self-determination are themselves hosts to a surprising number of self-governing autonomous regions (see: “” ). Even among the western Europeans who are the most liberal supporters of Palestinian rights have promoted the solution of self-governing autonomies within sovereign States (see: “ ”).
In short, I don’t believe Israel needs to annex the occupied territories, it merely needs to assert its sovereignty over the territories liberated in 1967 that have always legally been Israeli territory. And Israel does not need to grant full Israeli citizenship to the population of the territories that have been referred to as the Palestinian Autonomy since the Oslo accords of 1993. The Palestinian Autonomy can continue to exist within Sovereign Israel just as Puerto Rico exists under US sovereignty and the Basque region under Spanish sovereignty and Kurdistan under Iraqi sovereignty and Corsica under French sovereignty and on and on. Even after Israel asserts its sovereignty options exist for integrating the residents of the Palestinian Autonomy and granting full citizenship, or creating a federation of Israel and a Palestinian State. But the only genuine obstacle to Israel asserting its sovereignty over all of what was formerly Mandatory Palestine is the leadership and initiative to do so.
More about autonomy and the demographic issue can be found in my post: .’
Question from Shane Gericke: