Election season in Israel is upon us… and new faces are emerging from all corners of the playing field. Among them is Caroline Glick who has joined with Naftali Bennett (Israel’s Minister of Education) and Ayelet Shaked (Israel’s Justice Minister) to form the “Ha Yemin Ha Hadash” party – which translates to “The New Right party.” This is a party with a long list of potential candidates, but these three head the team.
She is introducing herself and her party to groups throughout the country, lending insight into what is inspiring this woman who has written somewhere between five hundred and one thousand columns in newspapers, focusing on Israel in the international arena. Having heard her speak on many occasions, (never about herself before) and having read many of her columns – it was time to find out more.
The woman who presented her party and her candidacy was self-assured and clearly spoken. When asked why indeed, there was a need for a new party at all, when Bayit HaYehudi had been the initial party of Bennett and Shaked, she explained that the control of certain Rabbis over the decisions of that party discouraged many from supporting it. When Rabbis of note were given ultimate decision-making powers over the party when they themselves were not elected to such power, it was time to sever the influence. Bennett and Shaked split in order to form a new entity in which the candidates who were to be elected by the public would be delivering that which they had intended and promised.
Invited to leave the world of journalism to join forces, Caroline decided it was time to move forward into the fray to apply her philosophy, a life-time of activism and inside experience from having served the State of Israel. A native of Chicago, following her studies in International affairs at Columbia University she became a “lone soldier” in the Israeli Army. During her 5 ½ years of military service, she found herself at a young age assigned to the most sensitive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians- participating in a process she found absurd in its naivete. She could not fathom how the very people who were murdering Israelis were then negotiating an elusive plan for the future of the State of Israel. Her Master’s degree from Harvard following her service enhanced her understanding of International dynamics. Her activism included working with Senator Cruz to open up Israeli Airspace after it had been closed by the USA for its flights, due to a missile from Gaza which landed a few kilometers away from Ben Gurion. The fact that other nations previously had direct hits on their facilities, and that the USA had not created the same restrictions should have provided precedent and reason needed to follow. Caroline was a major part of that successful effort.
It was refreshing to hear a candidate running for office who does not feel the need to destroy the current Prime Minister. By contrast, she says that her party and she personally support his candidacy and feel that at the end of the day, it will be Netanyahu who will form the next government….even if Likud does not receive the most mandates from the election. She believes that the “left” will not be able to form a coalition as she states that the Lapid-Ganz party has totally alienated the religious parties. She herself worked with Netanyahu during his tenure as Prime Minister and she respects his goals and essential philosophy. She feels however, that he has, by force, watered down his application of his principles in order to appease coalition partners, and many other International pressures put upon him. She came to the conclusion that only a strong right-wing party with no religious interference and sufficient mandates, can assist him in staying strong in the days ahead. While Donald Trump has been deemed thus far to be a friend to Israel, his purported peace plan is quite worrisome to many and she believes that Israel will need an extremely strong Knesset in order to stand firm on what is in its own best interests.
As a mother of two who lives in Efrat she is quite appalled that one half million people in the State of Israel (…Jews, not Arabs…) remain under military rule and are denied as she states: “their basic civil rights” as homeowners and citizens. She looks to change this inequity. She is also committed to reversing the continued illegal Arab building around the entrances to Efrat which are intended to ultimately cut if off from the balance of Israel. At the same time she is prepared to allow up to 100,000 Israeli Arabs who are legitimate residents to take full Israeli citizenship provided they truly fulfill the requirements of such a commitment.
Ms. Glick kept referring to the need to “get off the Merry-go-round” of the illusion of the Oslo accords. She states that multiple US Presidents have come and gone, with no progress with the Palestinians, and yet Israel has continued in fruitless conversations and meetings to please those who have nothing at stake and those who refuse any compromise to come to a solution. She feels it is time to stop the repetitive failures and deal with the realities. Among those, are the fact that areas “A” and “B” are now virtually autonomous. Israel has turned over their rule to the Palestinians. She would have them remain as such. She is greatly concerned that there is a clear indication that population accounts of the number of Arabs living in the West Bank have been inflated enormously in order to receive more international aid . Those numbers provided by the Palestinian Authority have never been verified and many experts feel they may have been inflated by as many as one million people. Also to be faced, she explained , is that Abu Mazen is a dictator whose legitimate rule ended over ten years ago when his elected period expired. He is running out of money and this is the time for Israel to implement a census which will deal with facts not fantasy and which would limit the financial support he has been receiving.
She explained that with her party’s influence, “Area C” would be non-negotiable as national security depends upon it remaining under Israeli control.
Of major concern to Ms. Glick is the lack of “checks and balances” in the Israeli political system. She asserts that the powers granted to itself by Israel’s Supreme Court and its imbalance must not continue to be ignored by future Knessets.
Caroline speaks of her new party as one which unites the observant and non-observant. She believes that the population of Israel now is highly connected to its Judaism, whether or not it practices it by Orthodox standards. This, she states, is a major change in the population as a whole who used to view themselves as “Israeli first” and “Jewish, second.” By having the three leaders of her new party representing the three very real streams of Israeli religious observance… she feels they connect well with a large segment of the population.
Her understanding of the political realities regarding Israel’s relationship with the United States, Europe and its Arab neighbors is unlike that which is normally in a resume of a candidate to the Knesset.
Ultimately, Caroline’s understanding of every square foot of the State of Israel, its legitimate needs, its friends and foes, make her a candidate which exceeds normal expectations. Israel’s safety, she explains, is the primary concern at all times. All decisions will be weighed with that at their core. As a result, her party is not interested in a “two-state solution” or in allowing the Palestinians to have a capital of any description in Jerusalem.
With over forty parties putting forth candidates and platforms in the current election, one needs to focus on those which will unify the nation rather than divide it. Ms. Glick explains that her new party “Ha Yemin Ha Hadash” will need between 12 and 18 mandates in order to guarantee a solid right of center government in the coming years. Caroline Glick is worth listening to. There is no question that she will avoid answering. Take the opportunity to hear her speak in the future. Whether you agree with her or not, she will not let you dow