BROADCAST- December 18, 2005
This speech! by Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor, Jerusalem Post,
was delivered at the annual dinner of the Zionist Organization of
America at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City December 11, 2005
upon her receiving the Ben Hecht Award for Excellence in Journalism for
the Middle East.
Good evening. Thank you so much. It is really wonderful
to be here in New York with all of you tonight. Thank you.
I want to thank Mort Klein and the ZOA Board of Directors
for honoring me with this prestigious award. Ben Hecht was a great Jew,
a great Zionist and a powerful writer who used his pen to defend our
people and our rights.
That the Zionist Organization of America should view me
as worthy to receive an award bearing Ben Hecht’s name is a tremendous
vote of confidence in me from people I respect. I am humbled by your
faith in me. I hope that I will always remain worthy of this faith.
want to thank my boss and colleague in Washington, Mr. Frank Gaffney,
the President of the Center for Security Policy for being here tonight.
Frank is a great American patriot and a great friend of
the Jewish people in the tradition of George Washington and Orde Wingate
and Lord Balfour.
Knowing there are people like Frank in Washington gives
me reason to believe that the future holds hope for the Jewish people
and for the American people and gives me faith that ultimately, ! we
will emerge victorious in the war now raging against us.
I also want to thank some people who are not here. I want
to thank Amnon Lord, the editor of Makor Rishon – the greatest Hebrew
newspaper in Israel – for bringing me into newspaper business six years
ago and for continuing to encourage me ever since.
David Horovitz, the editor of the Jerusalem Post has
provided me with a wonderful platform for my writing and for this I am
grateful as well.
Now, back to the people who are here. I want to thank my
family. My parents – Gerald and Sharon Glick and my siblings – David,
Bonnie and Douglas Glick and their families. My brother in law Paul
Foldi and my nephews Matthew and Jonathan are also here tonight.
The responsibility for the survival and success of the
Jewish people has always rested first and foremost on the Jewish family.
I can say without reservation that I would never have been able to
accomplish what I have accomplished in my life if I hadn’t had you as my
family. I want you to know that I do not take your love and support for
granted. I owe who I am to my ability to trust that love. Thank you.
One of the most fundamental lessons we learned growing up
in our parents’ house was the difference between reality and fantasy.
As children, the distinction seemed obvious to us. But
apparently, the difference between the two is a lot less easy to discern
than it would seem.
This must be the case because the fact of the matter is
that to! day, for the second time in 12 years, a government of Israel --
being led by an elderly politician with a distant past as a war hero --
is basing its policies on fantasy rather than reality.
I made aliyah in May 1991 and joined the army. A couple
of years after my service began, I found myself working as the
coordinator of the negotiations with the PLO in the Ministry of Defense.
In that position, I saw on a daily basis what life looks like in the
world of fantasy.
On July 18, 1995 Ori Shachor and Ohad Bachrach – aged 18
and 19 were hiking in Wadi Kelt when the! y were murdered by Palestinian
terrorists. They were each shot in the head and then, after they were
dead, their throats were slit.
I remember their murders well. They were killed on a
Friday morning. I was sitting at a hotel in Zikhron Yaacov with the
heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams as they laid out
the schedule for the next week of talks when we got word of the
On Sunday morning while I was driving up the coastal
highway to Zikhron Yaacov, opponents of the Oslo p! rocess staged a
A convoy of cars, buses and trucks drove up the highway at 20 miles an
hour with signs reading, “Rabin, Peres, go slow.”
I was deeply moved by the demonstration. I cried the
whole way to Zikhron. I was grateful to the protesters - who made me
arrive an hour late at the talks. I was grateful to them for taking the
time to show their loyalty to the memory of the young men – for
maintaining the honor of our dead.
But when I got to the hotel, my tears were replaced by
shock. here, the heads of our delegation were livid ! at what they
considered the chutzpa of the demonstrators for making us start our
negotiations late. Uri Savir, then director general of the Foreign
Ministry and head of our delegation, like the politicized IDF generals,
apologized to the Palestinians for the inconvenience caused them by the
They apologized even as the murderers of Shachor and
Bachrach had in the space of 36 hours been arrested and released by the
Palestinian security forces. And they apologized even as their
Palestinian counterparts were the commanders of the security services
that released the young men’s killers.
For these Israeli leaders, the fantasy of the peace
process was impervious to the screams of our murdered youths. For these
so-called peacemakers, their murder – at the hands of the so-called
“enemies of peace” – was a simple inconvenience.
Yehudit Shachor, Ori’s mom told reporters a couple of
years later that when she tried to talk to Shimon Peres about the fact
that her son’s murderers were walking free, Peres told her that there
was nothing that he could do about it because he was in the business of
signing peace treaties.
All he could offer was the suggestion that Mrs. Shachor
speak with Yassir Arafat.
The fantasy of Oslo was that the Arabs want peace with Israel. This
fantasy was laid to rest five years ago when the Palestinians began
their terror war against Israel in earnest -- with the support of the
entire Arab world and Iran.
Israelis lost their faith in the fantasy of peace as our people were
incinerated at cafes, on buses, at bar mitzvah parties and at Passover
Seders while in the background, from Cairo to Tehran to Beirut and
Damascus to Amman, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were turned into
TV mini-series and the infamous forgeries went into their thousandth
printings throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The odd and tragic thing is that just as the fantasy of ! Oslo was
disintegrating against the overwhelming power of the reality of war, it
was replaced not with a strategy for victory based on reality, but by a
new strategy based on a new fantasy.
Those who for years spoke of the danger of Oslo and
watched in horror as their darkest forecasts came true, did not receive
the belated thanks of their people.
They continued to be pilloried, as Israel’s elites and their foreign
benefactors replaced one old politician and fo! rmer military leader
with another old politician and former military leader and replaced one
fantasy for another.
This new fantasy, propounded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the
fantasy of disengagement.
According to this fantasy, while it is true that the Arab
world in general and the Palestinians in particular have no interest in
living at peace with Israel, Israel can deal with their hatred by
unilaterally disengaging from the Middle East. We can hold up behind
walls and barricades, turn on the internet and become immediately
transported to a world where we will be safe.
The disengagement from geographical and strategic reality
that Sharon is advancing is in many ways more dangerous than the fantasy
Oslo endangered Israelis by empowering the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad
and giving them safe bases of operations against Israel in Judea,
Samaria and Gaza.
Oslo endangered Israelis by sending a clear message to
the entire Arab and Muslim world that Israel can be defeated through a
strategy of attrition based on terrorism.,The disengagement fantasy does
all of this as well. But it also does something more.,The disengagement
fantasy involves Israelis directly in the brutalization of other
In August of this year, at the command of Sharon and his
yes-man Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, the Israel Defe! nse Forces and
the Israel Police deployed a force of 50,000 soldiers and policemen to
forcibly expel all Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. In so doing,
Sharon and Mofaz made Israel the first country to ethnically cleanse
land from Jews simply because they are Jews since the Holocaust.
The justice system in Israel was subverted to ensure the
accomplishment of the goal of making Gaza and northern Samaria
Judenrein. People were denied permits to protest..People’s freedom of
move! ment was restricted as policemen intercepted buses transporting
lawful protesters to legal demonstrations.
Thousands of people were arrested en masse and kept
behind bars for weeks and months without trial or indictment for the
“crime” of opposing their government’s policies. Among these Jewish
political prisoners were hundreds of minor children. And when the Public
Defender’s office put out a report explaining that laws were
prejudicially enforced based on the suspects’ political views, Chief
Public Defender Inbal Rubinstein was forced to apologize for the report
under threat of firing from Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
In the meantime, in spite of the constant demonization by
the Hebrew press and the Prime Minister’s office, the protesters
themselves, managed to protest against this immoral and strategically
disastrous policy while maintaining their dignity and reputation as
Israeli patriots and democratic opponents of the government.
For the most part, the IDF too maintained its dignity. It
was clear from Sharon’s statements that he wanted for the IDF to clash
with the protesters. Through word and deed he made it clear to everyone
that he wanted for the two sides to view one another as enemies and to
act that way. Sharon’s aim was t! o force a violent clash between the
IDF and the opponents of the expulsions in order to delegitimize the
supporters of the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in order
to prepare the groundwork for mass expulsions from Judea and Samaria. He
In the now destroyed synagogues in the now destroyed town
of Neve Dekalim, in Gedid, in Atzmona, in Netzarim, in Kfar Darom,
soldiers and protesters - expelled Jews and their supporters - prayed
and sang and wept together.
The IDF stood by its duty to fulfill the orders of the government even
when the government is wrong.
And the hundreds of thousands of protesters against the
expulsions understood that one man and one man alone was responsible for
this moral outrage – Ariel Sharon – and he was not in Gush Katif. The
strength of the Jewish people was palpable during the dark days of July
and August. Both the opponents of the expulsions and the army that was
called in to execute those expulsions understood that they held a grave
responsibility to avert a civil war that Sharon and his political
consultants were pushing for.
But while the achievements of both the army and ! the
opponents of the expulsions were great, ironically, they paved the way
for the next round of expulsions by making it seem easy to throw Jews
out of their homes.
Today Sharon and his associates are planning to move immediately after
the general elections to expel an additional fifty thousand Jews from
their homes in Judea and Samaria.
Indeed, the coming elections will answer one question and only one
Will Sharon continue the policy of ethnically cleansing the Land of
Israel of Jews and transfer 95 percent of Judea and Samaria to our
enemies – even before he begins negotiating Jerusalem, the immigration
of foreign Arabs to the Land of Israel and Israel’s security
arrangements with anyone? That is, will Israel expand its
vulnerability to national destruction at the hands of our enemies and
continue to turn Jew against Jew in the hopes of inciting a ! civil war?
Will Israel, at the same time as the Iranians with the
silent support of the Arab world call for the eradication of the Jewish
state, continue to cling to the fantasy that we can live in our land and
pretend that we are not part of our neighborhood?
It is possible that Sharon will win the coming elections,
although all must be done to point out ! to the Israeli people and to
our friends around the world in the coming months, the tragic toll such
an event will take on the lives of thousands Israelis and our allies
around the world.
All must be made to know that the result of choosing
fantasy over reality is the murder of thousands of real people. And if
Sharon does win, we must understand that the fight for truth will
continue. In such an event the role of the ZOA and its members will
become both more difficult and more important.
Just as it has done since Israel
first chose fantasy over reality 12 years ago, the ZOA will be forced to
remain a voice of truth even as the power rests in the hands of those
who base! their policies on denying truth.
In Gaza this summer I saw the greatness of the Jewish people even in the
hour of our self-inflicted suffering. I have seen since the withdrawal
from Gaza -- with the transformation of Gaza into a base for
international terror, and the transformation of the western Negev into a
war zone -- that our enemies continue to be consistent in their
dedication to the destruction of our country.
I believe in the greatness of the Jewish people. I know
that alas, we have a tendency, because of the burden of our identity, to
choose false messiahs in every generation – men who ! tell us there is
an easy way out of our struggle.
I also know that there is a core among us, that never
loses faith in our destiny as the Children of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
This is the core of Jews that never forgets the distinction between fact
and fantasy. And the people in this room are part of this core. I
entreat you to recognize that each of us carries the responsibility for
our people but also the ability as committed proud Jews, and friends of
the Jews to secure our future.
There is much difficult work to be done. And I have trust
that we are equal ! to the task. I pray that G-d should bless all of you
and that he should bless the Jewish people and our friends throughout