Book Review : The Israeli Solution

israeliAn almost ever-present segment in newspapers, twenty-four hour news channels, and news magazines is the crisis in the Middle East. Regularly we hear of a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, new rounds of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and calls from nations for Israel’s destruction. At the heart of all the hated, discussion, and confusion is one simple matter: Israel’s right to exist as legitimate sovereign nation. Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post and former member of Israel’s negotiations team with the Palestinians has weighed in on this matter in her new book, “The Israeli Solution; A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East”. It is here that she takes an “in the trenches” look at the often-touted two-state solution for Middle Eastern peace. She presents the fallacy of this plan and the shallow-thinking behind it when she writes, “Establishing a Palestinian state, so the thinking goes, would be a panacea for all the region’s ills. It would end the Arab world’s conflict with Israel, because the reason the Arab world is anti-Israel is that there is no Palestinian state. It would also nearly erase the Arab world’s anti-Americanism, because the reason the Arabs – and the larger Muslim world – are anti-American is that the United States supports Israel even though there is no Palestinian state. Based on this thought chain, most American policy makers across the ideological spectrum share the view that the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would remove the principal cause of the violent extremism that afflicts the Arab and the larger Islamic world.”

In the first part of her book, “The Middle-East’s Beloved Chimera”, Glick gives attention to a favored two-state plan by leaders of the western world and how that vision is only a pipe dream. We also see in this section the surprising and disappointing stance of the United States in favor of a two-state plan for the Middle East and the increasing hostility of the United States toward Israel. Case in point, President George W. Bush, “It is untenable for Israeli citizens to live in terror. It is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation.” Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there “could be ‘no greater legacy for America’ than to establish a Palestinian state. The U.S. goal was to lead ‘serious negotiations’ that would establish a Palestinian state ‘as soon as possible.’” Finally, President Barrack Obama, “A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.” Glick also gives an entire chapter to President Bill Clinton’s failed attempts to secure a two-state plan, highlighting his uneasy closeness with PLO leader Yassir Arafat.

In part two, “The Israeli One-State Plan”, Glick discusses what a one-state plan would look like. She writes, “In essence, then, the main thing that the Israeli one-state plan – that is, the application of Israeli law over Judea and Samaria – requires of both Israel and its closest ally is that they embrace reality, with all its opportunities and threats, and stop chasing fantasies of perfect solutions. The mechanics of the policy are fairly straightforward. Israel will apply its laws to Judea and Samaria and govern the areas as normal parts of Israel. The military government will be dissolved, as it was in the Golan Heights in 1981, when Israel applied Israeli law to that area.” In this section, she defends her plan by refuting the claims that the demographic changes will result in an Arab majority in relation to the Jews. Glick calls attention to the historical claims of Israel’s legitimacy and how international law and principles of self-defense allow only for a one-state plan in the Middle East. In the third section, “Probable Fallout”, Glick shares what would be the likely repercussions of from the point of view of Palestinians, Europe, the United States, and other Arab nations in the region if Israel actually put forward this one-state plan. Although there will be some fallout, the plan would see the welfare of the region increase.

Glick has written a powerful and passionate book. “The Israeli Solution” is meticulously researched and developed. Her background allows her to write with authority, clarity, and passion. This is a book that national leaders need to pick up, read, and give serious consideration to. Glick concludes with these words, “The Israeli one-state plan provides an equitable, democratic means of resolving the conflict, and by safeguarding Israel’s national and legal rights, it secures Israel’s strategic posture. It neutralizes the Palestinians’ capacity to destabilize Israel domestically and delegitimize it internationally, and it strengthens Israel militarily, both from foreign invasion and from terror assaults.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review : Why Still Care About Israel?

careabout israelDaily our news reports are filled with headlines which are connected to the nation of Israel. Whether it is another terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, a national leader calling for the extermination of the Jewish people, or the on-again off-again talks of peace between Israel and her neighbors, we are not allowed to forget about the significance and fragility of the nation of Israel. At the same time, the very mention of the name ‘Israel’ invokes images and feelings of compassion, anger, love, pity, confusion, and hatred; depending upon which lens you choose to view Israel through. In her latest book, “Why Still Care About Israel? The Sanctity of Covenant, Moral Justice, and Prophetic Blessing”, a revision of her 2003 book, author and former lawyer Sandra Teplinsky tackles a loaded and oft-misunderstood subject. From the perspective of a Messianic Jewish believer of Christ, Teplinsky has written a thought-provoking and heart-stirring work that introduces the reader to the history, people, religion, and political pressures of the tiny sovereign state of Israel.

The title is the premise of and scaffolding for the entire book. Teplinsky asks the reader if there is any reason to still care about what happens to Israel. Emphatically and without reservation, Teplinsky answers own question. She writes, “The Creator does not play favorites with Israel. He chose her so that people like you and me in every nation and period of history would know – through her Scriptures, her Savior and her soul – His loving mercy and grace. Perhaps to the surprise of some, He is not finished with the Jewish nation – or with how He wants to bless us through her”. She begins by introducing the reader to the depth of God’s love for Israel, His chosen people. Again, she writes, “God ties His love for the Jewish people to the oath He swore to them. He unconditionally binds Himself by His word to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It is here that we are introduced to the covenants, or the binding promises of God has made to Israel.

Teplinsky weaves together the threads of God’s love unconditional love for Israel, covenant promises, prophetic signposts, and Israel’s religion to create the fabric of a past, present, and future significance of the Jewish people. The first six chapters deal with God’s relationship with His chosen people (His love, His election) and their relationship with Him (their worship, their salvation). The remaining chapters deal with the relationship between other nations/religions and Israel. Teplinsky highlights such topics as the continual persecution of Messianic Judaism, examples of modern day anti-Semitism, the rise of Islam and its threat to Israel, the continuing battle for their God-promised land, Israel’s enemies (PLO, Palestinian Authority), and the future of Israel in light of prophecy.

Why Still Care About Israel? is a well-written and thoroughly-researched work. Teplinsky’s inside perspective; a Messianic Jewish believer of Christ and part-time resident of Israel has given her insight that many do not have. It is clear that her legal investigative and research skills have paid off. I enjoyed the historical side of this book. Teplinsky helps the reader who may be unfamiliar with the Middle East conflict to better understand it all. She gives the reason why there is a battle over al piece of land that is, as she says, “1/500th the size of the U.S.” You might expect that the aforementioned perspective would demonstrate a bias in favor of Israel. Not the case. She admits that Israel has her own struggles and is by no means perfect or without fault. She also is very sympathetic to the Palestinian viewpoint. There is one statement that I had a hard time with. Teplinsky quotes a team of Bible scholars who say “Ultimately, how a person treats the Jews will reveal whether or not he is saved”. This statement is a little far-reaching for me from a theological standpoint. Overall this is a powerful book. Insightful. Honest. Timely. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand why the simple mention of the name ‘Israel’ brings about such strong emotions today.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Publishing as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”