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Binyamin (Kerry) Netanyahu Freezes New Homes for Maaleh Adumim

“E-1” is a red line in the Abbas-Netanyahu chess match of who can stay out of being cornered in the blame game. The Housing Ministry moved the E-1 pawn out front. Netanyahu pulled it back. Maaleh Adumim gets rooked.
The Palestinian Authority backed by EU funds, has sent Bedouin into the E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim to claim it is part of their fictional history.

The Palestinian Authority backed by EU funds, has sent Bedouin into the E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim to claim it is part of their fictional history.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered Housing Minster Uri Ariel to cancel plans for 1,200 housing units that could accommodate thousands of people in the “E-1” area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, located 10 minutes east of Jerusalem and overlooking the Dead Sea.

The cancellation was ordered shortly after the Haaretz newspaper reported that the Housing Ministry has hired an architect to plan construction of residential units for a reported 20,000 people in Maaleh Adumim and in smaller communities in Judea and Samaria. The cancellation affects only E-1 and not other areas.

The Office of the Prime Minister was unusually honest, although inaccurate, in explaining the order to Ariel, a leading Jewish Home minister.

“There is no need to pay international prices for a process that does not have great significance,” it told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.”

Not of “great significance?” Apparently, the Prime Minister’s office was being sarcastic. More probable, it was being cynical.

E-1 has become a flashing red line for the Palestinian Authority. Building Jewish homes in E-1 would guarantee that the Palestinian Authority would not endanger Israeli security with a contiguous land mass from eastern Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria.

Constant reports that E-1 would “cut off” the Palestinian Authority are patent lies because highways connect Arab villages and cities in all directions.

It has been a political ping-pong ball within Israel, with nationalists such as Ariel fighting tooth and nail for Israel to stand up and take a position that the mostly vacant 4.5 square mile area, which is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, will be a home for Jews, sooner and not later.

Almost everyone except the Obama administration knows that it will happen. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas once upon a time may have had little hope that he could prevent E-1 from being developed, but the Obama administration has effectively become his spokesman and is dead set against its development.

The Bush administration gets the first “credit” for opposing construction in E-1 after President George W. Bush came out with his “Roadmap Plan,” which eventually fell off a cliff, a better result than the Oslo Accords that literally exploded in Israel’s collective face.

The saga of E-1 is a prime example of why Israel cannot depend on promises from the United States. President Ronald Reagan once wrote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter that promised recognition of Israel’s right to build there. The promise was not a legal document, and its worth was only as long as Reagan was in office. The Obama adminstration has said it is not committed by the letter.

It was none other than Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, whose memory has been defaced into an image of Peace Now, who in 1994 provided Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel with documents to make E-1 an official part of the city.

Nearly 30 years later, all that Israel has built on E-1 is a police station. The Arabs have woken up and have sent Bedouin families to dot the area so they can tell foreign and local reporters how they have been living on the land for centuries.

E-1 has been a toy, or pawn, for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has defied nationalists and has toed the line in Washington to keep the bulldozers out of the area.

True, after Abbas went to the United Nations last November to upgrade the PA’s status in the General Assembly to that of a non-member state, Netanyahu unleashed the E-1 pawn and announced plans to build 5,000 residential units there.

So much for hot air.

Not a single house has been built there. In fact, Netanyahu inflicted an unannounced building freeze on almost all of Judea and Samaria until last month, one hour after Israel freed the second batch of terrorists in the four-step program to release 104 murderers in return for the privilege of officially arguing with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu’s policy on E-1 sounds like a broken record.

In January 2009, Netanyahu secretly promised President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel would not build in E-1, according to an Al Jazeera report in 2011.

Netanyahu, of course, denied the report, prompting Maaleh Adumim Mayor Kashriel to demand that the Prime Minister “order the defense minister to submit the master plan for the neighborhood immediately and progress with development on site, as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did during his tenure.”

If Netanyahu indeed did not promise Obama to freeze building on E-1, it must have been written in some kind of Hieroglyphics. Six months after he agreed to keep E-1 off the chessboard, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on at least two different public occasions that Obama forced Israel to commit to prevent any construction there.

In the Israeli elections after the fall of the Obama-Livni administration in 2009, Netanyahu campaigned by boasting, “I will link Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim through the neighborhood of… E1. I want to see neighborhoods in one contiguous Jewish construction.”

Ho-ho and Happy Hanukkah, but a great miracle did not happen in E-1.

It will happen one day, but only after the curtains close on the Peace Talks Follies, which so far has won the applause only of journalists who need good copy for other journalists and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to read.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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9 Responses to “Binyamin (Kerry) Netanyahu Freezes New Homes for Maaleh Adumim”

  1. Nathan Katz says:

    If you could see Maale Adumin and where it is located, you could appreciate how foolhardy this decision is. I am all for some territorial compromises for peace, but this is appeasement posing as compromise.

  2. Cindy Lasky says:

    obama need to back the F-up and pay attention!! Israel will win, no doubt about it!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who is crazy and stupid enough to support anything Israeli must have their head examined. The Israelis are the dumbest people on earth and every Arab knows this. Why are the Jews in Israel so ashamed of their country that they are so willing to empty their jails, and give territory to a non people like the so called Palestinians?

  4. Earl W. Littlefield Jr says:

    It is impossible to appease Kerry, Obama, the EU & the Muslims, & other terrorists…. Israel should continue its orderly growth throughout the "West Bank" & back into Gaza….. Attempting to appease will only achieve a false 7 year "Piece Treaty" with no PEACE involved….

  5. Ken Kelso says:

    I think what Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu is saying is, Netanyahu is basically no different then Livni, Barak, Olmert and Peres.
    Pretty much when the Europeans and State department pressure Netanyahu he gives in to them.

  6. Ken Kelso says:

    Why would Netanyahu put Livni as his main negotiator?
    Because I think Netanyahu is a clone of Livni.
    Livni who wanted to give up Israeli sovereignty over the Wailing Wall when she was Foreign Minister in Olmerts government.
    Livni wants to divide Jerusalem and give up the Jewish Golan.

    Look at some of the things Netanyahu has done.
    He apologized to Jihadist Erdogan of Turkey for Israel defending itself against Turkish terrorists on the Flotilla.
    Netanyahu freed Palestinian mass murderers not once, but Twice.
    Netanyahu says he will build in E1, but he never does as the author mentions.

  7. I am worry about Bibinochio's behaving, at last week end he was a hardliner before US and EU and now is weekliner to prohibit the construction of 20.000 settlements with the excuse about Iran with the compromise Kerry's extorsion with the "third intifada", is Bibinochio under drugs?, the best that Bibinochio should resigne inmediatelly becouse he is not capable to adress the country, by by Bibinochio!.

  8. Very Tragic that the Obama Administration is now controling both the foreign and domestic actions of the Netanyahu administration.The demands of the Palestine authority are lpushed by the US.which is forcing those demands on Israel., The so called negotiations are a farse. It is a drama directed by the USA as the spoksman for Palestian authority..

  9. It would have been better to continue with the work. Seek the wisdom of God before you do anything. PA are winners all the time. WHY? If we forget to seek God first, Iran is next!!!

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