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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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ARE THEY FOR REAL?

Israel Launching Rabin’s E1 ‘Nuclear Option’ in East Jerusalem Construction

According to Saturday's Times, Israeli officials authorized construction of 3,000 housing units in "parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank."
The late Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin visiting Maale Adumim, which he was planning to connect to East Jerusalem to guarantee a contiguous Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

The late Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin visiting Maale Adumim, which he was planning to connect to East Jerusalem to guarantee a contiguous Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
Photo Credit: Maale Adimim website

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A NY Times article Saturday morning revealed that “Israel is moving forward with development of Jewish settlements in a contentious area east of Jerusalem, defying the United States by advancing a project that has long been condemned by Washington as effectively dooming any prospect of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The Times is right, and Washington is right to be alarmed, because once the E1 zone is built and populated, the southern and northern halves of what is popularly known as the “West Bank” will be permanently severed from each other.

Of course that ignores that Israel can build a series of bridges and tunnels to ensure contiguity, if needed.

The E1 Neighborhoold is an area of some 3000 acres, stretched between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem. The area was appended to the city by none other than the late Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin, in 1994. The planned neighborhood, Mevasseret Adumim, will consist of 4,000 housing units, according to the Maale Adumim website.

At the moment, the Arabs are also pushing to create their own built-up sequence that would occupy the territory from Ramallah to Jerusalem and east of the city toward Bethlehem. Should area E1 be built and populated by Arabs, Israel can kiss good bye any plan for preserving a resilient settlement block east and south of Jerusalem. Once a Palestinian state is established, the Jewish towns south-east of the city could become isolated from “mainland” Israel. And this dense Arab construction would be too close for comfort to Jerusalem from the east.

Most importantly, Palestinian construction in E1 could potentially cut off Ma’aleh Adumim, the Dead Sea, and the Jordan Valley from Jerusalem, a definite goal of the Palestinians.

If the Palestinians have their way, once the E1 zone is built and populated, the east and western halves of what is popularly known as the “West Bank” will be permanently severed from each other as would be Israel’s quick and safe strategic access to the Jordan border in times of war.

According to Saturday’s Times, Israeli officials authorized construction of only 3,000 housing units in “parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

(YY: I’ve always maintained that the historic Labor movement was by far friendlier to Jewish settlements than the Likud. It also never removed Jewish families from their homes.)

The real estate is the property of the State of Israel, free and clear of residents, of claimants, of disputing heirs and all the rest of the silliness that accompanied some Jewish settlement in other parts of liberated Judea and Samaria. It was Rabin, no dove by any stretch of the imagination, who correctly defined the area as strategically significant, and initiated its construction to connect between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem.

The Times reported that “a day after the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the status of the Palestinians, a senior Israeli official said the government would pursue ‘preliminary zoning and planning preparations’ for a development that would separate the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem.”

At which point the Times wails: “If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”

Hence the title “nuclear option.”

The E1 zone will connect Maale Adumim with East Jerusalem. (E1 section is enhanced for illustration purposes and not proportionately accurate).

The E1 zone will connect Maale Adumim with East Jerusalem, forcing all Arab traffic to move through dense Jewish neighborhoods, or bypass them with tunnels and bridges. (The E1 section is enhanced for illustration purposes and not proportionately accurate – YY).

According to the Times, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a Saban Forum speech on Friday night, criticized Israel for planning the construction – bit didn’t refer to any settlement by name. “These activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace,” Mrs. Clinton said.

You bet. As does a unilateral appeal for a UN resolution to turn the PLO into a state.

Israel gave the United States only a few hours’ notice of the plan, says the Times.

The Palestinian Authority described the plan as “a new act of defiance from the Israeli government.” Saeb Erekat, the chief peace negotiator, said in a statement, “At a moment where the Palestinian leadership is doing every single effort to save the two-state solution, the Israeli government does everything possible to destroy it.”

It’s hard to imagine Erekat didn’t at least crack a smile when he wrote that last line…

Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the zoning and construction decisions, which were made Thursday night around the time of the General Assembly vote.

Stay tuned.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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12 Responses to “Israel Launching Rabin’s E1 ‘Nuclear Option’ in East Jerusalem Construction”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    "(I’ve always maintained that the historic Labor movement was by far friendlier to Jewish settlements than the Likud. It also never removed Jewish families from their homes.)".

    Levi Eshkol was the PM when the US first objected to settlements — in 1968. Rather than create a confrontation with Washington and scream about Jewish Rights, Eshkol and his Labor successors Meir and Rabin simply built settlements quietly and without fanfare.

    “At a moment where the Palestinian leadership is doing every single effort to save the two-state solution, the Israeli government does everything possible to destroy it.”.

    Uh, the action by the Palestinian leadership constituted an endrun around the Oslo negotiations process. It is arguable that Israel may no longer be obligated in what it agreed to at Oslo thanks to the Palestinian action. The only reasonable end to this may be Israeli annexation of all of the West Bank with all the Arabs there becoming Israeli citizens. The great Palestinian victory may actually have been the beginning of a slow national suicide.

  2. Zachary Kessin says:

    Fatah has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    While I never criticize the government of Israel on security matters, I have often criticized it for settlement building. Not today, though. Nevertheless it is worthwhile to understand where this is leading.

  4. The expansion of an existing settlement, all of 3, 000 apartments, would have been allowed under Oslo. The project was delayed because an American president demanded that Israel stop new construction in existing settlements. So Israel still has the problem that the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza face no consequences from the rest of the world for breaking Oslo while Israel gets blamed.

  5. You know, conditioning the blessings and obligations of citizenship on a convincing expression of loyalty to the state isn't unreasonable in any way. Presuming that Israel is somehow obligated to grant citizenship to people committed to destroying Israel isn't reasonable at all.

  6. Penina Sarah says:

    It is kind of ironic that Rabin should have planned for the settlements which may yet save Israel, and Sharon was responsible for the withdrawal from Gaza (Gush Katif) which may well cost Israel far more than just that land area and those communities, with all the human suffering their uprooting entailed, in terms of security.

  7. Yori Yanover says:

    Not ironic at all. Rabin had a healthy sense of public service, while Sharon was a self-centered megalomaniac. The fact that Sharon was a more brilliant military thinker masked the fact that he — like Dayan — was more about himself than about the national interest.

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    The United States annexed the entire Southwest immediately after the US-Mexican War, and immediately turned all the residents there into US Citizens unless they explicitly opted out — even though some had taken up arms on the side of Mexico. Similarly, the US granted US citizenship to all residents of Vermont, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, with the exception of American Indians, who became US Citizens later.

    Medinat Yisrael immediately granted Israeli citizenship to essentially all Arabs within the 1949 cease fire line and three Arabs served in the First Knesset.

  9. Most importantly, Palestinian construction in E1 could potentially cut off Ma’aleh Adumim, the Dead Sea, and the Jordan Valley from Jerusalem, a definite goal of the Palestinians.

  10. This is a complete LIE. Look at a map! There is some 30KM of contiguous open space to the East all the way to the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

  11. Israel never belonged to the Jews it belonged to their Living Gods.

  12. This statement "The Times is right, and Washington is right to be alarmed, because once the E1 zone is built and populated, the southern and northern halves of what is popularly known as the “West Bank” will be permanently severed from each other." is not accurate. The width of "Palestine" to the East of Maaleh Adumim would be no less, and really more, than the width of Israel at its narrowest point between the Mediterranean and the West Bank. Thus it is no more valid to say that the West Bank would be severed by E1 than to say Israel would be severed by the West Bank. If Israelis travelling from Kiryat Shemona to Jerusalem have to go "around" the West Bank it's not unreasonable for Palestinians to have to go around Maaleh Adumim.

    The New York Times is, typically, just propagating Palestinian propaganda without the least bit of critical thought. I expect better from the Jewish Press.

    If you want to see a map illustrating this point follow this link:
    http://blog.camera.org/archives/2012/12/e1_fallacy_returns.html

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