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Posts Tagged ‘E1’

Senior Cabinet Minister: Netanyahu Approved E1 Construction for Fear of Bennett’s ‘Jewish Home’

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

A senior Israeli cabinet minister on Tuesday night admitted to Channel 10 News that behind the move to revive the construction process in the E1 zone near Ma’ale Adumim, just outside East Jerusalem, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concern about the growing power of Naftali Bennett, chairman of “Jewish Home,” the modern heir of the National Religious Party, whose Knesset list continues to “bite off” eats from Likud-Beiteinu in the polls.

The Senior minister told Channel 10 that the date of the decision was not coincidental, and that “Netanyahu thinks about the elections and has decided to build because of his fear of Naftali Bennett.”

“Netanyahu’s goal was to create noise and fight Naftali Bennett, to prevent leakage of votes to the right,” the minister, whose name remains undisclosed, continued.

Allaying the fears of the left over the same move, the minister explained: “Planning such a neighborhood takes five years, not a few minutes. When a new government is sworn in, and new American pressure is applied, this plan will be shelved as happened in the past. This government not build anything.”

The “Jewish Home” has been growing stronger in recent polls, which this week are predicting from 10 to 13 seats going its way. On Monday, journalist Amit Segal wrote on his Twitter account that internal polls are showing the “Jewish home” getting as much as 15 seats, thus becoming the third largest party, ahead of the Sephardi-Haredi Shas.

US Media and the E1 Controversy

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

On Monday, the NY Times published an editorial which included this:

[Netanyahu's actions] could doom the chances for a two-state solution because building in the E1 area would split the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Yesterday, NPR’s Philip Reeves, probably the single journalist most responsible for promulgating the 2002 “Jenin Massacre” blood libel against Israel, announced in a “news” broadcast that:

There’s particular concern over plans, still at a preliminary stage, for an area called E1. If built, this would cut the West Bank in two. Diplomats say this would make a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict almost impossible.

And today, I was greeted by the following in an editorial in the McClatchy-owned Fresno Bee newspaper:

Yet Israel has decided to … prepare construction of a 4.6 square-mile project near Jerusalem known as E-1. That would effectively cut the occupied West Bank in two and make establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel with Jerusalem as a shared capital, impossible.

Folks, look at a map. If you didn’t see it in my previous post, here it is again:

 

Do you see the “West Bank” cut in two? I don’t either. As I pointed out yesterday, if Israel annexes Ma’ale Adumim, the proposed Palestinian state will be wider at is narrowest point than Israel would be with pre-1967 borders!

If the problem is supposed to be that it will be harder for Palestinians to drive from Bethlehem to Ramallah, Israel plans a bypass road around Ma’ale Adumim for Palestinian traffic that would actually be faster, and would not require passage through the security barrier’s checkpoints. There are also plans for a 4-lane underpass to some Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, while others would not be affected at all by the planned construction.

Actually, the shoe is entirely on the other foot. If the E1 plan is notcompleted, then Palestinian construction in the area will cut off Ma’ale Adumim — a town of 46,000 that has been expected to remain part of Israel in all proposed peace agreements with the Palestinians — from the rest of Israel. It will make it harder for Israel to keep control of the strategic Jerusalem-Jericho road, which would be necessary to transport troops and tanks to the Jordan Valley in the event of an attack from the east.

Every Israeli Prime Minister since Rabin has supported the plan, but it has never been carried out because of pressure from the US and Europe. Meanwhile, illegal Palestinian construction in the area — illegal under the Oslo agreements, not that the Palestinians have ever paid attention — continues. It has already narrowed the corridor for the E1 plan, and at some point will make it impossible.

In other words, the true situation is exactly the opposite of what Palestinians and their supporters claim!

It’s time to face reality, which is that there will not be a two-state solution that will meet Palestinian requirements, because these requirements are incompatible with the survival of a Jewish state. Much as I would like to see Israel retain all of Judea and Samaria, and much as the Palestinians would like to see a ‘Palestine’ from the river to the sea, these outcomes are unlikely.

What could happen is a realignment in which Israel retains places with large Jewish populations (like Ma’ale Adumim) and areas that are strategically vital (like E1), and withdraws from others. This would have to be implemented unilaterally, but then the Palestinians have already officially renounced a bilateral solution by turning to the UN.

What I find remarkable is the way the US media have swallowed the Palestinian story hook, line and sinker, when a simple glance at a map would show that it is wrong. Are they following the lead of the administration?

Enlightened Reform Movement Equally Disappointed in Israel and the Palestinians

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The term “Two states for two people” is beginning to emerge these days as a definition of the Jews of Israel and their recently related Jews of the United States. Yesterday we were treated to a story about an Upper West Side synagogue rejoicing in the upgrading of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to a UN member state, and today our brothers and sisters across the mighty ocean are joining with the rest of the so called “civilized nations” in condemning plans for Jews to build homes in their homeland.

Are we even related any more?

Here’s the press release as it appears on the URJ website:

Reform Movement Focuses on Follow Up To UN Vote Upgrading Palestinian Status

New Policy Statement: Condemns Palestinians for Unilateral UN Action; Calls for American Leadership; Opposes Immediate Punitive Responses; Calls on Israel to Halt Plans for Expansion in West Bank E1 area

In a new policy statement adopted by the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the nation’s largest Jewish denomination addressed the full array of issues flowing from the decision of the UN to upgrade the official status of the Palestinians.

The statement, adopted overwhelmingly after a full debate by more than 200 board members at yesterday’s meeting of the Union of Reform Judaism’s North American Board of Trustees, “Condemn[s] the Palestinian Authority for the unilateral decision to seek upgraded status at the United Nation as counterproductive to the cause of peace, and express[es] … deep concern to those countries that supported the upgraded status, and to those who abstained.”

The resolution, which is available here, was supported by the Zionist arms of the Reform Movement – ARZA and ARZA Canada. The Central Conference of American Rabbis fully endorsed the resolution today.

The resolution “Commend[s] the U.S. and Canada for their forceful and consistent efforts to prevent consideration of, and for their votes against, the General Assembly’s decision to upgrade the Palestinian’s status. It further urges the “United States and Canada to act assertively in facilitating a return to negotiations and to take other steps that would strengthen the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.”

The URJ and the CCAR also reiterated longstanding concern about Israeli settlement building, and expressed opposition to the Israeli government’s plans to move forward with building in the critical E1 area. The resolutions note that “Settlements in E1—the area connecting Jerusalem to a city which is one of the larger Israeli settlements—would split the Ramallah region off from Bethlehem, effectively cutting the West Bank in two and making a contiguous Palestinian state virtually impossible.” It further said that “Building there makes progress toward peace far more challenging, and is difficult to reconcile with the Government of Israel’s stated commitment to a two-state solution. At the same time, we recognize that this week’s action–beginning the permitting process for new settlement–is only the first step in a long, and by no means inevitable, process.”

There you go, even handed, polite, very concerned. I wish all the other gentiles were this nice to us when they sold us down the river.

Because this certainly doesn’t read like something your brothers or sisters would write when you’re in the midst of being attacked by the entire world, practically.

The same URJ website features a fig leaf in the form of a fund raiser to support terror victims in Israel.:

We Stand With Israel

During this difficult time, we support the people of Israel

The Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Terror Relief Fund is a vital way to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this critical time. Jewish Federations have committed up to $5 million to the Israel Terror Relief Fund for the immediate needs of the people of Israel, especially in the South, through both existing reserve funds and new contributions from Federations.

It’s nice to get a gift from America, and $5 million will go a long way towards repairing the billions in damage – assuming URJ doesn’t keep a cut to cover their “costs.” But they could keep their lovely money and instead behave like family.

Here’s how it’s done in a family: when a relative is in pain – if you can’t support him outright, and that’s understandable – at least shut the bloody hell up. Don’t go preaching to people living in Ma’ale Adumim how much better off they would be once the trucks come to pick them up to make room for a contiguous Palestinian state. Shut up and let your family be.

Who Killed the Peace Process?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The so-called ‘peace process’ was based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and the most serious attempt to implement them on the ground was the Oslo Accords, agreements signed in 1993-95.

Although both sides complained about violations of the Oslo Accords — Israel complained about continued incitement and terrorism, which increased sharply after Arafat’s return from exile in Tunis, and the Palestinians complained that Israel was not withdrawing fast enough — the final nail of Oslo’s coffin was hammered in by Mahmoud Abbas, when he asked the UN to declare ‘Palestine’ a state.

Art. XXXI.7 of the 1995 Interim Agreement says “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”). This is exactly what Abbas did, and he can’t blame it on unaccountable terrorist factions, as Arafat liked to do after his assassins murdered Jews.

Israelis always understood Oslo as a compromise — that neither side would get everything that it wanted. But the PLO always saw it as a surrender agreement, and became ‘frustrated’ (and everyone knows how Palestinians behave when that happens) when Israel didn’t simply withdraw from all of the territories in return for nothing.

The father of all peace processes was UN Security Council Resolution 242, which called for  Israel to withdraw from territories conquered in 1967, and for

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

Land for peace and secure borders. At first the Arabs wouldn’t even consider an agreement that promised peace (see the “Three No’s“). But more recently, they proposed the “Arab Initiative,” which calls for complete Israeli withdrawal, assumption of guilt, and right of return for Arab refugees (what a deal!).

The decision of the UN General Assembly to grant Palestine non-member state status in all of the territories conquered in 1967 directly contradicts resolution 242 because it gives all of the territories to Palestine, without guaranteeing Israel secure boundaries or peace.

If we go back farther, the GA has also taken back the promise to the Jewish people made by its predecessor, the League of Nations, and embodied in the Palestine Mandate, to encourage “close settlement on the land” by Jews in their historic homeland.

It is interesting that although Israel has made great concessions since 1967 — withdrawing from the Sinai, withdrawing from Gaza, legitimizing the PLO, etc. — the Arab side has taken precisely one step since the Three No’s: it has agreed to talk, and this only because its military initiatives consistently failed.

Of course, General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding, and this one does not have consequences on the ground.

Which brings us to E1. Israel has announced plans to build housing in the area called E1, which is located between eastern Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, 4 miles away. This has stirred up a hornet’s nest in the anti-Israel camp. The NY Times (which accurately reflects the position of the Obama Administration) wrote in an editorialthat this

could doom the chances for a two-state solution because building in the E1 area would split the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Apparently the Times editorial board does not possess a map of the region or the ability to read one. I can help:

Ma’ale Adumim is one of those communities that were expected to become part of Israel in any negotiated settlement. Not only does it not cut the “West Bank” in half as the Times asserts, but the distance between the eastern part of Ma’ale Adumim and the Jordan is greater than the width of Israel at its narrowest point according to the pre-1967 borders!

So who doomed the “two-state solution?” If you mean a compromise solution in which neither side gets everything it wants, but in which both sides can have peace and security, as envisioned in UNSC 242, then it never had a chance, because this is not what the Arabs mean by the expression. The diplomatic ‘peace process’, worthless though it may have been, died on November 29, 2012 at the hands of Mahmoud Abbas.

Civil Administration Planning Council Approves E1

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

On Wednesday, the Civil Administration Planning Council rushed through approval on the plan to build 3000 apartments in E1, between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.

The government apparently has suddenly begun pushing approval of the project forward in response to the Palestinian’s unilateral move in the United Nations General Assembly where they acquired nonmember observer state status.

While not only is the plan to build an additional 3000 housing units for Israelis good for Israel and a small step towards resolving the housing crisis, it has effectively put the Palestinians in panic mode, as they have begun to realize that Israel has punitive measures it is prepared to take against the Palestinians for their unilateral actions against Israel.

The History of E-1

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The world is up in arms, as it so loves to be. What is it about now?

No, no – not Syria and the violence there. Not Afghanistan; certainly not Iran. They aren’t condemning Turkish television fining the Simpsons for mocking God; or a social club at Harvard University saying Jews need not apply. No, it isn’t about Hungary cataloging Jews as they would cattle and certainly nothing about Iranian warships sailing towards Sudan.

It’s all about a mountain that sits between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem. Even left-wing papers in Israel mistakenly write that Israel is threatening to “bisect” the West Bank and the news is filled with country after country condemning Israel for damaging chances for peace. Chances for peace? We were at war two weeks ago and little has changed. There are currently NO chances for peace on the table. In fact, there is no table.

No, no, no – what we have is a mountain – not a very tall one, smaller even than the ones next to it on three sides.

It is barren, but for a road that snakes its way up to a midpoint where a large police station has been built – barren, but for that building. No one lives there – no one has.

The land was once part of the Ottoman Empire – no village, no homes, no dwellings. Sheep and goats sometimes graze on the lower areas of the hills, but that’s about it. When the Ottoman’s made way for the British, it was under their rule, and still nothing but the camels and the sheep and the goats and, perhaps, an occasional ground hog.

In the 1920s, England cut off 2/3 of the land that was called Palestine and gave it to the Hashemites – and thus Jordan was born. The remaining 1/3 was ruled by the British until 1947, including that land that today we call E1. In 1948, the Arabs chose war over peace, death over life. They attacked and lost – but they (specifically Jordan) got E1 – the barren land between Jerusalem’s eastern border and the west bank of the Jordan River.

And then, in 1967, it was clear that Egypt and Syria were preparing for war – Israel launched a pre-emptive strike and sent a message to the Jordanians. We have no quarrel with you; stay out of the fighting. We will not attack you. The Jordanians sent back their message in two ways – in words or action, the message was the same – we fight with our brothers…and so they did. They attacked – as they had in 1948 and the result was the same – they lost.

This time, E1 came into our hands. State-owned under the Turks; state-owned under the Jordanians, and now state-owned under Israel. Never the home of Palestinians; no villages there, no buildings but for the one we built a few years ago…and the ones we will now build.

The history of E1 is very simple. It is but a mountain that lies between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem. Arabs regularly travel on the highway between Maale Adumim and the Dead Sea – the highway remains. There is no bisecting, no blocking, no break in the passage.

It is a mountain, soon to be green and developed. That is the history of E1, except for one huge point that the world forgets. Before the Jordanians, before the British, before the Ottomans, before the Romans…the land was, as it is today – ours. It was the ancient land of Israel; it is the modern land of Israel.

As for the countries of the world who say Israel threatens the peace – where were you two weeks ago when I ran with my children to our bomb shelter? Why did my son have to leave his wife to protect Israel’s south from a thousand rockets?

It is too late now to tell us of peace – speak to Hamas first. You support a Palestinian state? Clearly you do – but it is Israel that must live with it and so we shall – if we have to. We will build and the world will scream. But we have learned that the world screams easily for that which is so minor and ignores that which really matters. Dozens died today in Syria as they did yesterday and as they will tomorrow – but yes, certainly, let’s discuss a barren hill across from my back yard.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

US Backtracks on Clinton Parameters

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This is an important summary of the Clinton Parameters:

…Dennis Ross published a map describing Israeli and Palestinian territories codified under the 2000 Clinton parameters, with Ma’aleh Adumim explicitly labeled as Israeli and connected to Jerusalem via the E1 corridor…The disposition of E1 and Ma’aleh Adumim in the Clinton Parameters reflected more than half a decade of Israeli understandings embraced by governments from across the political spectrum. In October 1994 during the beginning of the Oslo Accords, then-Labor prime minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that a “united Jerusalem” would include Ma’aleh Adumim, and he even provided then-mayor Benny Kashriel with annexation documents for E1. In 1996 then-Labor prime minister Shimon Peres reaffirmed the Israeli government’s position that Israel would demand sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim and was backed by dovish politician and co-author of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin. Later, in 2008 then-Kadima prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded that Ma’aleh Adumim remain a part of Israel…

Those parameters included this:-

Jerusalem: The general principle is that Arab areas are Palestinian and Jewish ones are Israeli.  This would apply to the Old City as well.

“Apply to the Old City as well” means that the reference is to the Old Cityin addition to the other areas, including those Israel considers Greater Jerusalem.

As noted here, the parameters as regards Jerusalem concluded:-

4. Four “fair and logical propositions” regarding Jerusalem: (a) It should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all, encompassing the internationally recognized capitals of two States, Israel and Palestine, (b) “[W]hat is Arab should be Palestinian” and (c) “what is Jewish should be Israeli”, while (d) “what is holy to both requires a special care to meet the needs of all”, with “mutual respect for the religious beliefs and holy shrines of Jews, Muslims and Christians”.

Well, since Maaleh Adumim is “Jewish” and E1 has been on trhe planning boards for ages, this formula, “what is Jewish should be Israeli”, should indicate that this is all a media generated storm.

Moreover, contiguity can be achieved by tunnels.  After all, the Pals. wamnt to connect Gaza to Judea and Samaria.  Would that not ‘cut off’ parts of Israel one from another?

Obama retreated and reneged on the Bush Letter and now the Clinton Parameters, and he’s angry?

P.S.  According to Dan Kurtzer,

The U.S. Administration intensified criticism of Israel’s decision to proceed with construction at the E-1 site near Ma’ale Adumim in response to indications that the move was meant to “retaliate” against U.S. President Barack Obama for his refusal to endorse the 2004 Sharon-Bush letter on settlement blocs.

P.P.S.  This Peace Now claim

Construction of E-1 would jeopardize the hopes for a two-state solution.  It would, by design, block off the narrow undeveloped land corridor which runs east of Jerusalem and which is necessary for any meaningful future connection between the southern and the northern parts of the West Bank.

is, as you suspected, er, misleading.  “Block off” ?  Couldn’t a tunnel fix that easily enough?  Couldn’t a road 5 miles east provide contiguity?  Wait, the Allon Road could do that as it already exists (see this detail from a B’tselem map):-

And look at this byway, south of Jerusalem, which proves there are alternatives.

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