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March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘E1’

If You Talk to Them, What Would You Say?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

It’s an interesting question my mother asked me.

An international media organization has contacted me – one which no one would ever accuse them of being pro-Israel; few would even really consider them balanced when it comes to coverage of the Middle East. They want to ask me about my life, my blog, where I live, and what I think. They want me to talk about E1 – not that that topic would take long… hill, no building, no disruption, next…

I’ve seen media twist words before – I’m not naive. I know the way the game is played. I’ve seen instances where reporters leave out parts of a statement to make it seem so different than what was intended. Should I open myself up to having my words distorted, to allowing them to take the beauty of where I live and turn it into something wrong, ugly, even stolen?

Years ago, I took a reporter around Maale Adumim and then to the Jewish communities in Gaza. She had once worked for this very media organization now asking to interview me. I took her to the home of a woman who has two children who were injured in terror attacks. The reporter didn’t ask about how her children were coping with their injuries and their trauma…she asked how it felt to live in a house that was stolen?

No, this woman didn’t live in a house that was stolen, not even on land that was occupied. She moved here more than 20 years ago and bought an apartment. She made it a home and raised her children here. There was so much she could have spoken about, but that first question was so telling. It was phrased with cruelty and ignorance, with the reporter’s agenda clear to all.

Before we left the city, I was already regretting my decision to take her to Gaza. I wanted to show her the amazing things Israel does. In Maale Adumim, I took her to a beautiful new children’s park nearby – built in sections so that children of varying ages can play, so many safety issues addressed – soft ground under climbing equipment, things that could withstand the sun, railings and fences and benches for the parents to sit and watch. Surrounded by gardens and paths where it is pleasant to walk, it’s a gathering place all week long for so many.

She didn’t compliment the park’s planning  - she asked why Palestinians can’t come there. She asked why the Palestinians don’t have similar parks in THEIR neighborhoods in a tone that made it clear she blamed us, that it was OUR responsibility to build for them the things they didn’t bother building for themselves. I told her she should ask them. The money we pay in taxes goes to building parks here – where does the money go in Palestinian areas, and what happens to the parks and schools we do build in their areas?

In Gaza, I took her to several families – to a man who lost an arm in one war and then several fingers on his remaining hand when he was attacked years later by a terrorist. He told her of the body of a young mother that he found in a car on the side of the road – and how the terrorists had sat in waiting. The dead woman was bait for whatever target came next. They relied on the goodness and caring of the next person to stop and see if she needed help. He was badly wounded, saved more by a malfunctioning grenade than the soldiers who followed and eliminated the terrorist.

I took her to the greenhouses to show her the incredible farms and produce and to meet other people and see other places. And finally, I took her to the home of a family who had lost a son in war and was about to not only lose their home but would be faced with digging up their son’s grave and having it moved rather than leaving it to be desecrated in Gaza. It was the one time I begged her not to ask anything about politics, “please, don’t do that to them – don’t ask them about stolen land and how it feels to lose their home…” She was very good, actually, and I appreciated that she simply asked them to tell her about their son.

Twenty-Seven World Idiots Meet On a Hill

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

To discuss a hill where no one lives…

I just can’t get over this. I’m trying to understand the urgency. Britain’s Foreign Minister says there is an “urgent need to restart the peace process.”

I’m all for peace but honestly, what is so urgent today, this week versus last month. One hundred rockets rained down on Israel in a single day – and I heard nothing from the European Union about urgently seeking peace. A mother was attacked in her home, stabbed as she defended her children – silence. Two years ago, an infant was murdered beside her mother, her father and two of her brothers…silence, no urgent need.

Why? What is it about that mountain that brings such urgency? Have they ever actually seen it – it is, to be honest, incredibly humble as far as mountains go and rather an embarrassment on the scale of causes of a world crisis.

And then, I thought – it isn’t actually that mountain – it really isn’t, and it never was. If you drive down the highway from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea – it’ll take you 25 minutes. About three minutes out, on the left side for all of 4 seconds, you’ll pass E1. Actually, I’m not sure it would even take 4 seconds to pass it and it might be less than 3 minutes from Jerusalem. Most likely, your eyes will be drawn to the right where up on the top of the mountains is Maale Adumim.

E1 (the area in the background), as seen from Maale Adumim

You probably wouldn’t even think to look to the right – there’s nothing there…except for a narrow 2 lane road and one big building with a lot of windows.

So, if it isn’t the mountain, why are 27 world leaders meeting? They’ll never tell you the truth – but it really is about Israel itself. You see, to be honest, the Palestinians and more specifically, the Arabs, don’t want us here. They never did; they never will. Hamas will tell you honestly – their goal is to replace ALL of Israel with yet another deeply Islamic country.

The more moderate Arabs will tell you they only want to talk about an interim issue. First, they say, let’s get Israel out of any land it conquered from the 1967 war. No, no, they aren’t accepting the pre-1967 borders, they are simply rejecting the post-1967 borders.

So, they say – let’s go back to 1967 (then we’ll talk about 1949 and then, if they’re successful, they’ll go back to 1945, or perhaps 1942 – when there was no Israel and Jews were dying in Europe.Whatever it takes.

As a footnote, it was mentioned that the 27 leaders would discuss Syria as well. I am astounded that each day as many as 100-200 people are dying in Syria…there is talk of chemical weapons being used – and the European Union, which was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace today…thinks the most pressing issue facing them is a stupid little mountain that would not impact on the Arab population – even if 6,000 apartments were built there.

View of E1 in the Background…Nothing There…Nothing…

It really is so very simple. There is a direct highway that runs from Abu Dis and Azariya to our west – directly east all the way to the Dead Sea. Just passed Maale Adumim, there is a left turn that links that road to all the major Arab areas to the north of Jerusalem and further down that road – without a single check point between Abu Dis and the Dead Sea, there is Jericho. Just after Jericho, there is another left turn, giving the Arabs full access to the Jordan Valley and beyond.

In short, whether Israel builds 3,000 houses on E1 or not, the bottom line is unfettered movement for the Palestinians. The roads are major highways that will not be shut down – how can they be? They are the same roads Israelis use to get where they need to go everyday.

With no understanding of facts on the ground, the European Union has caved into the hysterics of the Palestinians…again.

And this time, if you look carefully, you’ll see Syria’s Assad, Egypt’s Morsi, Nasrallah in the north, and a million or so Palestinians laughing hysterically because as blood flows freely in Damascus…the European Union continues to focus on a hill that goes nowhere.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/civil-administration-planning-council-approves-e1/2012/12/05/

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