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  • December 6, 2012

    E-1 is Israel’s for the keeping

    By Ted Belman

    UNSC Res 242 passed in the wake of Israel’s great victory required negotiations to determine secure borders . The  Oslo Accords also required negotiations. Israel believed she held all the aces.  After all, the Palestinians wanted a state and would compromise their demands to get it.  Little did she realize that the international community would keep bolstering the Palestinians both with financial support and diplomatic support so that they could remain intransigent. In the absence of necessity, the Palestinians had no need to compromise. And little did she realize at the time that the Palestinians didn’t want a state but wanted to destroy Israel.

    In all negotiations, whether in business deals or in labour disputes, necessity dictates who gives in.  Therefore, the intrusion by the international community into negotiations assured that no agreement would be reached.


    “Negotiations” implies and requires freedom to accept or reject offers. Israel has no obligation to accept offers or diktats she does not like.

    But that is in a fair world.

    The international community wants to dictate the broad outlines of the deal leaving negotiations for the fine details only. This they have no right to do so.

    Take the controversy over E-1 for instance. Israel would like to build there and keep E-1 and adjacent Maale Adumin. But for 30 years or so the US administrations has, through great pressure, prevented her from doing so.

    To put this in perspective, Maale Adamin is a community of 40,000 Jews situate within 5 miles of Jerusalem; 5 miles!!  There is no reason, legal or contractual that says she can’t build there. So what is the problem?

    The US administration doesn’t want her to because it will be a death blow to the peace process or so the U.S. says. And so does the E.U. and the U.N. According to them, this would be so because it would sever Ramallah to the north from Bethlehem to the south making a two state solution not doable or at least not acceptable to the Palestinians.

    Israel has no obligation to place Palestinian wants above her own and has no obligation to make peace on Palestinian terms or the US’s term for that matter. Israel’s construction there would not be a deal breaker because there is no deal to break. Israel will not divide Jerusalem, will not uproot settlements, will not disengage from the territories they leave, as she did in Gaza, and will not accept the return of any Palestinian refugees; all of which are implacable demands of the Palestinians. But the biggest demand of the Palestinians is that Israel cease to exist. In fact, the Charters of Hamas, the Fatah and PLO are explicit on this.

    The international community, led by Pres Obama, wants a compromise; Israel must accept borders based on the ’67 armistice lines with swaps and divide Jerusalem and the Palestinians must  … do nothing. I say this because I can’t think of one US demand from the Palestinians But this in effect gives the Palestinians 100 % of the territories in dispute. Hardly an honest broker.  There is no way Israelis would accept such a solution so it is a non-starter just as was Obama’s demand that Israel permanently cease construction east of the ’67 lines. Positions such as these are what set back the peace process..

    Jonathan Tobin writing in Commentary declared that  Israel’s Building No Obstacle to Peace:

      ”Even if the E1 area is developed, there will be no obstacle to peace talks that could produce a Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank except for the major settlement blocs that no one expects Israel to give up. Nor would the Palestinian state be blighted by this project since highways and tunnels could easily be constructed to allow access between Arab areas to the north and the south of Jerusalem. Indeed, Jewish housing in the disputed areas is no more of an obstacle to peace than the far greater Arab housing boom in other parts of Jerusalem.”

    Of equal importance:

      “Though you wouldn’t know if from listening to the UN debate or even to most spokespersons for the Jewish state over the last forty years, the argument about the West Bank is not solely about pitting rights of Palestinians against Israel’s security needs. The West Bank is, after all, part of the area designated by the League of Nations for Jewish settlement under the Mandate of Palestine. It is also the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland to which Jews have historical, legal and religious ties that cannot be erased by a century of Arab hatred.”

    From Israel’s point of view, she has much more to lose by ceding E1 to the Palestinians, then vice versa. E1 is the gateway to the Israel/Jordan border and to Maale Adumin. As such for security reasons it must remain Israeli territory.

    As for the European Governments that voted for or abstained from the UNGA resolution granting recognition of a Palestinians state, they have lost all credibility and respect and disbarred themselves from offering Israel advice or admonition. By doing so, they have aided and abetted a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords which provides that no party shall take unilateral steps which change the status of the territories.  It should be noted that the accords in no way restrict Israel’s right to build on the territories.

    Israel’s detractors argue that the settlement construction is an obstacle to peace or illegal, pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC). It is far from certain that the FGC applies and even if it does, that it prohibits such construction, In any event the Palestine Mandate gave Jews the right to close settlement of the land. The Israelis are fully with their rights to settle the land,

    These lands are not ”Palestinian lands”. At best they are Israeli lands and at worst they are disputed lands. They never were Palestinian lands.

    Res 242 passed by the Security Council gave a right to Israel to remain in the lands until they had an agreement for secure and recognized borders. The resolution clearly did not require Israel to withdraw from all the territories which at the time included the Judea and Samaria (Westbank), Sinai, Gaza and the Golan Heights. To date Israel has withdrawn from close to 90% of the territories and could argue that she has fulfilled her obligation to withdraw from territories. Yet the world led by Pres Obama insists that Israel withdraw from 100% of the remaining territories and so do the Palestinians. The area of E-1 is less than 0.0025% Judea and Samaria.

    Israel has no obligation to make peace or to give the Palestinians what they are demanding but not entitled to. If the Palestinians want a state they must compromise.

    Were Israel to stop construction east of the ’67 lines, the Palestinians would have no need to make a deal.  They could wait, living on the avails of propaganda, til doomsday. Israel’s best shot at bringing the Palestinians to the negotiating table, is to build furiously. Thus time would not be on the Palestinian side. The longer they wait to compromise, the more they would lose. And the West should not give them false hope.

    Posted by Ted Belman @ 6:25 am | 13 Comments »
  • 13 Comments to E-1 is Israel’s for the keeping

    1. Andrew says:

      Well written Ted. Israel didn’t get any kudos for the “settlement freeze” so they might as well build as fast as possible.

    2. jew says:

      there are two possible perspectives on the Jewsih-arab conflict:

      1) a strictly rational perspective
      2) the perspective of Judaism

      in adopting the strictly rational perspective, you play the game which rules are defined by the nations, and you only can loose, since the return of the Jewish people to their Land is in contradiction of every thing the nations have ever experienced (NEVER has a nation come back to its orgin after 2000 years of exile, simple because there is no nation that preserved its identity for such a long period of time).

      over more, the very reason of our existence as the Jewish people is to transmit a message to the nations, a message which they could not have discovered by their own. So, in behaving in full accordance the nations’ world view, we have no real reason to exist. In this point they are correct: is it to be completely ordinary that you have made so many trouble by coming back to a Land where others are living as well?!

      The only way for Israel to win the conflict is to escape the logics of the nations and to persue fully its own logics:

      a) this is ONLY our land
      b) we have nothing to talk about our Land
      c) crash down hamas and fatah and hisballah and all other terror organazations
      d) build, build, build
      e) start building the Temple and offering the Pascal sacrifice

    3. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      “Israel’s best shot at bringing the Palestinians to the negotiating table, is to build furiously. Thus time would not be on the Palestinian side. The longer they wait to compromise, the more they would lose”.

      I agree 100%.

      Israeli diplomacy should stress this indisputable fact to the West.

    4. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      Israel’s detractors argue that the settlement construction is an obstacle to peace or illegal, pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC). It is far from certain that the FGC applies and even if it does, that it prohibits such construction, In any event the Palestine Mandate gave Jews the right to close settlement of the land. The Israelis are fully with their rights to settle the land

      I would like to take this argument a step further:

      Even if the fourth Geneva Convention implied that settlement construction is illegal, the Palestine Mandate allows it.

      So we are presented with two conflicting provisions of international Law. In such cases, any judge is obliged to follow the provisions of the more special law, as opposed to the provisions of the more general law.

      This is a general principle for resolving disputes that arise due to mutually exclusive laws.

      And in our case (settlement construction), the Mandate of Palestine is the more special law, compared to the fourth Geneva Convention.

      That is so because the Mandate deals specifically with the issue of settlements in the former Palestine, whereas the Geneva Convention makes general provisions, without reference to specific territories.

      I would be interested in feedback on my claim by anyone educated in Law.

    5. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      Take the controversy over E-1 for instance. Israel would like to build there and keep E-1 and adjacent Maale Adumin. But for 30 years or so the US administrations has, through great pressure, prevented her from doing so.

      E1 has been understood as indispensable (for security reasons) by all Israel Governments:

      http://elderofziyon.blogspot.gr/2012/12/the-truth-about-e-1.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/PDbq+%28Elder+of+Ziyon%29

      …In a Knesset discussion on October 5, 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared: “United Jerusalem would also encompass Maale Adumim as well as Givat Zeev as the capital of Israel under Israeli sovereignty.” Six months previously, in April, Rabin handed over the annexation documents of the E-1 area to Maale Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel.14 On March 13, 1996, Prime Minister Shimon Peres reaffirmed the government’s position that Israel will demand applying Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim in the framework of a permanent peace agreement.

      The Bush Administration had agreed that existing settlements could incorporate additional housing units:

      http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2996

      The deal reached between the Bush administration and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 was to permit construction of additional housing units inside the major blocs and other settlements, but not the construction of new settlements or the physical expansion of existing ones. The current decision fits easily within those terms. The Obama administration has never accepted that agreement between the U.S. and Israel,

      Even the Clinton parameters of 2001 included E1 as Israeli territory:

      http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ewJXKcOUJlIaG&b=7712195&ct=12517985&notoc=1#.UMDARqxcm72

      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.

      So, why is Obama complaining?

    6. Donald freyman says:

      There is long distance between making an announcement of a large new settlement project and the actual start of construction. The general feeling among many mavens- this report is an election ploy from Bibi to advance his electoral chances.

    7. dionissis mitropoulos says:

      And so does the E.U. and the U.N. According to them, this would be so because it would sever Ramallah to the north from Bethlehem to the south making a two state solution not doable or at least not acceptable to the Palestinians.

      Well, the incorporation of E1 to Israel does NOT destroy the contiguity of a hypothetical future Palestinian state. Here is a map that shows that such a future Pali state will have a narrow waist at the area east of Maale Adumin which will be 15km wide at its narrowest point.

      http://blog.camera.org/archives/2012/12/e1_fallacy_returns.html#more

      No less than the narrow waist that the international community is trying to impose on Israel by insisting that she returns to the pro-1967 borders.

    8. Arthur says:

      Ted: Your analysis is SPOT ON!!!!!

    9. Stephen Bainum says:

      Who won the war in 1967? From all the talk about E-1, etc one would think the Arabs won. Now if we don’t want the Arabs to win it is time to take control of Judea and Samaria. The Arabs can stay if they want to be good citizens of Israel, otherwise send them out of Israel.

    10. steven l says:

      The West and the Muslims want to impose a solution that benefit the looser at the expense of the winner who has been attacked multiple times.
      This because the winner are Israeli Jews.
      The war of the West and Muslims against the Jews goes unabated and half of the Jews are against Israel.
      Will Israel be the first democracy that will be destroyed by the West?

    11. dweller says:

      @ Stephen Bainum:

      “[I]f we don’t want the Arabs to win it is time to take control of Judea and Samaria. The Arabs can stay if they want to be good citizens of Israel, otherwise send them out of Israel.”

      Good.

      Now, how do we determine whether they WANT “to be good citizens of Israel”?

      And do we make up our minds about their intentions BEFORE they are granted citizenship?

      — or AFTER?

    12. John M Collins says:

      I understand why the announcement was made when it was, but no-one can blame those who do not share our faith for getting the impression that it was done purely out of spite. The vital thing is to get on with construction without further delay. Bibi has made himself unpopular outside Israel because of his decisions – so he should make it worthwhile by establishing on the ground the developments for which planning permission has been granted. The danger is that by delaying the actual effectuation of his decisions he will find that each development will produce a further campaign of howls from the Palestinians and their “supporters”.

    13. terence says:

      Canada is Israel’ best friend. Very supportive in every way. However there seems to be definite limits.

      On Thursday, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail published an article that was not only interesting because of its content, but also because of the way that it was published. Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird, told the newspaper of his own accord that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had spoken on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the conversation, it was reported, Harper told Netanyahu of his opposition to Israel’s plans to develop the E-1 corridor between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank.

      The Canadian media went wild over the report, and with good reason. Hearing public criticism of Israel by the current Canadian government, which is considered one of the friendliest to Israel in the world, is an almost impossible task.

      When Israel acts in a way that completely goes against the policy of the Canadian government, such as massive construction in the settlements, the Canadians mostly ignore it and carry on. As such, a deliberate leak of this nature, by the foreign minister of all people, is even more of an anomaly.

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