The E1 witch hunt

By Salman Shoval, ISRAEL HAYON

The killing continues in Syria. There is genocide being committed in several places in Africa. There is chaos in Egypt. And still, the foreign ministers of 27 EU countries convened an emergency meeting in Brussels last week to discuss Israel’s plan to build a few thousand housing units in Jerusalem and the E1 area, of all things. It is true that the international media, unlike some of the Israeli media, didn’t even cover the meeting. But if there is anything that accentuates Europe’s bias and detachment from reality (with the exception of a handful of righteous nations, like the Czech Republic and, in this case, also Germany), it is the persistent European disregard for the Palestinians’ blatant breach of agreements and the exaggerated outrage over Israel’s legitimate responses.

The EU ministers only halfheartedly condemned Hamas’ threats against Israel (made at a Gaza rally last weekend). On the other hand, they stated that they were “deeply dismayed” because the E1 construction will “seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict by jeopardizing the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.” Factually, this isn’t accurate, as anyone who looks at a map of Israel will testify. A British reporter working for The Sun wrote that the repeated attacks by some of his colleagues against Israel are a form of “anti-Semitism by proxy.” It seems that nameless European diplomats who are threatening Israel with sanctions are motivated by the same type of anti-Semitism.

The significance of the E1 plan, which calls for construction that would physically link the Jewish city of Maaleh Adumim with Jerusalem, stems from the fact that is will prevent, or at least reduce, Jerusalem’s exposure to terror attacks from the east. That is precisely why the Palestinians are crying out so harshly against it.

Henry Kissinger once said that it wasn’t until he drove from Amman to Jerusalem that he realized how close the city was to the eastern border. But Israel’s prime ministers, from Rabin to Benjamin Netanyahu, did realize. That is why they decided that just as the construction around Jerusalem in the south, north and west would prevent any possibility of the city getting cut off from the rest of the country, so there should be a strategic, physical shield in the east as well. We would be wise to remind all who claim they are aware of Israel’s security needs of this fact.

I remember a conversation between then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in which the latter raised the question of a contiguous Palestinian territory, Sharon replied that he would not object to a Palestinian tunnel connecting Ramallah and Bethlehem, but that Maaleh Adumim would be linked to Jerusalem. The fact that Sharon and other prime ministers didn’t fully implement the E1 plan, but also never shelved it (only lowering it on the priority list), indicates that the issue didn’t seem urgent enough to them. Now, in the face of unilateral Palestinian initiatives, the priorities have changed.

The thing that bothers the Palestinians, and most of the Europeans (and the U.S., too, but the Americans have opted to remain behind the scenes this time around), is not so much the issue of physical contiguity but the possibility that the E1 plan — which would separate east Jerusalem from the rest of the territory the Palestinians claim for a state — would prevent them from claiming it as their capital.

For now, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ unilateral initiative to gain statehood recognition at the U.N., and his refusal to enter any real peace negotiations with Israel, have already distanced the Palestinians from realizing their vision of statehood.

December 13, 2012 | 7 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. Czech envoy: Israel, 1938 Czechoslovakia are ‘similar’ – Czech Ambassador Tomas Pojar warns against relying too much on international community. “There are certain parallels in that Czechoslovakia was the only democratic country in the entire region at the time,” he said. “There are parallels about how much guarantees you can get from outside, and how much you should rely on them. The ambassador said one of the lessons the Czech Republic learned from its past is that “we strongly believe that solutions cannot be imposed from the outside, because they do not work.” That firm belief is one of the reasons why the Czech Republic, alone among the 27 EU countries, voted with Israel and seven other countries at the UN on November 29 against upgrading the Palestinian status at the UN to that of nonmember state observer. –


    UK accuses Spain of ‘act of war’ after two Spanish naval vessels enter waters close to Gibraltar.

    Bob Stewart, Tory MP for Beckenham, said the British Government needed to ‘respond robustly to this aggravation’ after Commons Leader Andrew Lansley said two Spanish naval vessels entered the waters of Gibraltar on Monday.
    He said they were given radio warnings before leaving but Mr Stewart, a former colonel, said the incursion was illegal and the Government needed to ‘do something about it’.

  3. @ Eric R.:

    ‘Poor choice of words – I meant that “global nuclear war” was the fate to be accepted. I think the regular posters here knew what I meant.’

    My apologies, then. And you’re right, I’m not a frequent commenter.

  4. But behind all this ….

    The truth is that Israeli authorities themselves have been ghettoizing Jews for decades, preventing them from building on their land, and when they do allow it, Jews have to live in a state of incertitude, not knowing whether they will suffer the same fate as Jews from Gaza and Sinai – Recurrent minor expulsions occur to let settlers know who’s boss. That state of incertitude and subjugation to the whims of authorities is deliberate, to condition them to eventually accept mass expulsions and other abuses of human rights.

    Elected and appointed authorities (or self-selected, as the Supreme Court) have no right to deprive Jews from their land to give it to Arab Nazis or anyone else. Jewish warriors recovered the land for all Jews, present and future.

    Nobody can deprive you of your land without your permission. If other countries try to, that’s a declaration of war. If your own authorities do it, it’s even worse.

  5. Andy Lewis Said:

    @ Eric R.:

    “If Israel is destroyed, then so be it.”

    Easy for you to say, slag.

    Poor choice of words – I meant that “global nuclear war” was the fate to be accepted. I think the regular posters here knew what I meant.

  6. I think FM Lieberman had the right response two days ago when he likened the Europeans today to the Nazis of the 1930s. Netanyahu was a little more tactful but implied the same thing. The Europeans have dropped the mask; they are once again, proudly Hitler’s children, who live only to exterminate Jews.

    Israel must, discreetly and with plausible deniability, tell these Nazi scum that some of her nukes are aimed at Europe, and if Israel goes down, so does Europe.

    Now, it is possible, even probable, that an increasingly Marxist and Islamist France, with its cities destroyed, might even lash out against America, thus launching a global nuclear war that ends civilization.

    If Israel is destroyed, then so be it.