Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler
Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for
Monday, December 3.
The New York Times reported, Dividing the West Bank, and Deepening a Rift:
But Israel’s announcement on Friday that it was moving ahead with
zoning and planning preparations for the area could change all that, and
many fear that it could close the window on the chance for a two-state
solution to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Only critics of the move were quoted. But what's false is that
connecting Jerusalem to Maale Adumim would "divide" the West Bank.
Construction in E1, in West Bank territory that Israel captured in the
1967 war, would connect the large Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim to
Jerusalem, dividing the West Bank in two. The Palestinian cities of
Ramallah and Bethlehem would be cut off from the capital, making the
contiguous Palestinian state endorsed by the United Nations last week
Although Israeli officials did not call the move retaliation for the
United Nations vote, most people here assumed the timing was not
Those who charge that Israeli building in Ma'aleh Adumim severs
north-south contiguity disregard the fact that Palestinian-controlled
areas would be connected by land east of Ma'aleh Adumim (marked on the
map) that is at its narrowest point ~15 km wide.
Nadav Shragai observed:
Moreover, Israel proposes to build tunnels or overpasses to obviate the
need for Palestinians to detour to the east through the corridor.
Ironically, many of those who argue for greater contiguity between
Palestinian areas, at the same time promote Israeli withdrawal to its
pre-1967 boundaries, which (even with minor modifications) would confine
Israel to a far less contiguous territory than that of the West Bank.
As shown on the map above, there is a roughly 15 km wide strip of land
separating the Green Line (and the Security Fence) from the
Mediterranean Sea (near Herzliya). Also shown is the circuitous route
necessary to travel via this corridor between northern and southern
Israel. (e.g. from Arad to Beit Shean.)
Even old peace plans that spoke of the division of Jerusalem
envisioned linking Maale Adumim and Jerusalem. According to a document
of understandings between former minister Yossi Beilin and Mahmoud Abbas
from the mid-1990s, while some Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods were to be
transferred to a future Palestinian state, Israel was to annex the
Jewish communities around Jerusalem, such as Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev,
Beitar, and Efrat. According to the Clinton outline for partitioning
Jerusalem that arose in the talks between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority at Camp David in 2000, Israel was to be compensated for
partitioning the city by annexing communities such as Maale Adumim.
The objections to building in E1 show the degree to which the world
accepts the Palestinian interpretation of the peace process. Last week's
appeal to the UN to upgrade the PLO's status was a clear violation of
the premises of bilateral negotiations, yet was approved by most
nations. Few even condemned or opposed the move. However a move to shore
up what had once been an accepted part of a final agreement is now
being condemned. There are reports that Britain and France are
considering recalling their ambassadors to Israel. The Palestinian
strategy of marshaling international pressure against Israel and
unilaterally changing the terms of a peace agreement with Israel is
succeeding magnificently. As long as the Palestinians are absolved of
any responsibility for creating a civil society or negotiating with
Israel, they will not achieve statehood. The only thing this posturing
achieves is making peace more remote.
Labels: E-1, Middle East Media Sampler, Soccer Dad