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On the Reactions to Israel’s E-1 Plan

Is it actually the “death knell” for the two-state solution?

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's 2008 Peace Plan That Included E-1(Twitter)

November was a busy month. Between the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the American elections, Operation Pillar of Defense, and the Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations, we’d hoped the December tumble toward 2013 might slow its roll a little bit.

Alas, Friday afternoon, the day after Palestine became a non-member observer at the United Nations, it was reported that Israel “would pursue ‘preliminary zoning and planning preparations’ for a development that would separate the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem. If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”

The administrative plan to build there, known as the E-1 Plan, is nothing new. The E-1 Plan was authored by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just months before his 1995 death (and a short while after he signed the Oslo Accords and a peace treaty with Jordan). It’s remained a plan semi-frequently invoked ever since and the idea was a consideration in at least two Israeli-led peace initiatives made in the last 12 years (provisions for a road connecting Bethlehem and Ramallah were reportedly included). We know how those talks ended.

In essence, E-1 is old news made new at a most terrible time. Israel has just suffered a diplomatic blow at the United Nations and this announcement, while retributive toward the Palestinian Authority, also insults the countries that stood by Israel during the intense goings on of the past few weeks, especially the United States.

In response to the surge of outrage from European Union and the United Nations over the weekend, yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that no building has been approved in the E-1 zone yet (only planning). Most onlookers, including Britain, France, and Sweden, all of which reportedly were thinking about calling their ambassadors back over the plan, were not amused.

The E-1 bombshell (which is more like an unexploded mine that Israeli leaders keep poking at from afar) has already been called the “death knell” of the two-state solution in an act of journalistic stenography by various media (and others). One magazine (a little too giddily) characterized it as a game of Battleship, in which Bibi called out “E1″ and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responded “You sunk my two-state solution!” (Good one.)

It’s true that this is an exceedingly dumb idea by an Israeli leadership that excels at dumb ideas, but until the pickaxes are raised, let’s gather a little perspective here. The “death knell” of the two-state solution, in which Israel would hand over territory to the Palestinians for their state, is not 3,000 housing units between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. If anything, the “death knell” of the two-state solution would be the violent reactions to the Israeli withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza in the past 12 years.

The result of Israel having left those areas has been three wars (and, one could easily argue, an intifada). The result of those battles has been the shattering of trust that Israelis need to deal with their neighbors in good faith. It has also shattered the trust needed to inspire Israelis to elect leaders who seem serious about peace.

Nevertheless, it’s surreal that less than three weeks after the world stood transfixed while Gaza rockets proved again that Israelis should rightfully fear giving up more territory (as necessary as it ultimately is), the United Nations, the European Union, and whomever else have already forgotten that the actual death knell is probably death.

Israel Moves to Expand Settlements in East Jerusalem
Netanyahu: Government Okayed E-1 Planning, But Not Building [JPost]
For the First Time, Britain and France May Recall Israeli Ambassadors Over Settlement Construction [Haaretz]
Israel and Palestine Play Battleship

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The sad truth is that the Israeli government does not how to play a good obsequious toady. No solution is possible in this generation. The fact is they should at least dance around the issues and not look so bad, even though they should not substantively give anything away.

    fred capio says:

    Israel must go about her own business and reject ALL foreign interference. To suggest that Israel should try to look good is ridiculous and at the niveau of a 12 year old.

What seems to be missing in all the discussions about the E1 corridor is the fact that it is less about 3000 housing units as Israel is telling the world, that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people case closed. If they have to define it by facts on the ground they will.

Everyone seems to be forgetting the point that the UN overwhelmingly passes a resolution not just giving the PA heightened level of existence but they went on to define the 1967 armistice lines as the borders of the new “entity.” (Yes in violation of all the treaties signed between Israel and the PA as well as previous UN resolutions 242 and 338) So now according to the “powers that be” at the UN not only does Judea and Samaria exclusively belong to the PA so does Jerusalem including the Kotel.

The housing units were a message pure and simple to the world to go screw themselves. No one is going to define Israel nor the Jewish people nor are they going to tell the Jewish nation where they may and may not live in their own land. Too bad. You would think that considering the holiday of Hanukkah is coming up the leftist Jews who are bemoaning this latest move by the Israeli government would get an idea about what is actually going on here..nothing new and a very old drama played out in modern times.

    Rebecca says:

    “their own land”? That was given to us by the international community out of guilt for letting the Holocaust go that far. And we are so polite that we not only accept the gift but just keep demanding more and more and more! We of all people should be able to sympatize with the plight of others. How did your faith get so distorted?

    downwinder says:

    By the same logic, given all the people that get murdered, it’s OK to murder just one person.

    Especially if everything else you do is good.

    Of course telling everyone else to go and screw themselves is not universally seen as good. Still, it’s something the murderer could say to the court, at his trial.

I say, if any of the countries want to recall their ambassadors, throw out the general consuls from Jerusalem too, as those usually serve as the ambassadors to PA.

fred capio says:

Chandler, would you explain why do you care about Britain, France, and Sweden who have no business interfering with Israel’s affairs while you call your own government dumb and demonstrating your own intellectual deficiency by still believing in possible negotiations.

    Rebecca says:

    Would you explain how going against international law is Israel’s affairs? Why the XXXX can’t you people see that we can’t keep hiding behind our past sufferings as a defense for causing suffering to others. You all claim to be God-loving, but I seriously doubt that you’ve ever understood just the tinyest bit of the message.

      fred capio says:

      First, stop pretending to be a Jew. Second, you are not an advocate of the International Court of Justice, nor is Britain, France, or Sweden and you are definitely not a messenger of G-d. The “suffering” of the so called “Palestinians” is self inflicted and all you do is making boilerplate statements. No one needs to hide behind the sufferings of the past. There is not one day without evidence of the murderous intentions of the Muslim world.

        Rebecca says:

        Quote: “First, stop pretending to be a Jew.”

        How dare you! I had family killed in Auschwitz, you selfrighteous sob!

        Quote: “Second, you are not an advocate of the International Court of Justice, nor is Britain, France, or Sweden and you are definitely not a messenger of G-d.”

        The ICJ doesn’t need advocates. It has the law, which you wouldn’t know about or deliberately ignore. You’re a shame for us all!

        Quote: “The “suffering” of the so called “Palestinians” is self inflicted and all you do is making boilerplate statements. No one needs to hide behind the sufferings of the past. There is not one day without evidence of the murderous intentions of the Muslim world.”

        I guess you are the troll here. May G-d save your poor lost soul.

          fred capio says:

          I don’t want to get “ad hominem” but you really should try to get laid.

          Rebecca says:

          And yet you did. Well, when you can’t get the ball, get the man, right?! I’m really impressed. How about coming up with real arguments for once…

          Besides, you must have misspelled. It’s spelled “I – A M – S O R R Y – F O R – M Y – S L A N D E R”.

CygnusA81 says:

By that picture it would show what an unbelievable hack Olmert is. And as last ‘peace’ plan shows the E-1 section would not destroy a viable ‘Palestinian’ state.

It really is amazing to hear our government and the Europeans talk about land swaps being part of a final deal and yet they blast any Israeli government when they announce they are planning on building in an area where in which the Israelis were planning on keeping anyway.

It only shows us that the world truly hates us.

    Rebecca says:

    Boohoo, and Bibi and his supporters are just innocents… Get out of your martyrdom and take a realitycheck. No wonder the world isn’t pleased with us.

      CygnusA81 says:

      Are you blind or are you just stupid? In Olmert’s plan he also was going to annex E-1 along with Ma’ale Adumim.

      Here’s the reason why isn’t peace. The world, but in particular the Western world always turns a blind eye toward Palestinian intransigence and yet when Israel plans on building on land that it plans on keeping in any deal the world screams out in horror.

      Yet you wonder why the Palestinians don’t negotiate with any Israel government left or right.

        Rebecca says:

        “Here’s the reason why isn’t peace. The world, but in particular the
        Western world always turns a blind eye toward Palestinian intransigence and yet when Israel plans on building on land that it plans on keeping in any deal the world screams out in horror.

        Yet you wonder why the Palestinians don’t negotiate with any Israel government left or right.”

        Oh my G-d! Are you kidding me?

        We have violated numerous UN resolutions, we have built an illegal apartheid-wall, we deny the transport of humanitarian aid to Gaza, we build settlements that destroys Palestinian land with trash and sewage water and have inhabitants that demand separate busses, violently assault Palestinian citizens and destroy their lands and olive plantations. No, I don’t wonder why they’re not keen on talking to us and neither should you be!

          CygnusA81 says:


          Wow, your ignorance is so vast, it makes me want to ignore
          you since you lack of knowledge is so bias and hateful; I normally wouldn’t waste my time since your hatred. But since this is a Jewish website, I am going to response to you of your ‘arguments.’

          Blockade of Gaza, are you kidding me?

          First, Israel supplies all the electricity for the Gaza Strip. And on top of that Gaza Strip does not pay for their electricity. Yeah those Joos are certainly evil.

          Second, Israel delivers roughly 30000 tons of food and gas
          to Gaza on a weekly basis. Yep, those darn Israelis are certainly trying to starve the Gazans.

          Third, you accuse Israel of erecting an ‘apartheid wall.’ That
          comment pretty much sums up your 100% bias of Israel. It’s pretty obvious you do not care that the SECURITY FENCE not only saved Jewish lives by stopping suicide bombers from entering Israel, it also saved Palestinian lives as well. You, as an idiot, would say, how is possible. Well I’ll explain it to you. Since the fence has been built, Israel does not need to go into PA areas to take out terrorist nests. By stopping these terrorist attacks Israel has countless of Palestinians lives.

          Forth, there is nothing illegal about the settlements. Israel
          built towns on land that was never state. Hence the ambiguous status of the ownership land, but do not care about the subtleties.

          Finally, if you are a Jew, which I doubt, stop kidding
          yourself. Your religion is not Judaism, its Leftism. Plan and simple.

          Rebecca says:

          MY ignorance? :D

          And where am I hateful? I’m opposed to the means of our current government, but I don’t hate. Not even you, although it would seem to be a fair response to your attitude.

          First and second: Yes, blockade of Gaza. Let me help you get enlightened:
          and how humane to think of the minimum daily intake of calories. “Yeah those Joos are certainly” … kindhearted…:

          Third: That bloody wall is illegal in international law and that is just ONE thing our government doesn’t seem to care about as far as legitimacy goes.

          Forth: It is an occupied territory. I shouldn’t have to say more…

          Finally: You can doubt all you want. I don’t give a rats *ss! Your Zionist paranoia is YOUR problem, not mine.

          Oh, btw: Here is a real Rosa Parks example. Don’t deny the truth when it’s right before your eyes – apartheid in it’s purest form.

          downwinder says:

          Well said, Cygnus. Of course it looks different from the outside. to those of us who have not been to Israel.

          We only have our naive points of view to trust as we may, and we note the sudden shift: Objections to your policies are now more prominent.

          In response to the E1 declaration by Mr Netanyahu, Israeli diplomats are upbraided by several prestigious nations. The UN votes 174 to 6, that Israel should join the NPT.

          Murmerings grow, hypothetical cases which might be brought before the ICC. The UN’s genocide convention, the lifelong work of Raphael Lemkin, is read over in back rooms of tiny organisations and by insignificant individuals.

          Interesting to note that was the Isreali UN Representative Chaim Herzog who, in 1978, first raised the issue of the Khmer Rouge genocide in then Kampuchea, at the UN. This fact is chronicled in the book “A problem from Hell”, by Samantha Power, published in 2002: an exhaustive (but readable, nonetheless) history of mainly American policy toward genocide up to near that date. Palestine is not mentioned in the index.

          Am I, in my naivety, therefore to conclude that Israeli enroachment beyond the Green Line has no element of injustice, no whisper of dispossession of legal owners of real estate?

          Am I, in my naivety, to dismiss the patient and determined work of B’Tselem, in its gathering of forensic evidence, documenting crimes by settlers against Palestinians? For example, those Palestinians whose livelihoods and lives depend on their olive orchards; or of persecutions by settlers of Palestinian schoolchildren, trying simply to go about their childish business?

          Unfortunately, Cygnus, I am not convinced by your arguments. They sound too much like the rationalisations and prevarications of American southerners whom I met in the autumn of 1964, as I hitch-hiked through their native land. They spoke about all the good they had done for black people (not what they called them) and how civil rights activists were troublemakers. They cited examples of their goodness and compassion toward black people.

          From what I have since learned, I would not be surprised to hear continued arguments for segregation from some of those kind people who gave a naive traveller a lift, in the days when the US policy of racial segregation was under attack, as never before. Not everyone changes their mind simply because the law changes the way they are legally free to act.

          Likewise, I do not expect you to change your minds about Palestine or Palestinians, ever. Not even if you read the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

          As Mr Lemkin said, “If somebody does not like mustard, he will always find a reason why he doesn’t like it, after you have convinced him that the previous reason has no validity.” Lemkin was horrified by genocide from the age of 12, in 1913, and singlemindedly battled against it throughout his life, right up to the moment of his death in 1959.

          Israel is an early ssignatory and a party to the Genocide treaty (accessible at )
          The definition of genocide is given early on:
          Article II
          In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

          (a) Killing members of the group;
          (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

          (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

          (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

          (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

          Cygnus, I invite you to think over which elements of the acts you seem to justify might fall within this definition.

          CygnusA81 says:

          Like usual, Leftists like yourself think you are on some
          absolute moral standing when it comes to this issue. You see, leftists like yourself, think you are on side on ‘good.’ You think you know me, you don’t know me.

          Here’s the thing, I’m more pro ‘Palestinian’ then you ever
          will be. I actually do care that people die, but you don’t. You justify in your small mind that Israelis aka Jews deserve their fate (death/ real genocide) since you believe that we have no claim to the land of Israel. You do not care about actual genocide. I do care actual genocide. I see what is going on Syria as being horrible. I see how the Turks have suppressed Kurdish, rights and culture as horrible. Do you actually care, of course not. Of course you would say that you do ‘care.’ But since there is no worldwide movement for Krudish self-determination or any action to bring down Assad, your words mean nothing.

          But lets get back to genocide accusation.

          Here’s the definition of genocide: the deliberate and
          systematic extermination of a national, racial, political,
          or cultural group.

          For you accusing Israel of genocide is laughable. Israel is the only country in the history of world who has allowed the hostile population to grow ten-fold since 1967.

          But since you ignore the whole history of the conflict, it’s obvious you are too obtuse to have this conversation.

          Anyway, I’m sure you have never read the HAMAS Charter. Go ahead, read it.

          Every single point you make about the UN Convention on Genocide is in their document.

          Let’s look back; you support genocide and apartheid, by justifying HAMAS’ action.

          Oh, btw, Abbas also supports apartheid/ethnic cleansing as well.

          downwinder says:

          Thank you for your reply.
          I was hoping for something a bit more thoughtful, dispassionate, less presumptuous, but it appears I have engaged the wrong person.

          Enjoy your day.

          downwinder says:

          Well Cygnus, Today’s another day. Here are a few more flavours of mustard.


          Weekly report on human rights violations in Palestine #Gaza

          IDF members bear witness to human rights violations

          Our Harsh Logic

          downwinder says:

          Cygnus, is it true that ODF personnel personally present a Christmas Turkey to every Palestinian Christian, on Christmas Eve?

          Hypothetically, how many do you think would go to Gaza these days?

          CygnusA81 says:

          Do you enjoy talking with yourself?

          Fun fact. More people have been murdered in the last two years by Assad than in the entire Palestinian/Israeli conflict by roughly 3 fold. But since you side with barbarism it’s not surprising that you obsess over everything Israel does or doesn’t do; while ignoring real human right crimes and war crimes.

          downwinder says:

          Do I enjoy talking with myself? Yes.

          There you have it, a simple answer to a simple question.

          But what do I get in return from you, for my simple yes-or-no question? More questions, irrelevant statistics and off-topic attributions about my cultural heritage.

          How do you think that looks to your wider audience?

          To be honest, it was a frivolous question. I do not really expect that ODF personnel give every Palestinian Christian a turkey each Christmas. To begin with, one per family would be a suitably tokenistic gesture, and much more sensible and economical.

          I will not go into more detail, because you may well be a very busy person and have lots of other things to read.

          Still, you may wish to consider these words in the more-widely-read Huffington Post:

          “Palestinian Christians are, indeed, worried about the militancy of extremists who cloak themselves in distorted Islamic rhetoric. Yet, the majority of Palestinian Muslims and Christians have chosen peaceful resistance. To say that Hamas is the cause of the declining Christian population in the occupied Palestinian territories is standing the truth on its head.

          “Our people are fleeing their homeland because the Israelis are confiscating the land of Palestinians — Muslims and Christians alike — to build Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall which is ghettoizing many Palestinian communities. Palestinian Christians are leaving because of Israeli checkpoints and barriers that severely restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians, destroying their economy and preventing their access to their holy places in Jerusalem. They are leaving because Israel diverts Palestinian water resources in a way that gives illegal Jewish settlements the right to enjoy swimming pools while the fields of Palestinian farmers next door go fallow for lack of water.”

CygnusA81 says:

This is for our anti-Semitic ‘Jewish’ traitor Rebecca.

Israel hates the Palestinians so much that they are paying for a bone marrow transplant for a Palestinian child. Yep, those Israelis really want to kill all the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. On btw, PA refused to pay for the treatment. The PA just loves dead babies not live ones.

    downwinder says:

    classic tokenism

    Rebecca says:

    Wow! So a few single examples makes everything else alright?

    I seriously wonder why you can’t see that you yourself are doing the same thing that you blame the other side for. “The PA just loves dead babies…”

    Stop your hatred and your prejudice or this conflict is gonna go on and on and on and on with more deaths to follow.


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On the Reactions to Israel’s E-1 Plan

Is it actually the “death knell” for the two-state solution?

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