Harriet Sherwood falsely claims Israeli construction will cut E. Jerusalem off from West Bank

H/T Tamar

Harriet Sherwood’s Dec. 3 report, ‘UK summons Israeli ambassador over settlement plan’, repeats a disproven allegation concerning the alleged injurious impact to Palestinians of proposed Israeli construction near Jerusalem.

Sherwood writes the following:

“Britain is furious at Israel’s decision to take punitive measures, including the authorisation of the new homes and the development of land east of Jerusalem known as E1 for settlement construction.

The development of E1 has been frozen for years under pressure from the US and EU. Western diplomats regard it as a “game-changer” as its development would close off East Jerusalem – the future capital of Palestine – from the West Bank.” [emphasis added]

However, as CAMERA has demonstrated, the allegation that E-1 development would “close of East Jerusalem…from the West Bank” (also recently advanced by Ha’aretz and the NYT) is simply not true.

Here’s a map CAMERA used in their post highlighting the area in question.

e1 continguity

CAMERA explained, thus:

“The black X marks the approximate location of the new neighborhood near Ma’aleh Adumim. To the west of the X is Jerusalem. The red line surrounding the X is the planned route of the security barrier, which will encircle Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

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.

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.)”

Finally, CAMERA added the following:

“Nor is it true that the construction would cut off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem. Access to Jerusalem through Abu Dis, Eizariya, Hizma and Anata is not prevented by the proposed neighborhood, nor would it be precluded by a string of neighborhoods connecting Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.” [emphasis added]

Please consider contacting the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, to seek a correction to Sherwood’s false allegation.

19 replies »

  1. Comment is free but…
    ‘Facts are sacrificed’
    ‘Fact are scared’
    ‘Facts are too expensive for the guardian to invest in’
    You get the picture.

    • I don’t know about Sherwood but most European governments and the government of the United States believe that Israeli construction will cut East Jerusalem off from the West Bank – both of which are part of the state of Palestine.

      Most Western governments have summoned Israel’s ambassadors, and it was not for a nice chat.

  2. Adam, I have to disagree.

    Building in Gush etzion would mean that going from Beit Lehem to Ramalla will take you via Almog (Jerico South junction) which will mean you will have to endure the long route to the dead sea and up again, which due to the tarrein is only possible with a 4×4 off road vehicle.

    You cannot compare this to the coastal strip due to the Jodaen mountains.

    Unless an up to standard route is devised around Gush Etzion (to the east) which is connected to Hebron it’s not a valid argument.

    • Just as an fyi, this is was just posted by the JCPA: “Israel has planned a new road that would allow Palestinian traffic coming from the south to pass eastward of Maale Adumim and continue northward to connect with the cities in the northern West Bank. This Palestinian bypass road would actually reduce the time for Palestinian drivers traveling in a north-south direction who would encounter no Israeli roadblocks.”

      • Either way, it is a provocation and points out that the current govt wants to keep East Jerusalem rather than share it.
        Regardless of my personal opinion about this I believe this leaves a small space for negotiations, a very small room.
        Unless people are expected to believe that Israeli govt will agree to leave Israelis, which purchased free hold land in Judea or Semaria, to become Palestinian citizens.

        I doubt this will happen.

        So what the third option? Do we revert to having Jerusalem and its surrounding to become a bi national state.

        Will that work this time around?

        • My husband votes for Australia to get Jerusalem. He feels that the climate will suit them, and they’re used to dealing with insanely deadly situations, although theirs have more to do with the wildlife than the politics.

  3. Israel’s commitment to preventing a two-state solution is laid bare, and states which will provide cover for Israel’s criminality are becoming increasingly scarce. Now that Palestine is officially recognised as a state, 80% of the Hasbarist’s disinformation is redundant.

    Why punish Palestinians for pursuing a two-state solution? Is Israel so keen on a one-state solution?

    • Wait a second Avram. This whole piece explains to you what the truth of the situation is and you don’t accept the fact that the recent decision to build will not affect the status quo ante, yet you punch the (wrong)point that this is punishment and to prevent Palestinians from pursuing a 2 state solution: what is factually incorrect about this article, if anything? Has punishment been mentioned? Are Palestinians going to starve? Are Palestinians worse off? Are Palestinians losing their lives or even their livelihood?

      Of course not. So its not the “hasbarists” but the hardened biased media that lay it on thick, like you, adopting a default position to say that the PA were acting reasonably by circumventing the Oslo Accords and going to the UN to beat up Israel again. It’s the PA who have chosen NOT to pursue a 2 state solution.

      • The E1 settlements would make a two-state solution impossible, which is why all Western governements are speaking so harshly against Netanyahu.

        That the Netanyahu’s government would jeopardize the ties between Israel and Western democracies for the sake a a few votes from settlers who don’t even live in Israel but in neighbouring Palestine is disturbing.

    • Avram,
      I see you’re back, once again posting your drivel. Once again you post a comment which is fact free, and reads like it came straight from a right-wing anti-semitic pamphlet. 80%? Is that official?
      “Why punish Palestinians for pursuing a two-state solution?” Why make such a ludicrous statement?

  4. I think the real point of all this is Jerusalem. The Israeli’s have no intention in handing Jerusalem, including the Temple mount to the ‘Palestinians’. the Palestinians try to use the UN to get de-facto border recognition on ’67 lines. Israel responds with ‘facts on the ground’ type building. At the end of the day the desire of the Palestinians to steal the site of the Jews holiest place will ensure no peace, even when Israel is willing to give up what rightfully should be theirs (All of ancient Israel and Judea).

  5. “East Jerusalem – the future capital of Palestine ” Really? It’s not even the “intended” future capital any longer, Harriet? Written like a true propagandist.

    • Jeff, in case you were sleeping last month the state of Palestine is sitting at the UN and it is clearly stated that its capital is East Jerusalem.

  6. It’s a salient* point about the 15-km figure at Israel’s narrowest point.

    *No pun intended – really!

  7. Even I have just registered a complaint with the G. about the “the future capital of Palestine” comment.

    • This will not lead anywhere, since all governments in the world, including the USA, consider East Jerusalem to be bound to become the capital of the state of Palestine. Israel is the only nation in the world that says otherwise.