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E1 doesn't matter: One-state reality is here

Those who think that E1 is the nail in the coffin of the two-state ‘solution’ are willfully blind to the fact that a one-state outcome is already on the ground and that the Zionist militias started building it before there ever was an Israel.

I know this is a little late. The big brouhaha about E1 was, what, a few weeks ago? I wasn’t paying that much attention because, as someone who spends a lot of time traveling between Jerusalem and the West Bank–and noticing the one unequal state already on the ground–I didn’t quite get the fuss about E1. It’s just more of the same; it’s part of the process that began in 1947.

Every day, I take a Palestinian bus from East Jerusalem to Abu Dis, in the West Bank. We go through Sheikh Jarrah and then through the tunnels, popping out in the Palestinian land next to the Israeli settlement Maale Adumim. We pass through Azzariya and then take a winding road to Abu Dis.

People were up in arms about construction in E1 making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible. As though there were any possibilities left. The West Bank has been carved up already. Israeli settlements dot East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the Palestinians are confined to separate bus line that connects their Bantustans. I see it on my commute every day as the Palestinian bus passes Israeli bus stops full of settlers. As we pass Maale Adumim. As we share the road with all the yellow-plated Israeli vehicles traveling to and from settlements that are even deeper in the West Bank than Maale Adumim neighboring E1.

Of course, it’s awful that Israel will expropriate privately owned Palestinian land for settlement in E1. It’s shameful that the Palestinians who live in the areas surrounding E1 will find their (already non-existent) ability to expand to accommodate for natural growth further limited. But those who think that the tiny piece of land known as E1 is what will make or break a Palestinian state don’t realize that the Palestinian state was broken from day one; those who think that E-1 is the nail in the coffin of the two-state “solution” are willfully blind to the fact that a one-state outcome is already on the ground and that the Zionist militias started building it before there was an Israel.

Zionist militias started breaking the Palestinian state in 1947 right after the UN Partition Plan was approved. As Salim Tamari writes in Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighborhoods and Their Fate in the War:

The Zionist forces conducted thirteen operations for the capture of Jerusalem. The objectives of these operations was twofold: (1) to clear the Tel Aviv-Jaffa-Jerusalem highway for the free movement of Jewish forces; and (2) to clear Arab villages on the western flanks of Jerusalem from their Palestinian population to provide demographic depth and linkages between the proposed Jewish state and the city of Jerusalem, in the framework of Plan Dalet. (emphasis mine)

Israel’s plans for E1 are just more of the same. It’s part of the same demographic war that Israel was waging from the get go, it’s part of an attempt to link Jewish settlements from the river to the sea, creating one state in the entirety of the territory shared by two people.

Tamari points out that the Zionist forces “conducted seven military operations in Jerusalem” from December of 1947 up until Israel’s independence on May 15 and that “[a]ll of those operations were conducted inside the boundaries of the UN proposed Arab State…”

Today, these same conquered areas are considered part of “West Jerusalem.” But, as Tamari points out, West Jerusalem is “a post-1948 term.” On a personal note, I feel the continuity between the West Bank and “West Jerusalem” in my bones when I go hiking in Ir Ganim’s hills–which were Palestinian agricultural terraces before 1948–and I stand listening to Battir’s call to prayer. Even though I can see and hear Battir, I can’t reach it. The continuity between Jerusalem and the West Bank was broken six decades ago.

This is what my students, many of whom are refugees from areas that are now part of “West Jerusalem,” talk about when they talk about Palestine. They talk about their grandparents’ villages—Ein Karem, Deir Yassin, and Malha, to name a few—which they consider their villages. They talk about the right of return. They talk about 1947 and 1948—the nakba—and everything that has come since. Those who have foreign passports and East Jerusalem IDs talk about getting arrested at Ben Gurion International Airport—which stands on Lydda, they remind me—because they dared to try to enter their country. They talk about checkpoints and green and blue IDs; they talk about being attacked by a Jewish mob during the holiday that celebrates the “reunification” of Jerusalem; they talk about being assaulted by soldiers.

They are talking about their human rights and all the ways Israel violates them every day. They are not talking about the 1967 lands. And they are definitely not talking about E-1. They’re talking about Palestine.

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    1. rsgengland

      As the author mentions, Tamari says that all the areas fought over by the JEWS in Jerusalem, were in the UN designated Arab areas.
      What she forgets to mention , is that the Arabs refused to accept or discuss any form of the UN partition.
      The stated aim of the Arabs then and now, is the destruction of Israel.
      Read the Hamas leaders lips for confirmation (in the last few weeks).
      The Jews were ETHNICALLY CLEANSED from the Arab/Muslim lands by the wave of Antisemitism that swept those areas (and they were ejected because they were Jews, not because they were Zionists).
      The Arabs fled the area of todays Israel because of war.
      The events of Deir Yassin had caused panic and fear amongst the Arabs, and was exploited by all sides (Arabs-Jews-British)to further their aims, and was one of the reasons for the Arab flight that followed.

      Reply to Comment
      • un2here

        If the Jews are not Zionists – why do the Zionists claim to represent the Jewish People?

        Reply to Comment
    2. I approve of the spirit of Mya’s analysis, but the problem of “E1” is not abstract. People live there. Appropriating this land isn’t just a problem because of how it breaks up continuity or prevents Palestinian expansion. It’s a problem because people already live there!

      I’m grateful that +972 is one of the only outlets to make this point, too! http://972mag.com/e1-is-not-a-land-without-a-people/62265/

      Reply to Comment
    3. sh

      “creating one state in the entirety of the territory shared by two people.” In which case it is a territory called the Holy Land and shared by one people. Time to launch the struggle for equal rights.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Hi Benjamin, I agree one hundred percent. And, to be clear, I wasn’t trying to belittle or gloss over the fact that there are people in E-1. Among other things, I was trying to make the point that the interest in E-1 neglects the big picture of Zionist expansionism.

      Further, Palestinians are being forcibly displaced by Israeli home demolitions almost every day in the West Bank and East Jerusalem… where is the international community/media in those cases? Why all the fuss about E-1?

      And the fuss that the international community is making about E-1 isn’t about the people who live there… it’s all about the two-state “solution,” which is dead whether or not Israel builds in E-1.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for your thoughtful comment.


      Reply to Comment
    5. It started in 1947? Really? I’d say it started in 1881 when Baron Edmund de Rothschild began buying land in Palestine and supporting the zionists. 1947 was just the logical consequence of over 50 years of zionist colonialism.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        If you are saying in 1881, then lets say that it started over 3000 years ago with the first Zionists.
        This part of the world has been the center of conflict for thousands of years, and in no part of that has there ever been a country called Palestine or a people called Palestinians, until 1918.
        And those first Palestinians were the Jews.
        And despite being murdered and dispersed by countless invaders, there has always been a Jewish presence in the area ‘between the river and the sea’.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Jewish identity as an ethnic group was created by the zionists in the 20th century. The Palestinians of 3000 years ago were not the Jews of today.
          “This part of the world has been the center of conflict for thousands of years” The same goes for any part of the world. Try and read some history.
          The colonization of Palestine by the zionists started in the late 19th century, not thousands of years ago. The true Jewish Palestines who were in favour of a country where all are treated equally, were murdered by the gangs lead by future Israeli presidents.

          Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            The jewish ethnic and religous identity has its history in the Bible.
            King David, King Soloman and others were ethnicaly Jewish, and so the story contiues.
            You can try to alter the picture, as so many have tried before.
            Judaism is both a religion and a people.
            To have withstood the tests of time, as Judaism has in multiple countries and cultures, and still retain its basic forms and beliefs in all those places, implies a cohesion that can only be described collectively as a Jewish people and religion.
            And there was NOT INTERNET to facilitate this.

            Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            Palestininians 3000 years ago.Dreamland I suspect.
            Palestina was the invention of Roman Emperor Hadrian after the JEWISH REVOLLT AD133.
            It has always been an administritive area or province ruled from elsewhere.
            The State and People of Palestine is a relativly recent occurence.

            Reply to Comment
          • You are making remarkable progress. You went from 1918 to 133 AD in 2 posts. Keep up the good work.

            Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            Over 3000 years ago there were no Palestinians .
            There were Jews (Isralites-Hebrews)
            1918 was the begining of the British Mandate, and the first time in history that an area called Palestine was properly defined with borders and its own administration.
            You are the one who needs to study history in an objective and balanced manner.

            Reply to Comment
          • Nikki

            fanned and faved!

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The Jewish identity as an ethnic group was created by the zionists in the 20th century.

            Not truth. Jews – as an ethnicity – were moved to and expelled from numerous countries such as Babylonia, Spain, Russia LONG before 20th century.

            >The Palestinians of 3000 years ago

            3000 years ago there was no “Palestinians” of any kind.
            However the first people who became Palestinians circa 70 C.E. – 1930 or so years ago, were certainly Jews.

            >were not the Jews of today.

            Jews is anyone who is follower of Judaism or is born to such parents so technically there is no difference between the Jews who lived 2000-3000 years ago and someone who’ve converted just yesterday.

            >The same goes for any part of the world. Try and read some history.

            Not truth. Reading “some” history apparently wasn’t enough for you.

            You can start by counting how many wars were in this region during last 3000 years, than go and compare it to any other single area of similar size.

            You’ll be surprised. I promise.

            >The colonization of Palestine by the zionists started in the late 19th century, not thousands of years ago.

            Colonization of Eretz Israel by Jews started thousands of years ago.
            Name of particular political movement is of really little importance – mount of Zion (where both temples stood) was of greatest importance through Jewish history and is probably second to the Temples themselves.

            >The true Jewish Palestines who were in favour of a country where all are treated equally, were murdered by the gangs lead by future Israeli presidents.

            Multiple nonsense.
            1 – Jews, Christians and others never were (and until today are not) equal to Muslims in Muslim countries.
            2 – A Jew could remain a Jew only as long as one does not worship any other deities. Since neither Mohammad nor Jesus are not prophets by Judaism standards a Jew who converts into Islam or Christianity effectively seizes to be a Jew.

            On such occurrences (in observing families of course) the Kiddush – burial prayer – is recited so convert’s soul could rest in peace, after which the convert is considered dead.

            The process is reversible of course – via Giyur.

            3 – Palestinian Arabs – as any other Arabs – are in favor of countries where there is a clear discrimination by religion.

            Ex. recent referendum in Egypt, where the most voted for Sharia state.

            Apparently you are not aware of the fact that by Sharia law women are not equal to men and homosexuals are even lower than dogs.

            Reply to Comment
        • Mareli

          The story of Samson and Dalila tells of Philistines living in Gaza. Doesn’t sound like a lot has changed since then. Jews have lived there, and so have non-Jews, and they have never gotten along without conflict.

          Reply to Comment
      • Adam

        Why is it colonization if it involved the legal purchase and sale of land? Because the owners were Europeans or Jewish? Colonization requires a Motherland, and in this case there is none as this land was not purchased as part of a British Colonial enterprise (the Rothschilds were British), it was privately bought and sold property in the Ottoman Empire.

        Reply to Comment
        • The British and Americans made the colonization possible. It’s not exactly the same as a British colonony in India, nor is Israeli apartheid or racism exactly the same as the South-African blend, nor is Israeli ethnic cleansing exactly the same as in former Yugoslavia.

          Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          I have noticed another self-contradiction in the litany of talking points meant to defend Zionism – It’s not colonization because the Ottoman empire was a proper state (Indirectly stated in the above since purchase of land could only take place through a currency exchange which requires an overseeing government authority), yet there is no Palestinian territory to occupy because Palestine was not a state. The missing link of course is that WWI severed Palestine from the Ottoman Empire, which was conquered by Britain and France. So the notion that no motherland was involved goes out the window. While the Zionists had the agenda of an autonomous Jewish state, it took European conquest to protect the emerging institutions that made up that state.

          Reply to Comment
        • sh

          @Adam – ” (the Rothschilds were British)”
          The Rothschilds that bought land here were French.

          Reply to Comment
      • Behzad

        It actually started with Abraham the first Jew who bought the cave of Machpela in Hebron at an inflated price around 3,000 years ago. And you thought Hetzel created Zionism!

        Reply to Comment
    6. Right on, Englebert. But for discussion’s sake–and the discussion about E-1 is about one-state/two-state–I went with 47-48.

      Reply to Comment
    7. aristeides

      Whenever Zionists talk about Jerusalem as the “eternal capital” of their state, I want to point out that most of what they call Jerusalem was never part of the city until a few decades ago.

      But this fact doesn’t seem to be grasped by anyone outside Israel, where they swallow that kind of crap whole.

      If Israel wants “eternal Jerusalem” as its capital, it should restrict itself to the Old City, inside the walls.

      Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        And there’s one specific location in Jerusalem that’s especially problematic, which has been forgotten, politically, since 2000. It will be remembered, inevitably, as soon as any “solution” appears on the table, whether a one-state or two-state solution. There’s no getting around that problem.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Richard Witty

      There is ALWAYS the possibility of a two-state approach so long as the two communities don’t regard themselves as one.

      Otherwise a large minority is “other-governed” rather than “self-governed”.

      I think anyone arguing that they are one society would be a bit hard pressed to make that statement convincingly.

      My own view is that with good relations between Israelis and Palestinians, that there are many options that would be good ones.

      But, the reality is that relations are not good, with large numbers in both communities bearing ill-will towards the other.

      So, that leaves only easily contiguous and not forced intimacy as solution.

      Ironically, its not so much the numbers of settlers, particularly in the suburban areas, that are the biggest problem, but the shape and siting.

      I believe that the only two-state political approach remaining is the Fayyad approach, that willingly accepts the settlers as citizens of Palestine, with no segregated communities, and compensation for any degree of expropriation of title.

      That would leave a 10% Jewish minority in Palestine. I would hope that that would be manageable.

      So long as East Jerusalem is not the feasible capital of Palestine, that will be a continual thorn in the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic brain.

      Ramallah can probably better serve as a secure and distinct capital. But, again, short of very good relations, two distinct national capitals within a few miles, is difficult.

      If they were the best of friends, I could imagine Abbas strolling across the border to have lunch with Olmert or vice-versa.

      Netanyahu and Abbas’ successor, unlikely.

      Reply to Comment
    9. berl

      To give up the 2 states solution is a big assist in favour of netanyahu as well for the settlers.
      We can also agree that the 2 states solution is very hard to implement, but if you also give up the pressure that the international community can make on israel you are basically giving free hand to the settlers.
      A one state solution cannot be other than an apartheid state. At the least in our century and in the context of our interest. I have been hundreds of times in Abu Dis (mainly in the local archive). Exactly for this reason I know how much important is not to give up the pals rights in exchange of anything

      Reply to Comment
    10. berl

      I agree with u and I add the uru-shalem was there 2.000 years before than king david set a foot on the spot. The Jewish impact on the city had been extremely important but to erase the millenarian history of a city holy for billions of people cannot be other than just an ideologic oriented approach

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Yes, tradition says it was previously the city of the Jebusites.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Aaron Gross

      Dear Ms. Guarnieri,

      Could you please inform your colleague Larry Derfner that the Arabs you know “are not talking about the 1967 lands…they’re talking about Palestine”? He seems to have the wrong impression.


      Reply to Comment
    12. Robert Naiman

      With respect, I don’t understand what the political point of this piece is. It seems confused to me. Is it that people shouldn’t be upset about plans to build in E1, or that they should be upset about something else, or that they should be equally upset about something else, or that they should give up on the two-state solution and do something else, or just that they should give up on the two-state solution and sit on their hands? And why the argument about what Palestinians want from anecdote? You can find some Palestinians to support any political position you like. Fatah and Hamas support the two-state solution, and every Palestinian election is a contest between Fatah and Hamas. Doesn’t that count more than your anecdote in understanding Palestinian opinion? And by the way, my personal experience in Hebron and Ramallah was the opposite of what you describe; people accepted that West Jerusalem was gone; they wanted Israeli soldiers and settlers out of the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
    13. The micro events of expansion, demolitions, well destruction, removal, contracts for building, and what not else are probably the clearest evidence it will continue.

      I see naught but inevitable crises and can only hope those Palestinians who either are opposed to violence or believe it will ultimately be futile are already considering how they will respond when outbreaks of violence occur. Those Israelis opposed to the settlements must decide how they will react then as well. At some point, the word games are going to end, and one must have an idea of possible response upon crisis, crises. That’s what “One State” means.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        “Micro events” to you, very major to the victims. This whole conflict is about denying human rights to totally innocent people.

        Israeli have an order of magnitude more chance to be murdered by fellow Israeli than by Palestinians and that is not because of the wall.

        The Palestinian reaction is more sophisticated than you suggest.
        I think you should read the Palestinian Strategy Group document 2011.

        Just to cite what they have to say about “terror attacks”:
        “Smart resistance strategies must consider what position to take on attacks against civilians. There was a strong feeling in the PSG that attacks on civilians should play no part in the new national liberation strategy as they are in clear breach of international law, which is what our Palestinian strategy mainly appeals to. Previous experience has shown that attacks on civilians have alienated international opinion and led to the legitimate Palestinian struggle being branded as ‘terrorism’.”

        Reply to Comment
        • I don’t think I need to be politically corrected for using “micro events.” Thinking people can use differed words to describe the same thing.

          The key to renewed violence will be the response to violence within the Bank community (which is certainly many communities, actually). This is not a matter of who signed what declaration but what one does on the ground after violence. I have made my stand on IDF violence in response to protests and settler acts very clear. But, like it or not, when violence does arise–and I think it inevitable now–socio-politically active residents in the Bank will have to act. And I do not think it will be easy.

          Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >This whole conflict is about denying human rights to totally innocent people.

          Absolutely correct. And started it when Palestinian Arabs had denied Palestinian and other Jews a basic right to have own state.

          So, who’s innocent here?

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Whatever grudge you have the modern view is that you should never blame the children for the crimes of their parents.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            It is only applicable when children are not repeating sins of their parents.

            Reply to Comment
    14. NormanF

      Battir is the Arabic transliteration of the Hebrew Betar. The Arab town is near the ruins of the ancient Jewish city. There is also a new Jewish city, Betar Illit, close to the ruins of the tell.

      Every place in the Land Of Israel rings with Jewish history. The same is true with Messaveret Adumim, which would mark the growth of the Greater Jerusalem metropole and the only way the city can expand for various reasons is to the east. That alone precludes an Arab state in the Land Of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    15. elka

      “Every place in the Land Of Israel rings with Jewish history.”: SIMPLY UNTRUE.
      Most of the places in the region rings with a pre-Jewish history that people like u “have stolen” to fit their own narrative. ‘Asqalana (‘Asqalān in arabic, Ashqelon in hebre), ‘Akka (Akkā in arabic, ‘Akko in hebrew), Ghazza (Ġazzah in arabic, ‘Azza in hebrew), ‘Ariḥa (Arīḥā in arabic, Yeriḥo in hebrew), uru-shalem (Jerusalem), Bit-Lahmi (Bethlehem)…ect..: NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THESE AND OTHER CRUCIAL CITIES HAS JEWISH ORIGINS.
      Of course the following jewish influence has been important. But ask to yourself why the original names of the these cities are in big percentage much closer to arabic than to hebrew.
      Put aside the ideology that your family or your society imposed on you.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        None of these cities has Arabic origins as well.

        Furthermore, none of these cities (including Jerusalem) is mentioned even once in any of Arab’s Quran, contrary to Jewish Torah.

        Arabs invaded the land of Palestine circa 700 C.E. (1300 years ago) so all implications that cities like Jericho, Beth Lehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem or Ashkelon (are you aware that in Hebrew it’s spelled ASKLON, which could be pronounced both Askalon and Ashkelon?), each of which is older than 2000 years, or that the very name of Palestine is somehow related to Arabs, are nothing but vulgar display of ignorance.

        >the original names of the these cities are in big percentage much closer to arabic than to hebrew.

        Nonsense. Just nonsense.

        Reply to Comment
        • Palestinian

          Number one :The first Jews invaded the land of Canaan,which had been inhabited for thousands of years before the first Jewish invasion , did the previous population just vanished and only the “chosen” people survived ? looking forward to discuss # 2

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The first Jews invaded the land of Canaan,which had been inhabited for thousands of years before the first Jewish invasion, did the previous population just vanished and only the “chosen” people survived?

            I see where you are getting. Vanished? No. Maybe partially, due to massacres of all kinds.

            But certainly lost their original national identities and assimilated, thus becoming a part of another nation(s).

            Ex. Samaritans.

            Before Arab invasion in 7th century there were probably about half million, maybe even more, Samaritans (in Hebrew – Shomronim), when Jews took over the Shomron in 1967 there were mere 600 Samaritans in Nablus. (Peaceful coexistence huh? I’d call it a slow extermination.)

            Besides that there are few families of Samaritan descent who reside in Nablus which is believed to be largely populated by Samaritans who’ve been converted to Islam.

            Worth noticing that the unconverted Samaritans of Nablus had to leave it during the first Intifada.

            Apparently, the Arab Samaritan – or Muslim Samaritan – population of Nablus does not associate itself with Samaritan Samaritans (not a typo) which answers your question where is all the rest of ancient Caananites – they all became Arabs.

            Now you gonna ask me how does it stripes them off their rights to their ancestral lands.

            By itself, it does not. As it does not mean than becoming a part of larger nation grants any more rights than to any other nation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            assimilated? Which means today’s Palestinians have Canaanite blood, thnx for proving my point.

            Reply to Comment
      • sh

        The place names are close to both languages and predate them.
        That goes for Trespasser’s contentions too, but he’ll reply “Nonsense” and think he’s won the argument. The Plishtim are mentioned all over the Torah and Palestinians are not necessarily Arab, just as Jews aren’t necessarily ancient Hebrews. What we do know is that one day the wolf and the lamb will learn to live together and that swords will be turned into plowshares.
        Can’t wait!

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >… and Palestinians are not necessarily Arab

          With all due respect, today’s Palestinians are Arabs, only Arabs and nothing but Arabs – accordingly to their own charter.

          No that it’s correct by any measure but it’s fine by me.
          Palestinias = Arabs;
          Arabs = Invaders;
          therefore Palestinians = Invaders and have no rights to this land.

          p.s. there is nothing wrong with calling a nonsense “a nonsense”

          Reply to Comment
    16. ginger

      When is Marwan Barghouti going to be elected?

      Shimon Peres is already on record saying Israel will release him if he is

      Reply to Comment
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