The term E-1 is bureaucratic jargon, originating from the Israel Ministry of Housing’s designation, East-1. The E-1 corridor is an area of land 12 square kilometers (roughly 4.5 square miles) in size, located between the town of Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. It lies across the Green Line (the cease-fire line established in 1949) in territory Israel reclaimed from Jordan in the Six Day War (1967). The land in question is under full Israeli civil and security control.
From the moment David Ben Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948, it has had to fight for its survival. After three major wars (1948, 1967, 1973), none of which Israel initiated, with neighbors who begrudge its very existence, the nations of the world stepped in to attempt to provide a solution. “Two states for two peoples” has become the rallying cry of the negotiators. But what will the boundaries be? Israel rightly insists on a secure, defensible country. The Palestinians have rejected all proposals so far, seemingly demanding “all or nothing.”
Although many assume that a Palestinian state will have pre-1967 borders, that has never been officially agreed to by either party. On the contrary, Israeli prime ministers since Itzhak Rabin (1974–77 and1992–95) have supported the plan to link Jerusalem with the town of Ma’aleh Adumim (population 39,000), thus retaining Israeli sovereignty over the E-1 corridor. This area is also crucial to Israel’s security as it lies adjacent to the Jerusalem–Jericho road, a strategically important route that provides access eastward and northward via the Jordan Rift Valley. Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We are not prepared to repeat the same mistake of a unilateral withdrawal and withdrawals that, in effect, led Hamas to take control of Gaza.”
Palestinians and their supporters claim that, by building in the E-1 corridor, Israel will effectively cut their proposed country in half, destroying the possibility of a two-state solution. A look at the map shows us that E-1 does not totally cut off Palestinian-controlled areas. In addition, Israel has already constructed (in 2007) a road that would provide direct access between Ramallah and Bethlehem.
In the wisdom of the world, if Israel would give more land to the Palestinians, peace would result. That theory has already been tested. In 2005, in good faith, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, uprooting 21 established communities with their residents. Did peace result? Clearly, it did not.
As Christians, we should not look to the wisdom of man but to the Word of God. In Genesis 17:8, God says to Abraham: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession…” For a biblical perspective on the complex issues surrounding this area, check out the book Israel and the Church, God’s Road Map, written by Rebecca J. Brimmer and BFP leaders. The Word of the Lord will stand forever—no matter what the world may say.
Source: Janet Aslin, BFP Staff Writer
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