I've written about E1 several times - its history in one post and the world's ridiculous obsession with it in another post. Late last week, 200 Arabs, accompanied, of course, by many of Israel's leftists moved on to E1 and set up tents - establishing, they claimed, an Arab settlement. Of course, they claimed they have papers that say they own this land.
One has to wonder where those papers were for the last 40 years while Israel held E1 after Jordan attacked us in 1967 and lost it, but I guess it took that long for the ink to dry on the forgeries. Isn't it funny that these Palestinians never came forward during the 19 years of Jordanian rule (1948 - 1967) over the area, not to mention the years of British rule (pre-1947) or Ottoman rule (pre-1917) before that.
I've been living here in Maale Adumim opposite the barren E1 hill for almost 11 years - funny how they never came forward with these documents despite numerous announcements of previous governments, despite our building that police building. But this weekend, they decided there were suddenly papers claiming the land was theirs and the ignorant, left-wing Jews rallied to come and support this absurdity.
Though the left regularly condemns any attempt (usually fictitious attempts at that) of so-called right-wing settlers to establish new settlements, they are quick to show their hypocrisy in rushing to support Palestinians who do the same. What was interesting was how quickly the army moved in. The Palestinians were told they could leave their tents while the courts dealt with the legalities, but they were going to be removed immediately and this morning driving into Jerusalem (and much later on the way home), I saw Border Police guarding the roads up to E1 to prevent the return of the Palestinians.
Why did the army move relatively quickly? Well - on Facebook, some neighbors of mine began a discussion about what the Palestinians had done. One person wrote that from E1 and those tents, Palestinians have now put my entire neighborhood within range of a rifle. Absurd, I thought. Come on - I don't want them to be up there either, but let's be realistic here. It's a mountain away, across a narrow valley which bottoms out with Highway # 1 to the Dead Sea, across a major four-lane highway. Guns can't shoot that far, right?
I wanted to bring some sanity back into the discussion. There is no question the Palestinians are lying yet again about any land deeds - they simply don't exist. No question, they have no legal right by Israeli law and international law, to that land. But let's deal with reality, I wanted to say. I was about to write how silly the argument was - that we were now within range of rifle fire from way up there...but thought maybe I should check. I called Elie, my resident firearms expert and asked him. I was sure he would laugh and start quoting ranges to prove my point. My computer was opened to type the numbers he quoted...
"Of course, it's in range," he said, "Ima, even with an M16, I could easily hit the houses. A sniper with a more powerful rifle? No problem."
And so I understand two things - first, why the army moved them so quickly and second, once more, how important E1 is. You can count on one hand - perhaps two at most, how many times Israelis have shot into Arab neighborhoods in an attempt to hurt innocent Palestinians. You know what, go back to the one hand and you'll still have fingers left over.
Now try the same thing for how many times Palestinians have shot into Israeli homes and cities.The list is quite long on the other side - a room full of hands would likely not be enough.
Shalhevet Pass was 10 months old when an Arab sniper intentionally focused on her head and pulled the trigger.
The neighborhood of Gilo in southern Jerusalem regularly came under sniper fire until a wall was built to protect it.
A 7-year old Israeli girl was shot and killed while driving with her family. And that's without even using Google or thinking about other Arab attacks that used weapons other than guns.
On and on...all people shot and murdered by Arabs with rifles...
My neighborhood, homes of my friends - Elie and Lauren's apartment - all within range of a gun.
Yes, E1 is a barren hill....
And if we build on E1, no Palestinians will be shot, no terrorist attacks launched from the neighborhoods we build there. How do I know this? Simple - Maale Adumim has existed here for more than 40 years and not a single attack has been launched from Maale Adumim towards any Arab neighborhoods - not one. By contrast, attacks HAVE been launched from Issawiya, Abu Dis, and Azzariya - all Arab neighborhoods nearby. Today, an Arab boy...15 years old, went into the industrial area of Maale Adumim and attempted to stab a security guard with a knife. The Arab was arrested; no injuries on our side.
And no, no 15 year old Jewish boy attempted to stab any Arabs today - not a one.
If Jews build on E1, my neighborhood will remain quiet and safe - a place where children can play in the parks and people can sit in their backyards and porches and enjoy the view of Jerusalem to the west. We'll build some parks there, maybe a school.
If Arabs build on E1, my neighborhood may be the next Gilo and a large wall will have to be built to protect us.