Israel has a problem. The E-1 corridor building decision is actually long overdue. Under any future agreement, Maale Adumim would have to remain under Israeli sovereignty – this is a consensus issue in Israel and no prime minister can evict its approximately 40,000 residents without facing a national upheaval.
But Maale Adumim is currently an Israeli island in the West Bank. The corridor would link it to Jerusalem and make it impossible for any future government either to concede Maale Adumim or to agree to have an Israeli town completely surrounded by Palestinian territory.
The European proposition, backed by the Palestinians, that building will kill the two-state solution, is preposterous. The Palestinians have already dealt several near-fatal blows to the two-state solution by launching the second intifada, letting Hamas take control of Gaza, rejecting two solid peace offers in 2001 and 2008, and waging a vicious war of delegitimisation against Israel — while pretending to be ready to negotiate.
The Europeans have also fed this fire by indulging Palestinian fools’ errands such as the UN vote last week.
The only relationship that matters for Israel, ultimately, is the one with America. That is why, in advancing the E-1 corridor plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should look carefully to Washington and use this move more as a bargaining chip than as a tool to spite the Palestinian Authority’s latest child’s play.