- General Issues
- 2011 >
- Time to Negotiate the Northern and Southern Sectors of the Israeli-West Bank Border
- President Peres and Dr. Ashrawi: Thank You for Staying on Track
- Playing the Victim Card Will Not Bring Peace
- Negotiations By the Parties
- The World Should Help the Palestinian Hunger Striker
- ...and only afterwards move to discuss the topic of Jerusalem
- A Question of Accountability
- Israel Twisting in the Wind
- Netanyahu: Too Big for His Britches
- Netanyahu's "Israeli Comfort"
- How Shaul Mofaz Can Jump-Start the Peace Process
- Netanyahu on the Brink
- Time for Taking Stock
- Israel in Wonderland
- Whatever Happened to the Quartet?
- The Palestinians Want to Negotiate
- A Time for Hope and a Call for Restraint
- Israel Can Win in Gaza, But Not Now
- Congratulations to the New State of Palestine!
- Security and Borders: Both Required for Peace
- It Is Up to Israel to Restart Peace Negotiations
- Israel and Palestine: Changing the Terms of Agreement
- The Knesset Bill to Increase the Number of Women that Elect the Chief Rabbis Is Important for Jewish Women
- Proposal on Governance of the Holy Basin
- Time for Netanyahu to Reach Across the Aisle
- Tzipi Livni's Challenge
- Women Should Be Free to Pray at the Wailing Wall
- Proposed Highway through the Jordan Valley Will Backfire on Israel
- 2014 >
- We Should Applaud Herzog and Livni for Reclaiming Zionism
- The Next Israeli Government
- West Bank Citizenry and Receipt of Individuals of Palestinian Origin
- What Next for Israel?
- Palestinian statehood
- Mischief in the Trade Legislation would Hinder Progress
- What Next for America?
- Could American Firms Choose to Gradually Disinvest from Israel?
- Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitism
- 2016 >
- 2017 >
- About the Authors
Proposed Highway through the Jordan Valley Will Backfire on Israel
September 25, 2013
We have seen reports of a new proposed Israeli road from Gush Etzion to the Dead Sea. Though ostensibly meant to foster tourism, it would, if built, extend the web of settlements to bisect the future state of Palestine. Some regard it as such an affront to the peace process that it could derail the peace talks.
Palestinians should keep a cool head. This road will be seen internationally as an egregious sign of Israeli bad faith that will only backfire on Israel. European pressure is already growing. This sort of action may even result in removing the American blanket of protection.
In any final status agreement, this road will become part of Palestine. Any hotels and factories that might be built along it will be Palestinian hotels and factories. The road could become a golden goose for Palestine, providing a boon to Palestine's share of the tourist trade by providing a route from Bethlehem to the Dead Sea entirely within the future state of Palestine. In the future, the route could be a nexus of Palestinian-Israeli economic cooperation as tourism companies offer comprehensive travel packages through both countries. Imagine in the more distant future when cruise ships dock at an improved port of Gaza and buses bring their passengers down this road on excursions to the Dead Sea.
Nevertheless, the route also passes through a pristine wilderness area, and just as Israeli environmentalists are raising objections, we believe Palestinian environmentalists also should be given their say about whether the road is even built. Palestine, which hosts numerous World Heritage sites, has a growing sense of responsibility for the land as its patrimony.
We should not allow acts of greed and provocation to derail the peace talks. The road is not an obstacle to peace, but only a sign of Israel's lack of resolve to bring it to pass. The world will see it as such, and Israel will be the one to face the consequences.
Example of dislocation when an Israeli highway runs through Palestinian land: the wall next to the highway bulges out to accommodate a settlement, taking over formerly Palestinian farmland. (Photo looking north from Nebi Samuel)