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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 29, 2002

The New Road Map (Ted Belman)

The road to hell is paved with bad intentions

Make no mistake; Israel must refuse to go down it. There is nothing to negotiate.

In essence it is an attempt to change the rules of the game once again, in favour of the Palestinians, without any concession to Israel. Every time there is a new plan it increases the rights of the Palestinians at Israel’s expense.

In ’67 UNSC Res. 242 did not recognize the Palestinians. It authorized Israel to remain in the territories until they had an agreement for secure and recognized borders. It was acknowledged that Israel would be retaining some of the land to achieve secure borders.

The Oslo Accords were intended to create a body, the Palestinian Authority, with whom Israel could negotiate such borders. As a condition precedent to its execution, Arafat agreed to renounce violence and incitement and agreed that all disputes would be resolved by negotiation. The PLO also agreed to recognize Israel and remove all offending parts of their Charter. There was no mention of a Palestinian State. There was no restrictions whatsoever on settlement activity. Both parties committed to a just settlement of the refugee issues. There was no mention of a right to return. There was to be security cooperation. Israel was in full control.

Regardless of its agreed terms, Arafat violated every term right from the get go.

As a result of the Intafadah, which Arafat choose to begin, we got the Mitchell Plan, which recommended a freeze on settlement activity. This was a concession to Arafat beyond Oslo. But Arafat still didn’t follow it. Then we got the Tennant Plan for security cooperation, which was not needed because Oslo spelt it all out. This also went nowhere because Arafat wouldn’t abide by its terms.

After which we started to hear that there should be international monitors, which Israel wouldn’t agree to. Then everyone said we had to offer “hope” to the Palestinians or that there must be a political tract etc. Then the pressure started to build on the settlements. No one insisted that Oslo had to be adhered to. The NY Times introduced the Saudi Peace Plan and went gaga over it. This plan required the right of return and ‘67 borders. Everyone including the US wanted to accommodate the Palestinians and kept offering them more then they were entitled to by Oslo. Finally Bush came out with his vision speech in which he envisioned a Palestinian State. But he laid down many safeguards.

Two months later we had the first draft of the New Road Map by the Quartet. This New Road Map was negotiated at the same time as the Security Council was debating what to do with Iraq so there was lots of linkage. Now that Bush had broken the ice with the vision of a Palestinian state, this Plan ran with it but dropped all of Bush’s safeguards. It also required the Quartet to be the judge of performance by consensus so the US wouldn’t have a veto. No longer is Israel in control of anything. Israel is expected to proceed in parallel with the Palestinians as though they were equally at fault. No longer must they effectively stop the terror. It is enough to make "visible efforts" to confront it and take steps. Israel is to be ruled by the Quartet even in matters of security. It also brings the Saudi Plan into the mix. Finally, there should be “an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue” as well as a “negotiated resolution to Jerusalem”.

Jeeze, I want to scream.