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

March 13, 2003

A Road Map to Nowhere

From US News and World Report: a piece by Mortimer B. Zuckerman

The road map the president drew in his Middle East speech last June 24, with the objective of two states living side by side in peace, dignity, and freedom, was tenanted on a fundamental assumption: that Palestinians should not expect anything - not a state, not a provisional state, not an Israeli withdrawal, not American support - until they get rid of their corrupt leaders and select new ones untainted by terrorism.

The president recognized that Palestinian suffering and violence are not the product of Israeli "occupation" but the result of an occupation by a thugocracy of Palestinian leaders who came from Tunisia to Gaza and the West Bank a decade ago.

Instead of focusing on what the Palestinians must do to end terrorism once and for all, the Quartet's Road Map would allow the Palestinians to begin the process without first having made any meaningful commitment to peace. Israel would find itself obligated to make irrevocable concessions without concrete evidence that the Palestinians really had renounced terrorism, really had accepted the permanence of the Jewish state, really had reformed.

The Quartet buys into the sham parallelism between the conduct of Israel and that of the Palestinians. Israel has to pledge an immediate end to "attacks" against Palestinians everywhere. Once again, terrorism and retaliation to terrorism are treated as morally equivalent, as if the arsonist and the firefighter are one and the same.

Within the Quartet, the UN, the EU, and Russia are the very entities that have so signally failed to monitor and implement the terms of the Iraq disarmament Resolution 1441. Rather than make hard assessments, they have made political judgments to serve their own interests, which are contrary to America's most vital security interests. Wonder what kind of treatment little Israel would get under the proposed Road Map from this trio?