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

April 08, 2003

The "Road Map"

Martin Kimel continues to bring his lawyerly analysis and journalistic clarity to further comments on the inadequacies of The Road Map. Be sure to open and follow his links.
Writing in The Jerusalem Post, David Weinberg transposes the "road map" to Iraq. It's worth reading. Also read this August 2001 column by the late Michael Kelly, arguing that moral equivalence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has "gasped its last breath." Logically, he should have been right. Unfortuately, it didn't work out that way.

I'd also like to devote some space to a discussion -- and "Fisking" -- of Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl's piece today, "Which Road Map?" As the road map is unfolded, it's useful to observe the arguments employed and the sometimes subtle use of language by those who would shove the map down Israel's throat (for its own good, of course):

The shared hope of Israeli and Palestinian moderates has been that the Iraq war would finally propel their peoples back to the peace process they abandoned two years ago. The destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime, they imagine, could demoralize Palestinian extremists and help empower a new pro-peace cabinet under Prime Minister Abu Mazin. Meanwhile President Bush would fulfill his prewar commitment to Tony Blair by finally putting political muscle behind his own "vision" for a Palestinian state -- even if that meant a clash with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Those in favor of the road map are "moderates." Those opposed are extremists, even if they oppose the road map because they think the Palestinians aren't ready for peace as too many of them oppose Israel's very existence. Note also that the Oslo peace process apparently was jointly abandoned, according to Diehl, and not abandoned by the Palestinians, who decided they could get what they wanted by deliberately shooting or blowing up innocent men, women, children and babies in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya and the disputed territories.

The dream could still come true. But the news of the past week also has given the pro-peace camp a nightmare scenario to contemplate -- one in which the United States, rather than extricating Israel from its quagmire in the West Bank and Gaza, joins it as an isolated occupying power fighting off suicide bombers ...Note that Diehl personalizes his unhappiness with Israel by focusing on the bete noir Sharon. This common tactic by foes of the country effectively treats the unpopular Sharon as if he were some Arab dictator and not a democratically elected Prime Minister whose government can fall if enough Israelis take issue with his performance. (Just for the record, I don't agree with all of the current government's policies.) As for Diehl's comment about an "Arab backlash," doing something because you're afraid that someone will be angry if you don't is called appeasement. The U.S. government should try to bring about peace in the region, but Clinton already tried and failed. The Arabs need to hear some hard truths; and flinching from speaking the truth to them will not bring about a lasting peace any faster in my opinion. [more]