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

May 06, 2003

A Roadmap to Peace: With Whom?

This Front Page Magazine article says that many arabs in the region simply do not want peace with Israel but instead want to continue terror activities. History is invoked to show this to be the case till now, with the implication that those who do not learn from history will want to relive it
The proposed “roadmap to peace” in the Middle East has an intrinsic unknown. Peace must involve at least two parties. On one side we have the Israelis who are genuinely interested in peace, but who is on the other side? With whom are the Israeli supposed to make peace? Unfortunately, it cannot be the “Palestinians” Arabs because such a “peace” would be meaningless. The “Palestinian” Arabs, under their current political leadership are not a stable, politically independent entity with which a long-term peace can be made. We have witnessed the wrangling between Arafat and his hand picked Prime Minister who is still lacking the necessary authority to make meaningful political commitments. Mahmoud Abbas certainly does not meet the expectations laid out explicitly by President Bush in his speech of June 24, 2002.

To create a new Arab state, irrespective if its borders are permanent or temporary, with sole purpose of having a legitimate partner for tenuous peace negotiations with some local Arabs seems unreasonable. It would be interpreted in the Arab world as a reward for indiscriminant brutal terror, and an encouragement for continued terror against the State of Israel. In any case it is unlikely to eliminate Arab terror. Even if the “Palestinian” leadership changed significantly, which it does not seem to do, and the Arabs in the “disputed territories” eliminated their terrorist organizations to form a genuinely demilitarized state, which does not yet seem in the cards, Israel would remain the target for Arab terror and potential Arab military aggression. Would there have been a difference if Hammas’ headquarter in Gaza were closed and Hammas terrorists arrived then from the UK with British passports and blew themselves up near a nightclub, as it just happened in Tel Aviv?

Arab terror will continue as long as Arab Islamism maintains its grip on the Middle East, even after al-Queda was eradicated by the US, and Iraq was neutralized, at least for a while. Let us remember that many of the recent clashes between the IDF and the Arab terrorists are at the Egyptian border, which is the major conduit of military supplies for the “Palestinian” terror organizations. This flow of arms would not take place without the knowledge and support of the Egyptian leadership. The training of “Palestinian” terrorists in the Baka’a Valley and the supply of military materiel from Lebanon into Gaza would not have occurred without the active support of Iran and Syria. As these lines are written, in spite of US diplomatic pressure, the Syrians are still splitting hairs between terrorists killing Jews (seemingly sanctioned by Syria) and non-Jews. In brief, until the regional conflict between the Arab and Jewish nations is resolved, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, of any kind, might critically restrict Israel’s political maneuverability and military defensive options.

It seems now that even Collin Powell, who initiated the now dysfunctional “Quartet”, which the US State Department incorporated as a decisive element in its recently published “Roadmap,” realizes this. This is the reason for Powell’s current round of talks with the leaders in the surrounding Arab states before coming to discuss his “Roadmap” with the Israelis. The “Quartet” idea was part of Powell’s diplomatic strategy in an attempt to receive the UN’s endorsement to remove Saddam Hussein from power. That attempt failed miserably, as we all saw, and the non-American partners in the “Quartet” proved to be treacherous enemies of the United States in addition to their traditional animosity to the Jewish state.[more]