No to the Quartet's Road Map

(Jerusalem Post) - Ovadia Soffer At a recent meeting in New York, the Quartet rejected all of Israel's reservations to the proposed "road map," which is supposed to serve as the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In exchange for its agreement to postpone the official publication of the map until after the Israeli elections, the Quartet made the text more severe than U.S. President Bush's original proposals. The new wording includes the clause that refers to "ending the occupation from 1967." Israel gained a first and decisive victory on November 22, 1967, when the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242, in whose English version of the clause about withdrawal the word "the" was dropped before the word "territories," thereby ensuring that Israel was not required to withdraw from all of the territories. Considering the widespread expectation that right after dealing with the war in Iraq, the U.S. and the EU will start pressuring Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, the wording of the current road map is a serious digression from Resolution 242. It serves as further proof of the fear that the West is planning to pay the Arabs in Israeli currency. The British prime minister, considered a friend of Israel, has taken several steps recently that reinforce those fears. His initiative in convening a conference in London to discuss so-called reforms in the Palestinian Authority, before the Israeli elections and without inviting Israeli representatives, appears to be intended to appease the Arabs and balance Britain's support for U.S. measures in Iraq. Instead of the emerging trend of appeasement and forcing concessions out of Israel on matters most Israelis consider existential, such as the need for safe and agreed borders, the West should support Israel's desire to achieve neighborly relations based on peace and freedom for all.

2003-01-15 00:00:00

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