To Push for Peace Negotiations Prematurely is to Guarantee Another Disastrous Failure

( Yossi Alpher - President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apparently understand that the current status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires mainly security and reform measures, and is not ripe for a roadmap-based political process. Hence Rice avoided the Sharm el-Sheik meeting in order not to inadvertently send a deceptive political message. If Israelis and Palestinians are to succeed, we must all concentrate on a measured confidence-building process that focuses on mutual security, Palestinian reform, and cooperation to make disengagement work. We must postpone any move toward renewing a peace process, and work on those aspects of roadmap phase I that both sides can handle, plus disengagement, and avoid getting into phases II or III. Abbas' views on the right of return mean that a peace process negotiated by him will fail once again. To push a reluctant Sharon and a hard-line Abbas into peace negotiations prematurely is to guarantee another disastrous failure.

2005-02-22 00:00:00

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