The Quartet, the Road Map, and the Future of Iraq: A Realistic Assessment

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) - Gerald M. Steinberg The structural chaos and lack of expertise that characterizes EU policy in the Middle East, and the high levels of suspicion and distrust in relations between the EU and Israel, and also between the UN and Israel, must be reduced substantially. The reliance on monitors from the Quartet to insure an end to all acts of terrorism and to enforce and verify the security agreements lacks credibility, particularly in light of the failure to act to disarm Hizballah following the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000. Implementation of central components, such as the total end to Palestinian incitement to hatred, and the establishment of effective security mechanisms to prevent terror, are predicated on sweeping changes in the Palestinian leadership and the removal of Arafat from power. This is unlikely to occur without a fundamental change in the external environment, either through Israeli action (for example, following a mega-terror attack), or as an indirect result of regime change in Iraq (with or without a war), triggering regional moves toward democratization, including in the Palestinian Authority. Without large-scale political changes, the Quartet's highly optimistic road map is destined to become another in the series of failed Middle East peace efforts.

2003-01-13 00:00:00

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