Road Map to Where?

(Washington Times) Editorial - The last two and a half years of Palestinian terrorist violence against Israel, most of it orchestrated by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat (who rejected then-President Clinton's July 2000 Camp David proposal for a two-state solution to end that conflict) make it clear that peace will require a wholesale change inside the leadership of the Palestinians. But, based on the details made public thus far, the road map now being advanced by Messrs. Bush and Blair is a flawed instrument for achieving this. American Enterprise Institute scholar Joshua Muravchic seriously doubts that it is realistic to think that such a far-reaching, comprehensive blueprint for peace can possibly be implemented in just two years - especially when it will require a wholesale transformation of Palestinian leadership and a society where much of the body politic continues to support suicide bombings. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is troubled by what he asserts is a "sham, even indecent, parallelism between Palestinian and Israeli behavior" embodied in the road map, which calls on each side, using virtually identical language, to "cease violence" against the other, as if blowing up a restaurant or commuter bus is the moral equivalent of a commando raid against a terrorist safe-house. Both note that the road map calls on both sides to end incitement in the popular media - even though virtually every bit of the actual rhetoric comes from Palestinian media organs that answer to Mr. Arafat. The road map - which seeks to transfer the mediating authority over the peace process from the U.S. to the EU and the UN - bumps up against some serious political realities. Over the years, the EU and the UN have issued statement after statement and passed one-sided resolution after resolution blaming Israel for everything that goes wrong in the peace process, even though the lion's share of the blame for its failure lies with Mr. Arafat and the Palestinians.

2003-04-04 00:00:00

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