Bush and Sharon Reeducate the World

(National Review) Saul Singer - Many Israelis, not to mention the rest of the world, had been convinced the Palestinians wanted peace, so the objective was to pry the requisite land out of Israel for peace to break out. Now the scales have begun to tip toward the view that it is the Palestinian leadership that would rather kill and be killed than accept the state that was being handed to them on a platter. The State Department's "road map" demonstrates how it is possible to stall in the middle of a paradigm shift. On the one hand it pays lip service to stopping terror and to democratization; on the other it recycles the sludge pile of failed Mideast peace plans named after largely forgotten diplomats. The reason all these plans failed was that they assumed the conflict was over borders and therefore solvable through negotiation and compromise. It is not. Peace does not depend on what Israel has to offer, since Israel cannot offer to dismantle itself. But once peace does not depend on Israeli offers, then all "road maps" are rendered useless. The Bush sequence of end terrorism and replace the Palestinian leadership, then negotiate, is basically correct. Add deadlines to it and you have another failed attempt to impose peace on "both sides." The Bush-Sharon plan, as opposed to the "road map," says to the Palestinians: "You want a state? Earn it."

2002-12-10 00:00:00

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